The key is the sauce.
The greatest pizza ever is at Harbor Lights / Scortinos in South Amboy, NJ.
It is beyond explation. I could never put it into words.
Let me know if you want to go, my treat. Haha!
Finally….a serious baseball question! ;-)
I think it’s the crust…I make my own at home and make more of a pie/deep dish pizza a la Chicago style.
Ironically, I’ve never really understand the reason why people rave about New York style pizza. Doesn’t do much for me.
I say it’s all of the above.
I think it’s the crust. And I’ve got to say that New York does have the best pizza. I think it’s because there is so much of it here that no matter what type you like, they have it. So everyone votes for New York’s. My favorite is a really good thin-crust pizza and there used to be this restaurant in midtown on 2nd Ave that made a thin-crust that was out of this world. Makes me hungry just thinking about it.
The crust, whether doughy or crispy, needs to be light—it can’t be laden and heavy like a loaf of bread. This is usually based on the guy working the dough and whether he knows what he’s doing.
The sauce, whether spicy or sweet, shouldn’t be overpowering. It’s an accent piece, rather than the main course.
The cheese should be of good quality (sorry, Buckeyes, but provolone doesn’t belong on pizza) and there should be enough of it.
Finally, it should all hold together like an orchestra, with each element holding up its own end and allowing for no slacking in between. In other words, a good crust can’t overcome the use of provolone.
The answer is an emphatic YES
its the sauce really…right amount of cheese….cheese is usually overemphasized but the right amount makes a pizza good…and of course a soft but not mushy crust is ideal….but the sauce really makes or breaks a pizza…usually the taste is overpowered by too much cheese or a crappy crust…but if everything is right…and the sauce is good, then buddy, you got yourself a great slice…
just like a baseball team…it begs to imply that everything must be right for the team to be the best!
Benny: Did you write restaurant reviews in another life?-JD
It’s the crust, with the ingredients being secondary. I live in DC, where good pizza is non-existent (I don’t wanna hear other wise, I’ve look far and wide) and although some semi-reputable places use great ingredients and what I assume is great sauce, the crust is more often than not too thick, too crunchy, or just not very tasty.
It is definitely the sauce….good sauce conquers all!
Tastes great, less filling…tastes great, less feeling – Oops…wrong product….ROFL :-)
It’s a combo of sauce and crust… the sauce doesn’t conquer all when the crust droops and it drips on your nice clean polo :)
I bet the crust in Oregon does “droop”. NY doesn’t have that problem.
Pizza? One of the first and still finest pizza places in America is Pepe’s on Wooster Square in New Haven. Even here in Central CT. there are more pizza places and/or Italian restaurants than I can count and they are all good.
Its a combination of sauce and crust. I HIGHLY recommend Singa’s Famous Pizza, whose original location is in Elmhurst Queens, right off Broadway. They have a few other locations including Valley Stream, (on Rockaway Blvd, just north of Sunrise Highway, as well as in the Lower East Side (2nd ave. and 11th st)... Fantastic personal pan pizza’s, and loads of fresh toppings…Singa’s or bust!
I think Benny got it right, pizza is a combination food. Take out any of the three essential ingredients and it’s nothing special. I’m in DC now, and I’ve been a lot of places – perfect NY pizza can be found in NY, some of NJ, some of CT, maybe RI. Around here, people judge pizza by the toppings. That’s like going to see a ballgame because you like the mascot/band/cheerleaders. I think what puts real NY pizza on top is perfect crust that noone else can replicate. That said, the most common mistakes are cheap cheese, too much sauce (or really bad sauce) and over/under cooking.
There are a couple of places here in town that are as close to “NY Style” that I’ve ever tasted. One guy is from Brooklyn and the other guys is from the Bronx. They know how to do it.
sam g- being in Vancouver Wa, would love to know your NY places….
as for my opinions…here is a mini-guide i wrote a few years back, for folks wanting NY pizza outside of the metro area..
1) Hawaiian Pizza is NOT pizza….If you beleive in a God, you better beleive he is angry at the concept of Pineapple and CANADIAN BACON…not only on a pizza..but on one TOGETHER…and since when is Canadian Bacon Hawaiian anyway? Avoid any pizza place that serves a Hawaiian style pizza, or at least let them know you are disgusted that they serve it.
2)If they don’t sell by the slice, they ain’t worth buying from. Ya gotta sample the goods before you buy the pie!
3)If the box can be reused for any purpose, it’s not a real pizza. A real pizza leaves the box greasy and spent and smelling of the pizza that was just consumed.
4)If somehow the so-called pizza maker beleives that cheddar and mozzarella mixed makes a “cheese pizza”...uhh yeah…cheddar is for mac and cheese, not pizza….get it away from me!
5)If you see a pizza place advertising NY style pizza…..do not get excited, do not get flustered, odds are 10 to 1, its utter crap like no NY Pizza you’ve ever tried. (See rule #2)
6)If when ordering slice from so-called NY style pizza, they offer you “para-mee-see-in” cheese to put on it…just run….don’t even get your money back….just get out.
