Trip Taken: 2010
When I think of food and New York, several items pop-up in my mind. There is the hot dog, cheesecake, and the pizza. It is on the latter that I will concentrate this blog post on. Every TV show I have ever watched emphasize the dough and how the water in New York makes the pizza there so much better. Well, I didn’t care too much about whether the dough was awesome. I was going to evaluate New York pizza based on the whole pizza.
All Pizza Signs Point to Brooklyn
There were several options of New York pizzas. I could just randomly pick a pizza parlor as I walked through the streets of Manhattan or I could not be lazy and actually do some research on New York Pizzas. So with the help of Wikitravel, Yelp, Lonely Planet, the Travel Channel, and even the Food Network, it was clear to me that I needed to head to Brooklyn. Brooklyn; the borough across the waters of the Hudson and south of Manhattan. There were several options, but I opted for the closest pizzaria. Grimaldi’s Pizzeria.
Instead of taking the underground to get to Brooklyn, I decided to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. I never realized how much iconic it is to New York until I actually got up close to it. My reaction goes something like this, “Oh! This is that suspension bridge that they use in all those movies. Oh! There is a special level just for pedestrians. Oh! This bridge is awesome!” It went something like that.
Grimaldi’s Pizzeria Underneath the Bridge
Getting off the bridge was a non-event and according to my my map, the restaurant was right next to the exit point of the bridge. However, being the constantly lost tourist that I am, I didn’t see it at all. It’s true that Grimaldi’s is underneath the bridge but there is no easy access there from the pedestrian bridge exit that I found. I had to walk an extra five blocks in a little circle to get to the restaurant.
I finally found it and in front was a big sign that stated, “We do not sell slices!”. That was no problem. I will just eat a whole pizza. You have to go inside and order from the counter if you wanted take out. I get there pretty early for dinner time and the restaurant was packed. Every table was occupied. The waiters were busy taking orders and transporting pizza. There is a strange vibe at Grimaldi’s that can only be described as family regulars. Some patrons were very familiar with the staff and the staff were all very buddy-buddy. I’ve never been in an environment and it made me feel very out of place; like a space invader visiting New York City for the first time.
My take-out pizza was ready in about five minutes. It was a thin-crusted Margherita pizza. I took my pizza to the riverfront to enjoy a view of Manhattan while I ate dinner. The pizza was really great. I have never had slices of mozzarella baked right into the pizza. From now, I can only I hope my pizzas can use slices of cheese instead of the shredded stuff. The crust was slightly chewy and there was a generous helping of fresh basil on top of the pizza. The sun just set over the buildings of Jersey City, so there was still a substantial glow in the sky. Manhattan looked like an array of elaborate steles from my vantage point. I knew there were millions people on that island across the water, but I was pretty sure they weren’t eating pizza as good as the one I was eating. If they were, then it’s a secret to me.