SOOOOOO, on Monday morning at 10:30 am I was meeting this guy from Newfoundland called Steve Dejected on the corner of 1st Avenue and 14th Street to go eat pizza, right? I never met the guy, but he's friends with a lot of friends and he was in town from far away. Also, I later learned that he went to high school with a girl who pulled a knife on me in a park in Montreal, the only other "Newfie" I have ever met. And this dude doesn't have a phone that works in America, so at like, 9:40 he called me from a payphone and I missed it and couldn't call him back but he left a message saying he was still heading to the corner and let's meet up and whatever.
So of course, I'm running late, but luckily the trains are running super fast and I get there at 10:33 and start looking around when I realize I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THIS GUY LOOKS LIKE, and all of a sudden everyone has become a Potential Canadian. And then I start realizing, I'm not even sure if this person is cisgendered, maybe they go by Steve but look like a lady or whatever, so now I'm not just staring at all the bio-men coming out of the train station, I am looking at EVERYONE inquisitively like, "are you Steve? are you a Canadian punk?" And then there is this guy with this stupid scarf on and a peacoat and khaki pants and desert boots eating a pastry, but he's just standing around on the corner right by the subway and MAYBE IT'S HIM, right? Maybe he just doesn't look punk anymore. Lord knows I sometimes don't look punk anymore, although on that particular day I had a leather jacket on and looked punk enough that LES Jules called me "brother" when he spanged me, although his tune quickly changed when I didn't give it to him and he feebly shouted "YOU ARE A POSER!"
So anyway, I walked up to the peacoat guy, and I was like, "are you Canadian?" And he was! But that was the wrong question, so then I was like, "Are you waiting for someone?" and he looked at me like I was crazy, and so I was all, "sorry, uh... sorry. I haven't had my coffee yet. I just... it's just... I'm supposed to meet a friend of a friend on this corner and I have no idea what he looks like." So then I texted my pal Erick, and was all "what does Steve look like??" and Erick was all "Tall. Punk! Glasses... Classic 'punk kid on your couch' look. Patches, etc." And then I see this guy come ambling down the way in a denim vest and leather gloves and too-short pants with a baseball cap on and I was like, "this is my dude," and it was.
So then we started out to eat pizza, but check this out: every pizza place was closed! Because duh, who eats pizza at 10:30 in the morning? They open at noon. So we sat around Tompkins Square for a while and talked about stuff punks talk about, and then we went over to this one place on Ave. A and we got one slice there and then headed home because I had very special Valentine's Day plans with my Very Special Lady and didn't have time to spend all day hanging out with some Canadian I don't even know!
But never fear, fans of Steve. I am meeting him at noon today and then we are going to eat the rest of those slices we never got to eat on Monday. But we did get to eat one slice, at .
Okay, I think this place post-dates most of my tenure on Avenue A. I remember wandering past it a few times in the past couple years, but it definitely wasn't there when I was a yute, because it was San Loco in those days. Mamani sells dollar slices that look nasty but are actually pretty alright.
This slice was like decent pizza from another town. It is too thick, but the dough was fluffy and not too dense. And the ingredients seemed to be of alright quality. The cheese had a good elasticity and the sauce wasn't bad, the twin pitfalls of most dollar slices. I actually liked this pizza quite a bit, although it's definitely not a Crucial New York Slice. But fuck it, it's a buck. You're probably better off here than at Nino's, to be honest.
Dollar Slice Rating:
Mamani Pizza - $1.00
151 Ave A (9th & 10th)
New York, NY 10009
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
I have discussed this at length with my friend, sometimes adversary, and long-overdue future pizza companion , in our ongoing debate about pizza and specifically regarding the 2 Bros. v. 99¢ Fresh feud. He always mentions this 2 Bros and I always say, "I dunno, Andy, I've never eaten at that one, but every other one sucks." I think I have to concede defeat, because this is the best dollar slice I've ever had, though it's far from Objectively Good Pizza.
Kevin Mahon of Famous Local Rock Band , who is my roommate and has already been a Pizza Companion, and Steve Powerballs of Infamous Local Rock Bands and , had joined me on this fine afternoon of moderate pizza consumption. "This feels like a fucking dish sponge," said Kevin as he lifted the slice to his drooling maw. "Yeah, but it smells pretty good," said Steve, who is and thus was only smelling and not tasting. As it happens, Steve's nose is a more trustworthy judge of a slice's character than Kevin's hands, because this slice was actually alright. My notes say, verbatim, "This is pretty good! I am surprised!"
But it was a little too thick, though ultimately it was just middling and never quite crappy. This is totally okay for a dollar. I feel like I got my one dollar's worth. Because seriously, this wasn't so bad. So I have to give it to Andy. Although rereading our correspondence back then, I feel compelled to reprint something he wrote as proof to my family and loved ones that I am not the only person in the world who Can't Enjoy Anything:
i remember once i approached such a transcendental experience you describe... the pizza at 2 Bros that day was so good i was thinking this must be the best in new york, and two slices only cost me $2, i was feeling pretty good.Luckily St. Marks Place provides the answers to the questions it poses, because as soon as I start trembling in fear of the oppressive dystopian future, I just strap on my bong gasmask and take a few tokes of The Mean Green and suddenly I am surfing on a pizza box windsurfer with a slice sail in a sea of marinara.
then i noticed st marks with its noodle shops, headshops, punk stores, and collusion of high and low culture looked a lot like the urban environment from blade runner! suddenly the pizza changed into the food-substance from a sci-fi dystopia, something with a dual nature with one aspect satisfaction of the bodily necessities of the masses and the other a sinister pacification of their desires to break free.
What bodacious times. Watch out for the garlic knot reef and there are hungry pepperoni rolls out today and they can smell your blood so be careful, brodog!
Dollar Slice Rating:
2 Bros. Pizza - $1.00
32 St Marks Place (2nd & 3rd)
New York, NY 10003
Monday, November 29, 2010
This location on Avenue of the Americas is the best dollar slice of pizza I've had so far. Hands down. Me and Yusuke both agreed that it was leagues better than Cafe Amore. And in my very informed opinion, it's the highest quality dollar slice I have eaten in the past 15 and a half months.
Even though it looks nearly identical to almost every other 99¢ Fresh slice, this one was GOOD! Objectively, not just on the Dollar Scale! Decent cheese, non-weird, even good sauce, nice and greasy, this slice had it all. Or, almost had it all, as the dough left something to be desired in a big way. But even though the dough was 'meh,' the crust was 'yeah!,' which is to say, it was excitingly good. Yusuke said this slice tasted exactly like the Sbarro in Tokyo, which is new, and is apparently the best pizza place in that city. I am not usually a proponent of Sbarro, but I will say that in a city that only has chain pizza shops, the chain that comes from New York better be the best one, although I have a personal affinity for Famous Famiglia over Sbarro. Whatever, blah blah blah yakkety yak.
99¢ Fresh Pizza - $1.00
368 Ave of the Americas (8th & Waverly)
New York, NY 10014