The pizza shop (24th St., Mission) [San Francisco]
Decent NY style pizza finally hits the mission. Well, technically NJ according to this article, http://sf.eater.com/archives/2014/02/...
There were a few pre-made pizzas with a combination of toppings, and none looked so overloaded that it would compromise the crust. Crusts ranged from very blonde to light brown, presumably to prevent slices from getting burnt upon reheating. I got the $3 cheese slice to go.
The crust survived re-heating better than Gioia's slices do. The slice felt a bit rigid when I folded it in half, but the crunch was perfect, shattering right at the bite with no flaking elsewhere. The top part of the crust had a good elasticity too, which alone makes it much better than what I've had at Rustic on 24th @ Mission. The one fault was the outer rim, which didn't have enough flavor. But that's forgivable--- the cheese and sauce were delicious and had the right taste--- no extra condiments were needed.
The slice didn't strike me as oily, but there was a good amount of drippage, pictured below, on the plate. I'll take that as a good sign and note that it's still less oil than you'd get from the Cheeseboard.
Very impressive for a place that's been open less than a week, and better in every respect except maybe gross unladen weight to the other NY-style competitor in the Mission, Arinell's.
Not sure what their hours will be, but someone with dough slinging skills was making a whole pie just before 10pm.
Chiming in on a few points:
--yes, i agree crust was good, i would personally have been ok with a little more crisp. but i too had the same reaction that the crust kinda ran out of flavor at the edges ... one of those cases you ask yourself "it is worth the calories?"
--i recently had some terrible, terrible pizza, so i was happy these guys seem to have good quality control. yes, it is a bit smaller than some of the larger, messier slice places, but perhaps the trade off for consistency is reasonable.
--i think SLICER is OAK are better than these guys. i have to think about it (i.e. "eat more pizza") to compare to ROTTEN CITY, but i think aspirationally, they are not unlike RC (nd maybe that NY place in Sunnyvale/Stevens Creek ... I haven been to SPEEDERIA in a long time so cant compare).
--this does not feel like an ARINELL substitute to me ... yeah, its closer to ARINELL when you consider everything from CHEESEBOARD to DELFINA, but among slice places, ARINELL is kind of unique around here ... what's unfortunate is ARINELL's terrible quality control so you cant reliable get a ARINELL ideal slice even at ARINELL.
HYPERBOWLER: have you tried SLICER? Strong recommend if you are in the area.
I wonder if T.P.S.is going to start taking credit cards ... while I was there several people cancelled their orders because they had no cash ... although it was nice of the "pizzaiolo" to offer one guy honor-system credit. Something like that makes you feel good about dealing with a local business.
I think the are still feeling around about how late to stay open in the evenings.
I'll have to try Slicer next time I'm in Oakland. I've liked Rotten City in the past, but their awesome meatball sandwich stands out for me more than the pizza.
Heh, not having enough cash has stopped my twice from getting more than a regular slice :-)
An article yesterday about finding good NYC slices from J. Kenji López-Alt is a good read. The $1 slices they briefly mention there, and which are discussed in the NY times piece below, aren't something I've taken a part of. It's possible slice joints in NY are getting worse, which would mean Arinell is better than I'm giving it credit for. It's certainly better than anything I've had at a "Ray's" pizza.
Oh, so I was winding up working at HAUS after slice #1 and got hungry reading your SERIOUSEATS link so I went back for a CHEESE SLICE.
As written above, this is "totally legit"/"the real deal' ... the plain slice is close to ARINELL/old school NY slice ... also, this one was cooked a little bit better than the first slice ... a bit more crispy crust, cheese hot enough to burn the top of my mouth (I was being gluttonous) ... enough grease from the cheese to give the edge-crust some flavor.
More or less all the tables we're taken at ~9pm, so they seem to be doing well. Unfortunately the barbaric practice of capturing the chili flake/cheese shakers rather than leaving them at the central repository continues here ... exacerbated by the fact they seem to only have singleton shakers. The also need to put water cups next to the water pitcher. They also need to have a napkin dispenser somewhere other than the tables (who wants to ask table patrons for napkins?).
