NYC Pizza Tour 2016…All In One Day
Happy post-post-post-4th of July, JFG Nation! Here’s a quick recap of my past week and a half. I went to the Summer Fancy Food Show the Sunday before Fourth of July weekend. I gorged myself silly for three straight days so that when I returned the last thing I wanted to do was eat junk food. Then someone gave Harrison Barnes (HARRISON FRIGGIN BARNES) $94 million dollars. Then I spent the weekend moving stuff out of my place (anyone want to buy an apartment?) And then my internet went down for THREE DAYS (CURSE YOU COMCAST!) Then yesterday my internet was fixed and I found out that Dwayne Wade was leaving the Miami Heat. Oh, and the Rio Olympics are going to be a complete disaster. But hey, I’m sure velodrome will go off without a hitch.
As some of you may remember, my New Year’s resolution this year was to eat as many pizzas as possible. I’ve already surpassed last year’s total of 30 – my next pie will be pizza #33 on the year. Contributing to that total were the pizzas I ate on the Saturday before the Summer Fancy Food Show. Each year when I head to NYC, I try to take advantage of the pizza scene and ONLY eat pizzas for any non-show meals. Last year my NYC Pizza Tour lasted two days (here and here). In the past I’ve hit many popular joints – Sal and Carmine’s, L&B Spumoni Gardens, Di Fara, Roberta’s, and on and on and on. This year, I KNEW I had to have slices from one of my favorite spots: John’s of Bleeker.
Located on Bleeker Street, this NYC Pizzeria features a coal fired oven and does NOT sell slices; only full pies. When I arrived in NYC that Saturday, the JFGal was in Brooklyn already munching on her Ramen Burger. Rather than take the long ride out to meet her, we planned to meet in the East Village later in the afternoon. So, I started the hike south from Penn Station – getting my steps in before the show – and wheeled my suitcase the 1.6 miles into the West Village to John’s.
There was no wait at John’s and I was ushered right to a booth. Me on one side, my suitcase on the other. I ordered a large pepperoni pie and a glass of water. What came out in just over ten minutes was GLORIOUS: a super thin crust, super crispy, piping hot pepperoni pie. The cheese was perfectly distributed, the tangy red sauce was poking out, and the pepperonis reflected some of that great coal fired char. Nom Nom.
I hadn’t eaten since the morning, so I got to work, snarfing slice after slice. Once four slices were down the gullet, I got a text from the JFGal:
“Hey, where are you?”
“Eating pizza at John’s.”
“Nice. We’re on our way back.”
“I’ve eaten four slices already.”
After I set down the phone, I munched my way through another slice. Fatigue was starting to set in. The slices at John’s of Bleeker are nice and thin, but still – it was a decent amount of food. I drank half of my glass of water, trying to lubricate the stomach. Feeling my stomach expand, I texted the JFGal that I was leaving. As I waited for the check, I stared at my remaining three slices. I couldn’t resist – I stuffed another slice into my mouth. So so good.
Carrying my leftover two slices with me, I walked – slowly – out of John’s of Bleeker into the sunlight. Wincing, I wondered if I would feel better by the time I reached my meet-up spot with the JFGal. Only one way to find out – I started walking East to Chinatown. I was meeting the JFGal another 1.4 miles away, and a mile in, you know what? I DID feel better. Thanks, exercise! You make stomach no feel gross person thing animal….whoa, the sun was really hot that day.
That night, I knew I wanted MORE PIZZA. Friend’s of the Summer Fancy Food Show, Rob and Nicole, were happy to oblige. But not before I ate some non-pizza apps at Talde Brooklyn.
You’d think I would’ve been full after dumplings, samosas, and cocktails at Talde. Nope. We immediately headed to Rob and Nicole’s and ordered two large pies from Luigi’s Pizza in Brooklyn.
Yep that’s Rob’s nose. SMELL THAT NYC PIZZA. At this point I’m a good six hours removed from my previous six slices so why not? My belly was ready for more jelly. And by jelly I mean dough, cheese, and sauce.
The large pie with fresh mozzarella sprinkled with some pesto was RIDIC – the sparse coverage of the cheese really let the sauce sing, punched up with lots of Italian seasoning. Legit.
The more traditional pepperoni pie was everything I wanted and more. Super thin and crisp crust, perfectly salty cheese and a sauce that held up really well. Just a solid pie through and through – This is what I expect all NYC slices to match, or exceed.
Two slices of each were plenty, and I finally stopped chewing around 10:30pm having downed ten slices of pizza in one day. The JFGal only had three slices, so I quietly and somewhat shamefully munched her fourth slice in the morning the next day before anyone woke up. My stomach is unstoppable.
I didn’t end up having any more pizza for the rest of the NYC visit, unfortunately. Eleven slices in a day and a half should be satisfying but I do sort of wish I had more. New goal: beat that slice count next year.