Michael berman is a photographer and writer. His photos are at msbphotography.com and pizzacentric.com.
Of those you mentioned I've only been to Karam. That shawarma is very good, but even better is the one at Alsalam's, just up the road at 7206 Fifth Avenue. I usually get the chicken one, but the lamb is good too. Be sure to opt for the very garlicky condiment that they have.
gruyere, onion, lardons
Interior pieces of a good Grandma in or Sicilian in NYC are not necessarily soggy. I guessed that the cause of interior sog at Maria's could have been the slope created by the pan being too small for the pizza. Any other hypotheses re. the cause?
SHG: I'd call it '50s Vintage!
S123: I agree pork handling not up to strict codes I've seen elsewhere, but (a) they were going through sausage fast and (b) I didn't see prep guys touch done pies with their hands. That said, strict vegetarians beware: sauce spoon was resting on the sausage.
Pizza al taglio at Pizzeria Angelo e Simonetta, in Rome.
AK: Check out this website: http://www.sollysgrille.com/ - I'd love to know what you think of this place, if you're able to go there. Culver's trademark, interestingly, has the words bunched together as one: Butterburger.
For some reason this reminds me of how my sister-in-law's father told us that fireworks are legal to buy from a licensed merchant, but they're not legal to possess once you've left that merchant's property. Not sure if it's true or not.
Thanks for posting this, Adam! I looked through the photos on your 2009 post and saw how quantity of pepperoni then was sparse compared to what they now do with sausage. I wonder if it's changed.
PG: Aside from Solly's, I've been to Culver's (and to Kopp's, another place with Butter Burgers), and honestly I have no idea who started them. I think of three Solly's is the oldest (and def. most old school inside), but they make no claims. Wikipedia, by the way, is not helpful on this.
I'm a big fan of Pizza by Certé in midtown Manhattan. They use fresh tomatoes all year round. To keep the sweetness consistent, they use more or less of caramelized onions - depending on the season. It's living proof that fresh tomatoes work even during February on the east coast, and refined sugar is not necessary. Go taste their sauce if you haven't - it's remarkable. There's a blog post that describes their process, has their recipe adapted for home cooks, and a video of the sauce-making. Link here: http://www.pizzacentric.com/journal/2013/2/20/pizza-by-certe-the-trailblazer.html
Ben - I don't doubt it! I had Motorino's colatura di alici pie a couple weeks ago and the tomatoes were perfect.
John: I did catch that the grandma at Nino's is parbaked (I included in the review a photo of flat "shells" stacked up) but I did not realize the margherita is too. I suppose plenty of pizza experts consider parbaking a sin -- and maybe from a technical/pizzamaking perspective a parbaked crust is far from "real deal" -- but I have no problem with the eating angle of Nino's margherita. BTW, I had one slice reheated off the shelf and another straight from a fresh pie -- both had the traits I like in pizza crust. Sorry you were disappointed though :-(
Re. Bay Ridge: glad you found well-executed Greek food at Something Greek. I'll check it out. There's a lot of great (affordable) food in Bay Ridge. Though it's been a couple years since I've been to Alsalam on Fifth Ave. nr. 72nd Street, their chicken schwarma sandwich was always excellent.
NYC Food Guy: I agree re Nino's Sicilian. It's really good. Thanks for the Valentino's tip. I'll def. check it out!
DHorst: I'm with you. The +tomato definitely makes it seem lighter - even if there is still plenty of cheese.
Adam: Thanks. I've yet to go to Pizza Wagon! It's been on my list. Hit Nino's next time you're heading to SI!
Pizzablogger: Pizzerias that burn wood usually cook pies faster at hotter temperatures and the results can be softer in the middle. At this place, I believe she was referring to the ease with which they can control the heat and keep it lower to avoid center-sog. (The quote was not from the owner, by the way.) Re char: I was referring to flavor I associate with the burning of coal or wood. I'll correct the wording.
Sourdoughpeter: This was my first (and only) visit to the place. I agree the crust could have more spring and moisture, but it definitely wasn't brittle.
No prob. When's your grandpa cookin'?!
Forzapizza: They're from Sicily but have lived in Northern Italy, too.
I've been very curious to try Grimaldi's since they reopened, driving past it often. Now I must! Based on your comments I'm guessing my old favorite -- a regular pie with added ricotta and pepperoni -- would still be excellent.
Question: could this work?: "...pull my Pizza Inspector General card and demand a taste."
Yet another reason to fork over that hefty toll. Now I've gotta go try Nunzio's again (the one time I went must have been an off day). Will have to combine with Lee's Tavern. Preferably it will be snowing. By the way, I just found out that the only remaining Lento's (right near there too) has closed. - Michael
Adam: "Another flat of crust" is how I feel too.
DT: I'm working on a piece about the P of R. Glad you mentioned the clams. Also, the shrimp parmigiana is addictive.
Rrakes: I agree. We had a Valpolicella Ripasso for $30.
Adam: Def. worth a revisit.
Hudsone: Never saw that blog. Thanks.
Thank you all for the kind welcome :-)!
Simon: I asked them to heat the pizza for the photos -- but not too much. I wanted it to remain salable. I can vouch however, that when heated properly, the Catania's pizza is very good.