At my second visit, this time during lunchtime, I had another excellent slice. It was fresh enough that it did not need to be reheated and the crust, especially around the rim, had a more developed flavor than it did last time.
The owner said he is capable of making a lot more pizzas that he currently is, so don't be shy about getting a slice. The hours are 11 AM through 9:30 PM, when he makes the last pies to order.
I'm not sure what else I would put on this but The pizza shop, in combination with wise son's deli a few blocks away, could form the foundation of a New York food crawl.
re: ernie in berkeley
Yeah, I agree the crust could've been cooked a little bit longer. It didn't have as much crunch as my last slice, but I chalked that up to slightly under cooking to allow for reheating later. Someone please order an entire pie!
Here are two pictures. Let me know if you see yourself in the background, Ernie :-)
I went to the Pizza Shop tonight with tempered expectations. It exceeded them. When I walked in, I assume it was the owners hanging out and chatting (I was in pretty late on a Tuesday night, around 9pm). Immediately their attention was mine when I walked through the door. I didn't see cheese in their offering, but upon asking they had a whole cheese pie waiting in the wings. They were super friendly about getting my slices ready while I hit the head.
My slices looked about what I expected, twice baked thin new york slices. They were decent size, but perfectly heated. The sauce and cheese were perfect for each other, neither overwhelming the other, but both very contributing to the overall slice. The crust was pretty typical for a twice baked pizza, maybe a bit less charred than the slices I have bought at gioia as hyperbowler mentioned. The cheese/sauce balance made the slice though.
If the owners keep the attention to detail this is a pretty hard pizza slice to beat. Every other east coast style slice place I have been I feel that the attention to detail is lacking, either an underwarmed slice or an overdone one. The slices I got here were perfect. I would recommend it to anyone if the same attention to detail is paid for all slices. I would like to go back and try some of their other offerings, they all looked pretty tasty. I hope this place gains traction.
Dissing Arinell just shows you don't know NYC pizza.
But if this pizza is truly good, theres definitely room for more good slice places in this city where you need to have money to burn or own the real estate to be able to sell something so cheap. I'll have to reserve judgement until I try it since people are always raving about pizza that doesn't fit the bill (much like BBQ).
It may very well match your prototype for the ideal NYC pizza. You should try it out.
Especially for a place that's been open less than a week, they hit the key points for me. It doesn't perfectly match my idealized slice, but enough that I stand behind my recommendation. The Pizza Shop would not be out of place in NY, but as per personal preference: the slices could be larger and allow for a touch more bubbling on the outer rim. They could also use a bit more charring. Not sure what it signifies, but the drippage didn't look orange enough. I didn't look at any mushroom slices, but I'd hope they're marinated rather than fresh.
Aside from the squareness, which I do at home because I'm lousy at shaping dough, I have no beef with Arinelli's authenticity. Just like SF has places with great burritos and ones better suited to plugging up potholes, NY has good and bad pizza in the local style, and in a style difficult to find outside the northeast.
I would eat at cheap and greasy places like Arinell's as a teenager on Long Island. Just like the superior pizzerias my parents took me to, they'd have the requisite thin and dark crust, whole-milk low moisture mozzarella, not too sweet sauce, and oregano in the sauce and/or on each table. But these lower-tier places would often have overcooked and mealy cheese and a dry crust. Some of the worst slices would snap like matzoh when you folded them, and have no elasticity to hold the molten cheese and orange oil in place. This latter experience has happened to me more than once at Arinells.
Had a cheese and a pepperoni/mushroom slice yesterday.
The mushrooms are not marinated, but are sliced paper-thin. Likewise the pepperoni, and toppings in general are sparse.
Drippings seemed plenty orange to me, and the slices survive folding without cracking, but barely.
Great sauce, flavorful cheese. Wow. I'm no NY pizza expert -- last slice I had in Manhattan was a good 15 years ago -- but this is simply yummy stuff and more satisfying than Arinell.
My house sits about equidistant between Pizza Shop and Pizzahacker. LIfe is suddenly very sweet!