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f r y

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Kenji's NYC Bucket List: What I'll Miss Most

My tips for moving from NYC to SF (apologies for some repeats of above):

1) "The City" - people from the Bay Area are not referring to NYC when they say "the City". Weird, huh? Someone recently told me that a pizzeria in the East Bay had the best pizza anywhere, and she added "and I'm from the City!". I had to stop and think. It sounded like the kind of authority that NYers often claim...but eventually I correctly guessed that she was referring to SF, for some reason.
2) Call it "Frisco". Really, do.
3) If you're in the Bay Area, 80W goes toward "the City" and the ocean, not 80E. I've had to make an embarrassing number of u-turns since moving west.
4) What that other person said about people crossing the street. Traffic has nothing to do with it - they just do what the sign says. If the sign changes to walk, they'll step in front of a moving car without so much as a glance to the left. In a post-apocalyptic hellscape, they'll be stuck on whatever block they were on before the power went out.
5) When you make a right turn at a light, in car, with blinker, someone on a bicycle will try to pass you on the right as you do so. And they'll think you're the idiot. Also, cars are SUPPOSED to merge into the bike lane before turning - that's what the dashed line is for. It's meant to stop bikers from doing the aforementioned, but it doesn't. It makes them yell at the driver.
6) Motorcyclists think that riding on the lane lines between cars is legal, and, get this, the safer thing to do. Ponch and Jon included (http://www.chp.ca.gov/programs/lanesplitguide.html). And, thanks to checks-and-balances, this makes it effectively "true". The legal part, that is. However, if you ever find yourself in an argument over the legality of it, say, as a motorcyclist vs a non-motorcycle cop, or as the driver of a car that is suddenly missing a mirror, you should be familiar with CVC21658a and CVC22107, for starters.
7) No one seems to know what cars are supposed to do around cable cars and their tracks.

Looks like I got into a bit of a driving tangent there, but you don't really need another opinion of In 'N Out, do you?

Don Antonio Brings World-Class Pizza to Atlanta

Count me among the droolers. I don't think the crust is so thick, except in the handle. I think Roberto is a cornicione "former" - meaning that he makes the edge thicker before baking.

Is it safe to assume that the pies here are on par with Keste? I'm probably not going to be Atlanta any time soon.

PizzaHacker is My New Go-To in San Francisco

As the sagacious and handsome "f r y" said about a year ago:

"Even a 100% PizzaHacker place wouldn't necessarily be trying to replicate his prior work."

PizzaHacker is My New Go-To in San Francisco

Jello Shots? I definitely should have come earlier.

Pizza Slice: You're Eating it Wrong

He's lucky Patsy was in a good mood.

PizzaHacker is My New Go-To in San Francisco

I skipped lunch, sat down at my computer to get work done, and then this comes up. How am I supposed to work now? I'm _starving_.

Maggie - I arrived at the bday party pretty late. Did we meet? I pro'lly would have remembered if we did.

Open Thread: What Was Your Best Pizza of 2013?

I look at Paulie's post and think "Man, I must be doing this wrong." At the moment, I can only think of 4 places I've eaten pizza at this year: Emilia's, Del Popolo, PizzaHacker (the new place, codename phatco), and Slicer. I had my hands in the first 3, and the fourth one was just opened by another friend (and former co-worker), so I really haven't gotten out much. Oh, wait, no, I just thought of 2 other places, but they weren't worth naming here.

So, with that disclaimer, all the pizza I had from friends' places was fantastic. Sure, there's bias there, but which way does it go? Do I like their pizzas because they are my friends, or are they my friends because I like their pizzas?

My Pie Monday: Fig and Caper Pizza, Coconut Milk Mozzarella, and More!

dhorst - that coconut milk mozz wasn't cooked on the pizza, right? Did you try that?

Also, do you have a light hand with the Aleppo pepper? I can't see it.

Pizza Obsessives: Jimmy Coponi

"It seems like more is being read into this article than was intended."

True

My Pizza Oven: Tailbiter's FrankenEgg

When I put in the euro sign, it looks fine in preview, but shows up as an a with a carat followed by a dash the drops down at then end. I'm going to enter those characters to see how they show up.

€

âgain


My Pizza Oven: Tailbiter's FrankenEgg

Gonna back JEL up here. Antico was the highlight of my recent ATL pizza crawl (if that word can be used to describe travelling at least 45 minutes by car any time I went anywhere). Definitely one of the most evocative of Naples amongst U.S. pizzerias I've visited, except for a few minor things (anticO instead of anticA, $18 instead of €4, putting "dal 1889" in their logo vs. actually being around since the 19th century). Having 3 ovens reminds me specifically of Trianon, except that I could imagine Trianon actually needing 3 ovens. Antico was packed when I was there, and one oven could easily keep up.

My Pizza Oven: Tailbiter's FrankenEgg

AK: you mean VINCENT, not Maximillian, I assume. I'd love an oven that could communicate via ESP like VINCENT.

