Embarking on a Pizza Crawl to Explore More of The Best New York Style Pizza in New York

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Let’s welcome whatsgoodinny, our new contributing blogger, who also writes for A Blog About Things to Do, See and Eat in NYC.

This past Saturday I spent seven-and-a-half hours eating approximately nine slices of pizza… With a group of roughly ten friends at each stop, we embarked on a “pizza tour,” or crawl, if you will, that we created to give us a “taste” of some of the more renoun pizza parlors in the city that many of us had yet to try.

We began the day at Patsy’s Pizza, in Harlem, to try their famous, $1.75 “paper thin”coal-oven slice, then headed down to the West Village for a stop at Keste Pizza & Vino, and finally crossed over the East River to test out some Brooklyn dough at Fornino and Motorino in Williamsburg.

Half Plain-Half Pepperoni Pie at Patsy’s

Patsy’s celebrated it’s 75th Anniversary in 2008, and it’s no wonder that pizza fans still flock to 117th Street and 1st Avenue for a slice. But watch out, the pizza here is so hot and fresh that you may literally lose your cheese! While the sweet tomato sauce was tasty, I would have preferred if my cheese and topping had stayed on my slice. I enjoy thin crust, but this slice was so thin that I could not pick it up and fold it without losing the best ingredients. When able to actually get it all into one bite, the pizza at Patsy’s is solid. I am not sure that I would personally make the trek again just for a slice, but I would certainly make a point of stopping by if ever in the neighborhood again. And at only $11 for a plain pie, it is really a steal.

Regina Margherita at Keste

We expected a long wait at Keste, located at 271 Bleecker Street, (across from yummy John’s!), but found that we were seated after waiting less than ten minutes. The pies, which are made for about two people to share, also cooked up quickly, in only ninety seconds in Keste’s fast brick-oven. Apparently the toppings take longer to put together than the baking of each individual pie. Friends chowed down on a specialty pie of the day, a white pie made with a thick mozzarella cheese called burrata, and were uttering all sorts of oohs and ahs over their choice. I shared a “Regina Margherita” pie, which was made of tomatoes, grape tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, basil and olive oil. The crust could have been just a bit crispier, but overall this pie was delicious. The addition of the basil complimented the other ingredients and made for a fine example of what a margherita pie should taste like. (Notably, Keste also offers gluten-free pies).

Following our pizza adventures in Manhattan, we rode the subway from West 4th Street to Delancey, and took advantage of the nice weather by enjoying a leisurely stroll across the Williamsburg Bridge into Brooklyn.

The “Al Roker”

Our first stop was Fornino, on Bedford and N 7th Street (there is also a Park Slope location). At Fornino, we ordered a margherita pie as well as something called the “Al Roker.” The legend goes that Mr. Roker once went into Fornino’s, and the owner asked him to put whatever he liked onto a pizza. Thus, this divine slice topped with tomato, mozzarella, fontina, caramelized onion, sopressata, roasted peppers and rosemary was born. This strange mixture was, by consensus, the best overall slice of the day. Although I would not recommend the margherita here, as the sauce was bland and there was not nearly enough cheese, it is definitely worth stopping by for the Al Roker.

The Best Pizza Ever, aka Margherita DOC

Our final tasting of the day was Motorino, on Graham Avenue, one block south of the Graham Avenue L stop. Here we all agreed that we shared the best margherita pizza of the day, and perhaps ever in NYC (a bold statement, I know!). I have heard that Motorino can be hit or miss (an East Village location is also quite good, but is blown away by it’s Williamsburg sister), but this night it was for sure a hit.

Be sure to order the “Margherita DOC” at Motorino, which is made with true “mozzarella di bufala” and is, currently, only available at the Williamsburg location (perhaps that is what makes the difference between the sisters…). Word on the street is that the DOC designation is only given to pies that the Italian government would certify as “authentic.”

As if nine slices were not enough, we topped our day off with tiramisu and chocolate cake at Motorino. The chocolate cake was rather dry, but the tiramisu was rich, flavorful, and highly addictive. Mmm, mmm, mmmm! What a day!

Patsy’s Pizzeria Keste Pizza & Vino Fornino Motorino
Patsy's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon Keste Pizza & Vino on Urbanspoon Fornino on Urbanspoon Motorino on Urbanspoon

whatsgoodinny is a NYC blogger who writes for A Blog About Things to Do, See and Eat in NYC. The original post is part of whatsgoodinny’s series of Pizza Posts.

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