Being a vegetarian in New York isn't the challenge it used to be, but that doesn't mean it's always easy. Sure, most restaurants these days offer one or two decent vegetarian options, but sometimes you don't want the pasta or a meal made cobbled together from side dishes. With that in mind, here are 60 recommendations for restaurants that accommodate vegetarians without disappointing carnivores.
'Paulie Gee's' on Serious Eats
Popular Brooklyn pizzeria Paulie Gee's will open a branch in Baltimore in 2013, Slice has learned. Paul Giannone, whose transformation from IT manager to renowned pizza-maker is well-documented on this site (among many other places), is partnering with Baltimore local "Pizzablogger" (who asked to remain anonymous), at what will be called Paulie Gee's Hampden.
What do you do when you have vegan or lactose intolerant friends and a craving for pizza? You take them to Paulie Gee's, which has some of the best truly vegan pies I've laid eyes on.
Yes, that's me in this photo in a role reversal of sorts. I'm usually on the eating side of the pizza equation (at least when I'm not at home). But when Slice/SE offered me the chance to possibly make pizza at Paulie Gee's in a private, pre-opening session, I was so there.
Slightly tart Bing cherries and orange blossom honey are perfectly played against creamy, earthy gorgonzola cheese, milky fior de latte, and sweet and salty prosciutto in Paulie Gee's Cherry Jones. The resulting pizza is rich, intense, and leaves you wanting more.
For the past three weeks, the owner of Paulie Gee's in Greenpoint has answered your questions on everything from his pizza heroes to his knack for the artful schmooze. Today's episode features Paulie waxing poetic about his early food memories, why he craves ginger ale with pasta, and some more motivation for all those future pizza restauranteurs out there.
A few weeks back we asked you folks to send in your questions for Paulie Gee, proprieter and chef at Paulie Gee's Greenpoint pizza joint. The former IT-professional turned pizzaiolo is an inspirational story if we've ever heard one, and we're truly grateful that he's taken the time out to answer a few of our questions. Check out the first in our three part series in which Paulie talks about following your dreams, changing lightbulbs, and managing baking while schmoozing.
As a writer for the people, I often try and suppress my inner pizza snob. I try and pretend that all pies are created equal, and that there is goodness to everything on a crust. Sometimes I even manage to convince myself. After all, if tens of thousands of people enjoy eating buffalo chicken pizza, there's got to be something good about it that I'm missing, right? Well today, I'm letting diplomacy take a little breather and laying out a few of my hard and fast ground rules about pizza toppings.
"With all do respect, your resume doesn't show any restaurant experience, not to mention pizza restaurant experience and the objective you refer to on your resume is to leverage your IT experience, which isn't appropriate for our business." —an excerpt from a rejection letter to Paul "Paulie Gee" Giannone
Most great pizzerias are the product of one compulsive, obsessive person who lives and dies with every pie. Is it possible for a pizzeria to expand beyond two locations and maintain the quality that makes them great? It's like pizza-obsessed folks have decided that their collective ovens get too hot for them to consider adding a third pizzeria.
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.
When deciding on this list, certainly history, setting, and pedigree had an impact, but in the end, it was all about the flavor. We didn't care whether the joint was 80 years old, or 8 months old, as long as they served a tasty pie. And here they are. Our favorite pizzas in the city. A mix of the old, a mix of the new, a representation of most of the boroughs, a bit of something delicious for everyone.
UPDATE: Paulie Gee's is no longer offering brunch service. [Photograph: Adam Kuban] The last thing I wanted for brunch yesterday was more pizza. I spent all day Saturday prepping for, cooking, and cleaning up a nine-pie pizza bridal shower.* But ... but ... The Monte Christo pizza ($15) at Paulie Gee's new brunch service is outrageously good. Just when I thought I didn't want to eat another bite of the crusty, saucey, cheesy stuff for at least another week, this amazing combination of salty-sweet, crisp-chewy pizza awesomeness pulled me right back in. Made with mild gouda, ham, and a drizzle...
[Photograph: Mike's Hot Honey/Facebook] In September of last year I was shooting some Pieman's Craft videos at Paulie Gee's (The Egyptian Technique and Making the Rooftop Red). On one of the "outtake" pizzas, a Delboy (normally topped with mozzarella, Parmesan, and hot soppressata) owner-pizzaiolo Paul Giannone drizzled a little bit of what looked like honey on the pizza. "That's now a 'Hell Boy,'" he said. Turns out the honey was Mike's Hot Honey, a chile-infused honey that Paulie Gee's bartender Mike Kurtz has been making here in Brooklyn for about seven years. I've been obsessed with the stuff ever...
If you follow along in the Slice comments section, you may have seen talk of Paul "Paulie Gee" Giannone's Egyptian move dough-stretching technique. When we visited Paulie to chat pizza recently, we asked him to demonstrate. You'll see it's a bit different from the dough-stretching moves that other pizza-makers featured on these pages have used. Paulie simply opens up the dough a bit and lets it hang off the side of the make table, outsourcing some of the stretching to good ol' gravity. Peep the vid above for the skinny.
A fed-up waitress gets her revenge on awful customers and pigish coworkers in this action-packed short film. Surely satisfying for anyone who has ever worked as a server. Warning: Don't click if you're not OK with strong language and violence. (Think Kill Bill set in a Brooklyn pizza parlor.)