Pizza My Mind: What's Up With Take-Out Pizza in a Bag?

Yeah, you shouldn't have been surprised that Patsy's old place would use bags just like his new place. If you had gone to Grimaldi's in Hoboken, however, you would have gotten a box (unless things have reverted). Seems there was an employee there who thought the bags were kinda dumb, especially since the Hoboken Grimaldi's delivers. He'd say "yeah, I know Patsy likes the bags, but he's not delivering the pizzas, is he?". He was quite brash. And handsome.

BTW: barbie tables. Those little white discs with three legs are meant to keep the bag or box from collapsing onto the pizza. The protocol with the bags was to use several if pizzas were to be stacked. But, since you only got 1 pie from Grimaldi's, I wouldn't expect they'd do that.

First Look: The Forge, Oakland, CA

I've seen your oven on pizzamaking - I envy your oven, and, more-so, your design and fab skills. But I think you're selling yourself short - if you can design and build a high performance oven like that, I'm sure you could figure out a way of burning just the bottom of a pizza in it.

"they all agree they are great at 700-750" - so, maybe it's not such a poor choice if they aren't going for 60s pies? Better Neapolitan capabilities might be nice, anyway, but perhaps not worth some trade-offs I could hypothesize (direct cost, planning and approval time and costs, ability to cook things other than pizzas in it, etc.).

My Pie Monday: BBQ Brisket, Pizza Pringles, Kobe Beef Bacon, and More!

How'd the pan work out for you, Adam?

First Look: The Forge, Oakland, CA

@shuboyje, my comment about fine tuning was more about distribution than overall heat level. I wouldn't call panic-firing fine tuning, but a more extreme example of problems & corrections that can happen at the beginning of service.

I'm not trying to defend or even compare different ovens. I'm just saying that it's hard to blame any one thing based on one pizza made under uncertain circumstances, and that there really isn't much blame to go around here. It's very possible to get unbalanced pizzas out of balanced ovens. If you asked Anthony Mangieri to burn just the bottom of your pizza, he probably wouldn't, but he could. I'm sure Paulie G, TXCraig1, etc., could as well.

I'm curious about the origins of the Valoriani reputation you referred to. Other than MP, are there others who have significant real-world experience cooking in both Valoriani and other WFOs who have publicly given their opinion? By significant, real-world experience, I'm thinking firing 100+ times and cooking 10,000+ pizzas in each.

First Look: The Forge, Oakland, CA

The O/U on first Valoriani-bashing was 3 comments, so it's a push.

I don't think the partners and Jeffs intended for the Forge to duplicate Jeff K's PizzaForge pizzas, despite the name. I see a lot of Pizzaiolo / Boot and Shoe in the pizzas at the Forge. Even a 100% PizzaHacker place wouldn't necessarily be trying to replicate his prior work. So, I agree that the comparisons are somewhat moot.

I also agree that the picture shows a pizza that, to me, is too scorched. But, it's also just _a_ pizza, probably one of the first of the night, definitely one of the first nights. Actually, looking closer, most of the charring looks to have virtually no depth. The patch in the center of the picture would likely disintegrate before it reached your mouth. Lauren actually ate that pie (I presume), and seemed to find the char well balanced. Anyway, the pizzas I've had there have had better looking char, per Slice norms.

The first-of-the-night thing is significant. It takes some time to fine-tune the oven. You're more likely to get it close-to-right at the start with a more massive oven, but it's faster to correct in a less massive one. I've seen 3 of the most revered pizza makers in the world start service, then stop to panic-firing cold ovens or let hot ones cool down.

Juliana's: Patsy Grimaldi's New Pizzeria in Search of a Legacy

"the Ciolli family, to whom he sold his original Grimaldi's location and naming rights"

In light of the Grimaldi-Ciolli feud, I think it's worth mentioning that not all "Grimaldi's" pizzerias are owned by the Ciolli family. When Patsy retired, there were 2 - in Brooklyn and in Hoboken. Frank Ciolli bought the Brooklyn location. The Hoboken location is still owned by Patsy's partner.

The Pizza Lab: Foolproof Pan Pizza

One other thing - after barely re-seasoning it, it released pretty well. With pies like this, it doesn't require much.

The Pizza Lab: Foolproof Pan Pizza

Adam - the seasoning on the outside of the pans was thin and spotty. It looked terrible, but, the pans didn't rust, so that wasn't a big deal. The insides, however, were thickly spotted. Soft and globby, it was. You can get an idea of how thick the spots were from the highlights on the side of the pan in the picture below, which I took of the pan before doing anything with it.

Following the directions that came with, I set out to waste a few pizzas in one pan until it started releasing well. After one pie, I decided that was a waste of time, and resolved to burn of all the seasoning and start fresh. The seasoning was already pealing off, anyway. The pie had stuck to the pan, and the seasoning had stuck to the pie. I don't know how dangerous it is to eat polymerized and carbonized oil, but it's not appetizing.