7)Just because the Chicago Cubs arent in our divison anymore doesn’t mean we can suddenly embrace their pizza.
8)Avoid national chains…..period. Dominos is disgusting, Papa’s is poopoo, and Pizza Hut should be called Pizza Butt. Sbarro’s are an exception ONLY if every pizza place in your town fails 1-7 above…then eat it and weep, knowing a weak NY pizza is better than anything else the pizza world can offer.
9)Gimmick Pizzas are just another way of saying “our pizza sucks, but we are in denial”....chicken alfredo pizza? WHAT THE HECK!
10) The more toppings they pile on means the more the crust is weak, the sauce is bland, and the cheese is from dog’s milk…in other words, pizza is about the crust, cheese and sauce…if you lack confidence in any of those, you tend to “over top”.....so save yourself from overcompensating pizza..
there’s a place on Barbur Blvd in Portland called NY NY Pizza. The guy is from Brooklyn and has excellent pizza. I can’t remmeber the name of the place owned by the guy in the Bronx it’s down in Salem, I catch some from there everytime I’m down there.
cool..will definitely check those out.on my side of the river check out NYC Pizzeria (formely Aldo’s)..off 205 by mill plain.they have a pretty decent pizza, but their little known secret is a really good sicilian….
JB—You forgot #11: If they sell chicken wings at the “pizzeria,” run for your life!!!
ooh Benny…good one….i think i wrote that before the current wing obsession at chain places, but its a very valid point!
JB – I had a great chicken pesto pizza for $20 at a place in NY, 3rd avenue between 78th and 79th, Don Filipo’s for those who live near. Also, the national chains are pretty good for the price when they have special deals. They’re just too doughy and fill you too fast. They’re less greasy too, but now thinking about it, its more like flavored bread. I’ve eaten it enough that I’ve grown to like Domino’s and Pizza Hut. I just had a pepperoni dippin strips pizza which was pretty excellent.
To JD’s original question, I don’t think it’s quite possible to choose just one, but when the sauce is good, it really stands out.
The beer that goes with it. Beer, as Jean Shepherd’s old man used to say, is proof there is a God. All this goodness doesn’t just happen. Pizza? All is good but I vote for the cheese.
Mota must be released
While I usually prefer a tomato based sauce, a place in NJ I used to go to made a great pesto pizza with sun-dried tomatos and artichoke hearts…
In spain you canÃ‚Â´t normally find places that sell by the slice—except the salad bars in the big cities, which donÃ‚Â´t count as pizza anyway. I finally found a really good pizza place in Barcelona…Pizza Paco.
With the potential for owing apologies to NJ (since I’ve never had pizza there), I’ll tell you that it is impossible to get good pizza west of the Hudson. What passes for pizza here in Michigan would have you guys asking why we’re eating the box instead of the pizza. And those Chicago pizza-pot-pies are a joke. (The Chicago hot-dog-under-a-salad are a joke, too.)
But there’s no single thing that makes for good pizza; it’s all in the combination of the right things. For me, the key ingredients are the sauce, the oven and (since it’s my favorite) the sausage. But there are many other ingredients that make it right; I wish I knew them all! But cooking is not my forte.
Whenever I’m back in CT, getting good pizza is a MUST. And I really miss it while I’m out here.
You need the crust, sauce and cheese. That is the foundation. As with anything well done if the foundation is not good nothing is.
JK – If you would tell me where the mid town 2nd ave pizza place is I would be forever grateful. I have yet to find a decent pizza midtown east side. They range from out of town pizza to fair.
When I die, please sprinkle my ashes at Ray Bari Pizza on 56th and 3rd. Thanks in advance.
As long as youÃ‚Â´re not sprinkled ON the pizza…
I worked in a pizzeria when I was in college. We had to make the dough ourselves. They had one of those giant mixing bowls. I don’t remember the exact recipe but it was very simple. A few scoops of flour, some salt, some sugar, some oil and I think yeast. Then you let the giant mixer mix it for maybe 25 minutes. Then you formed it into appropriate size balls for pizzas and put it onto oil coated racks and then into the fridge. I think the dough and the sauce are the keys. It’s not hard to find a decent mozzarella cheese supplier but its easy to mess up the dough or the sauce. But its really in the recipe for both. The sauce cant be too sweet. It shouldn’t be sweet at all really. I don’t remember every playing around with the dough recipe so I can’t say the effect of different proportions in the ingredients but our dough was good.
dave: The restaurant is no longer in business. When it closed, I was pretty sad. I haven’t found a thin-crust pizza I like as much. However, Totonno’s is pretty good, although expensive. Theirs is a thin-crust. There are a few in Manhattan. One on 2nd Ave in the 20s and one on 2nd Ave. in the low 80s.
the best pizza of Barcelona are from Pizza Paco, the Marinara pizza is just delicious, at very low price, and with this discount card you get 10% discount
you can find the discount card here: http://www.connectclub.com/discounts_barcelona/Pizza_Paco_Barcelona.aspx
Comments are closed