Pizza My Heart

by Jacki Granet and Abby Calhoun

JACKI: I LOVE pizza! I am of the mindset that even bad pizza is delicious, which might not make me the best person to review the best slices of New York pizza, but I'll do my best. I grew up in California, but both my parents grew up in New York City and all I have ever heard about is how much better the food is here, especially the pizza and bagels. Luckily for me, I have lived here for almost seven years and have made up for lost time.

ABBY: When Jacki and I were assigned this blog post, I was thrilled. I also love pizza and will use any excuse to eat it. Jacki and I had a great time walking around Manhattan and tasting five different New York-style pizza slices and I would happily sign up for the follow-up post. We kept it to Lower and mid- Manhattan because: a) that is where we live and work and we are somewhat lazy; and b) to open it up any further at least for this initial post would not feasible, as there are so many great options (just ask this guy).

Thanks for the pizza, Joe!

Thanks for the pizza, Joe!

Joe’s Pizza, 7 Carmine St., Manhattan (also 150 East 14th Street)
JACKI: This was the first slice Abby and I tried. I picked this place because I have been quite a few times and always liked it. Joe’s Pizza started on Carmine Street in the West Village, but since adding an East Village location, its popularity has increased. If I were ranking this slice when we first had it, I would have given it a better score, but after trying the rest of the places, Joe’s really does not hold up as well. Don’t get me wrong, it is a tasty slice of pizza, but I found it a bit salty and more importantly, a bit doughy. I prefer my pizza a little lighter and Joe’s was just too heavy. I give this slice ★★★ (out of five)

ABBY: I couldn’t agree more. Joe’s was the first place we tried and I liked it, but I did not love it. I also felt it was too salty and I actually think it could have used more sauce to balance out the dough. Jacki and I agreed to rate the slice after we tried all five places and unfortunately, other places were so much better in comparison. I give this slice ★★

Died and went to pizza heaven!

Died and went to pizza heaven!

South Brooklyn Pizza, 122 1st Avenue, Manhattan (CLOSED), and 451 Court Street, Brooklyn
JACKI: Um…yum! When we set out on our pizza mission, I had a few places in mind that I wanted to try. I had always heard some great things about South Brooklyn Pizza, so it was high on my list. It did not disappoint. Although we were hoping to sit down and enjoy the slice, the space does not really afford such a luxury. This is a pick and go type place (I should say was, because it just recently closed), but the slice. Oh, the slice. It was delicious. The mozzarella had the perfect amount of saltiness and there was just the right amount of savory sauce. Another great thing about a slice from South Brooklyn: it is not (overly) greasy. I love pizza in all shapes and sizes, but I hate when there is a drip of oil down my hand. I get over it, because, well as you may have picked up on by now, I love pizza, but I am not happy about it. I give this slice ★★★★★

ABBY: I also liked this slice A LOT. What I liked most about the South Brooklyn slice was the thinness of the crust. To me, a good New York slice cracks when you fold it, and you MUST fold it for proper pizza eating. This slice was absolutely perfect. The temperature was perfect and the cheese broke nicely when I took a bite. Added bonus: I agree with Jacki…no excessive oil dripping down my hand is definitely a plus! I give this slice ★★★★★

Enjoying a slice at Suprema.

Enjoying a slice at Suprema.

Suprema Pizza, 413 8th Avenue, Manhattan
JACKI: I first learned of this place, located across from Madison Square Garden/Penn Station, when my friend told me it is her dad’s favorite slice in NYC. We were coming back from Philadelphia on the train and she mentioned Suprema and within minutes we were sitting in a booth devouring the best slice of pizza I have had in years. This is a real traditional slice of New York pizza and I could not recommend it any more. It is thin, but not too thin; saucy, but not too saucy. It really has the perfect amount of ingredients. Plus, I love the way it is cooked. I tend to like my pizza on the more well-done side (nothing worse than soupy pizza) and this place just gets me. Another reason I loved this slice so much was that the sauce is on the sweeter side. I never would have thought I would enjoy a sweeter sauce, but it really makes the flavors pop, for me at least (Abby, not as much). Don’t believe me? Just ask Colin Hagendorf (the guy Abby linked to earlier here), who has eaten a slice of pizza at every local pizza restaurant in Manhattan (362!) and names Suprema in his top five. You can also ask Michael J. Fox, who I sat next to the last time I went to Suprema. I give this slice ★★★★★

ABBY: I also think this was a great slice of pizza. I do, however, have one reservation about it. The sauce is sweet. That is not to say I did not like the slice or wouldn’t recommend it, but it's definitely something worth mentioning. I loved the atmosphere of Suprema as well. It has such an old school vibe and really makes you feel like you are in New York in the 1960s. This is the type of pizza place you want to take your parents when they come visit. I give this slice ★★★★

Bleecker Street Pizza, 69 7th Avenue South, Manhattan
JACKI: If you asked my five years ago what my favorite slice in New York was, I would say Bleecker Street. I was introduced to this place by a friend who grew up in New York and loved it. When I went back recently, however, I was sad to learn it was not the slice I once knew. I think what I was disappointed in most was the crust. It was so dry. I didn’t feel there was enough cheese and overall, I was just not impressed. I give this slice ★★

ABBY: This is one of the times that Jacki and I really disagreed. I really love Bleecker Street. I thought the crust was just crunchy enough (I love the cornmeal on the crust) and the sauce (homemade and delicious!) and cheese were perfectly proportioned. I would definitely come back to Bleecker Street and I certainly recommend it. I give this slice ★★★★

Famous Ben’s of SoHo, 177 Spring Street, Manhattan
JACKI: I have been meaning to try this pizza place for a long time because I walk by it every day on my way to work (it’s also conveniently located next to Dominique Ansel so you can pop by for dessert). Imagine my disappointment when I actually tried it. I found this slice to be incredibly greasy. It did not taste fresh, the crust was too thick, and there was not enough sauce. I like my slice to be piping hot with bubbling cheese and this was anything but. However, like I said at the beginning, even bad pizza is good. I give this slice ★

ABBY: This was definitely my least favorite pizza slice. I also felt it was too greasy and definitely too doughy. I was sad that we ended on this place because it was just not good. I felt like my slice had been sitting there for hours and hours. I give this slice ★

JACKI: I feel pretty strongly that Suprema is the best slice of pizza I have ever had. I am THRILLED that they deliver to our office. While I did give both Suprema and South Brooklyn the same score, if I was deserted on an island and could only eat pizza from one place for the rest of my life (this doesn’t sound so bad!), I would pick Suprema. South Brooklyn is great, but Suprema is perfection. My mouth is watering as I write this!

ABBY: While I really liked Suprema, I would have to say that South Brooklyn Pizza was my favorite. It was exactly what I wanted in a slice. I'm sad to hear that the East Village location closed! I guess I will actually have to venture out to Brooklyn now…