The three judges were Brooks, AKA the Pizza Commander (left), Greenpointers’ writer Peter (right), and myself. We ordered one slice cut into three pieces and used a scoresheet adapted from American Pizza Championship, which accounted for appearance and taste. Each slice had the potential of scoring 225 points after we added our individual totals.
*** 1st PLACE: VALDIANO ***
Top Score: 166.5
2nd Place: Franklin Pizza (161.5)
3rd Place: Triangolo: (157.5)
Best Music: Valdiano
Best Service: Vinnie’s
Best Bribe: Grandma Rose’s (giant plate of zeppoles)
Best Place to Watch Soccer: Italy Pizza
Best Pizza Cat and Pizza Window: Carmine’s Original
I suspected Greenpointers take their pizza very seriously and when I posed the “what is your favorite slice?” question on facebook we got a whopping 45+ comments and a heated debate! I am bracing myself for the reaction to our tour results.
Second stop was Nina’s under the BQE. I’m glad we checked it out because with Vinnie’s on my corner why would I go anywhere else? I might not go out of my way to invite Nina’s slice into bed, but once there I wouldn’t kick it out. A decent slice which scored well, but the location is not ideal.
So much can be said for great atmosphere, friendly service and a giant Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle poster!
Baldo’s, our next stop on Nassau, was closed. Capital LAME. Who closes on Sunday? Good Christians? Bah! They were also closed for the espresso tour. Offended but quietly relieved we moved on.
Along Nassau we stopped in at Polish restaurant called PYZA.
“You sell pizza?” I asked.
“It’s isn’t pizza; it pyza! Pyza is a dumpling stuff with meat!” (Sound bite recorded; stay tuned for the video!)
A Pyza Tour is next on the list.
Onto Carmine’s Original, legendary among Greenpointers. Carmine was there (I love old men!) and he told me he eats pizza at least once a day. Plus there was a pizza cat on the roof (Greenpoint equivalent of a unicorn.) That and the convenient pizza window off the Nassau stop makes this place, which has been there for thirty years, a Greenpoint gem. It was a really good slice, too.
Next was Russ, which according to the facebook comments is a big favorite. It was a good slice and had a relatively high score. The narrow interior was claustrophobic and crowded but the seating in back took you into a truly local Greenpoint pizza joint, with old school booths and screaming kids. By then we were hitting the pizza wall.
Italy Pizza was next, a small unassuming spot farther up Manhattan. Not a top scoring slice, but the pizzeria had a warm atmosphere and soccer. There was major pizza topping pushing happening but we resisted.
“I don’t even know why I am finishing this,” Peter said. Because it was delicious! Taste fatigue was kicking in but this slice was inhale-able.
Beer and scoring took place at Gypsy Bar. “Most pizza places use similar sauce and cheese, so the crust is where all the action is,” Brooks explained, and during the day there was a lot of major crust analysis. Because of this a lot of the pizzas tasted similar and scored closely. Nothing was outright inedible and everything was pretty scarf-able. But go out of New York, the Pizza Commander explained, and pizza in general is awful.
We have it made here in Greenpoint! Yet another reason never to leave!
Thanks to the pizzerias and the awesome judges who sacrificed their intestinal tracks to determine the best slice in Greenpoint!