New Yorkers may have enjoyed a renaissance of high-end pizza of late, especially for lovers of Neapolitan-style pies. But what is increasingly missing, especially in the East Village / Union Square area, is the middle ground: authentic NY slices for under $3, at the ideal intersection of cost and quality. Which is why I'm so giddy that Joe's has, at long last, expanded. And yes, folks, it's still the real deal.
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We've been talking and reading about the imminent closing of Hinsch's, the Bay Ridge institution—and reading our share of odes to the place. Which got us thinking about our own beloved New York icons: which ones can we just not live without? And if they were to close, would New York still be our New York? Here are our picks for the food institutions that help define our city.
Known for its aggressive community boards as much as for its bevy of iconic New York dining institutions, Manhattan's West Village caters to palates and pocketbooks of every denomination. While its status as a safe haven for creative and alternative lifestyles is on the wane, the neighborhood remains one of the best areas on the island for the nocturnally hungry to snag a midnight snack.
Here's the tweet that inspired this post:
Yes, @alexandrak, such a post does exist, and if your boyfriend finds what I'm about to write all TL;DR, he can check it out: The 10 Best Pizzas in NYC » That's a solid list, no doubt. And if his NYC pizza research stops there, I'm sure he'd be happy. But I think simply dropping a best-of list on a New York newbie does him a bit of a disservice. After all, he's moving to a pizza mecca. I think a little context is in order.
Joe's Pizza rightly calls itself the best kept secret in Center City, Philadelphia. Located on an unremarkable stretch of 16th Street, Joe's has been there for years serving quick, cheap slices to a lunch hour crowd. It's the sort dime-a-dozen pizzeria that you'd walk right past if you've never stopped in for a slice.
Pino Pozzuoli, the owner of original Joe's Pizza (which moved two doors down Carmine Street from its longtime home on the corner of Bleecker) is involved in a legal fight with his former son-in-law, Guiseppe Vitale, who worked with Mr. Pozzuoli until divorcing Pozzuoli's daughter in 2004. Mr. Vitale then opened a Joe's Pizza of Bleecker Street in Brooklyn as well as two locations in California.