I would recommend burning off the stuff, not using lye / oven cleaner. Detroit pans have folds that might trap the caustic chemicals and then leak them into your pie. They shouldn't crack like cast iron might when burning off seasoning, but I would bring it up to temperature and cool it off somewhat slowly anyway, to prevent possibly possible warping.

The Pizza Lab: Foolproof Pan Pizza

As someone who:

a) cooked at Pizza Hut in the 80s
b) does 3 or 4 pan pizza experiments a week, searching for the ideal

I would say this looks a lot more like my pies from b than from a. A whole lot. For instance, just from the pictures: the toppings out to the edge (happened at PH, but wasn't supposed to), the irregular cell structure, the apparent depth of crispiness on the bottom. But, I'd really like to have a couple of pans from my PH days. I think they were probably aluminum - but whenever I try aluminum these days, the pie welds itself to the pan. Maybe naturally fermented dough is stickier?

Speaking of pans, I got some pre-seasoned detroit-style pans from one of those "world champion" guys. Don't do it. The seasoning was just soooooooooo ridiculously bad. I fixed that, but that kind of pan is too thin for what I'm doing.

The Serious Eats Guide To Pizza In Naples

Alright, so I found the scene here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bObjXY24Ei4

I'm guessing it comes early in the movie. Doesn't seem like that momentous a scene - but, then, I haven't seen or been interested in seeing the movie.

2 points of interest (to me): the pizzas are sliced in the movie. Several movie-making reasons for doing this come to mind, but, still.

My search also turned up this AK post: http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/08/where-does-julia-roberts-eat-pizza-in-eat-pray-love-pizza-part-movie-pizzeria-da-michele-naples-italy.html

In that post is this quote from the book: "By 1 p.m., the streets outside the pizzeria have become jammed with Neapolitans trying to get into the place, shoving for access like they're trying to get space on a lifeboat."

So, I'm going with the "I was just lucky" explanation.

The Serious Eats Guide To Pizza In Naples

"I don't know whether things have changed in recent years or it's simply misinformation"

It's misinformation. Probably the point being made was that they don't slice it the way we usually do in the USA. But folding the pizza "a libretto" is not new.

Interesting to see how da Michele has huge lines now. Like Di Fara (was), it was basically empty when I went there. Don't know if it's because it has gotten more popular in recent years, like Di Fara, or if I was just lucky. I'm sure the line moves faster at da Michele.

First Look: Handsome Pizza in Portland, OR

@AK - yes, I also see how it could be misinterpreted. That's the whole "minor changes in syntax, tone, or diction" thing. And, it reminds me to pause before reacting when I might be the one doing the misinterpreting, as a customer or just in general. As a proprietor, of course, I'm especially careful about overreacting. I was even polite to the punk kids I caught stealing from the tip jar.

#chilies: If there's a harder way of doing something, I'll find it. But, grinding my own chilies is definitely worth the effort. Three reasons:

- the obvious: freshly ground, they have more flavor and heat (which made it especially shocking to me the second time that guy dumped a shakerful onto his pizza. I thought he was really going to regret it the first time.)

- I grind them more finely than standard, which lets the flavors meld into the pizza more. And, they come out of the shaker better.

- I get to use my own blend of chilies, which, IIMSSM, are more flavorful and interesting than straight cayenne.

@Lance: I dunno. I was similarly surprised when this article came out and I discovered that Will, who was the person I alluded to in my first comment, was egadman.

First Look: Handsome Pizza in Portland, OR

No problem: after I told the guy what the next available pizza time was, he said (paraphrasing): "Oh, well, if that's what it has to be." But, it wasn't the ONLY available time, so I said "you can pick it up later if you prefer." Then came the cursing, etc. People choose later times pretty much every day, but I guess the concept seemed absurd to him. Kinda like how some people want pineapple on their pizzas, and others think it's absurd. I wonder if anybody goes around yelling at anyone who offers them that.

I've got a good customer who leaves the shaker on his dirty plate every time. Another, less-regular guy takes the top off the shaker and dumps whatever is in there on his pizza. I've got another shaker hidden behind the counter, because I can't stop to grind more chilis mid-service.

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First Look: Some Great Pizza at Emilia's Pizzeria in Berkeley, California

Clockwise from top left: Emilia's Pizzeria during a recent friends-and-family night, owner-pizzaiolo Keith Freilich, a plain pie hot out of the oven. [Photographs: Adam Kuban] Emilia's Pizzeria 2995 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley CA 94705 (at Ashby Avenue; map); emiliaspizzeria.com Getting There: By car, it's at the corner of Shattuck and Ashby avenues; closest BART stop is the Ashby Avenue Station Pizza Style: Thin-crust, New York–coal-oven-esque Oven Type: A very hot Wolf "Pizza Grande" gas-fired oven The Skinny: Whether you're a whiny New Yorker looking for familiar-tasting pizza or someone who's never set foot in the Big Apple, the pizza at... More