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bklyn_j's Profile

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Difara Peaks (as in Twin)

Point taken. While at the counter, it's not intrusive in the least to see if there are any slices on the trays under there - I would disagree that this is "Dom's area". If the meathead was at the counter (instead of two steps back with no one in front of him), he could have easily seen the tray. It's also offensive that this self appointed "line police dude" could garner the effort to bark at me but not to check if there were slices. I disagree with the "every man for himself (or herself "brooklyn girl") and never once thought to get over on anyone - this was not the point. Given the situation and checking in with my inner Randy Cohen - I sleep fine at night with my actions here.

Aug 02, 2008
bklyn_j in Outer Boroughs

Difara Peaks (as in Twin)

Having time on my hands this summer and spending most of it in and around Ditmas Park and Midwood, I made a point this week to visit Difara each day, Tuesday through Friday, for a slice or two. My thinking was to spend a week (four days really) eating the pizza and developing a deeper understanding and appreciation of the pie as a regular customer so to speak. I wanted to demystify the experience of Difara and focus on the pizza.

I’ve had over a dozen pies during the last five or so years. Square, round, with toppings, without. I know the protocol (as well as anyone can I suppose) and have always been a pretty passive Difara customer but always in awe of the process and finished product. Whenever the suggestion of a Difara trip comes up, I feel a slight sense of dread. The slice is worth it but can I justify a trip to an alternate reality right now is the question I have to ask myself.

With my experiment, my aim was not to get too psyched up or make a big production of the visit thus alleviating the anticipation, anxiety and aforementioned reality jumping concerns I have sometimes associated with a visit to Difara. I think that all of these distractions interfere with the experience of eating the pie. The cause of these emotions aren’t rooted in the line or wait, but the general sense I’ve developed over the years that Difara is a vortex with it’s own sense of reality. It’s a surreal place where social norms are suspended and rules of nature don’t exist as we know them in our modern civilized society. It’s not a time warp – it’s another dimension. It’s Difara Peaks.

The experiment went off without a hitch and the end result in terms of the pizza is not an epiphany. Simply stated, Difara’s plain round and square slices are unmatched in how through the synthesis of all of the elements of creation result in the perfect pizza eating experience, more so when you add the peppers. This is not new, this is just the truth.

-Thursday @ 2:45 and Friday @ 1:30 there were no lines and slices were served up when I walked in. Tuesday was 2 regular for $8 and Thursday was 2 square for $8. Even with the price increase, I didn’t feel overcharged or ripped off. The only financial concern is that a round pie is $20. Splitting a pie is so much more cost effective - 4 slices each for $10 – that’s the deal.

-Wednesday was bizarre. I went earlier and that was the downfall. It was around 12:30 and there were three customers when I got there they seemed to have different familiarity with the process. Guy one was at the left side of the counter at the counter watching Dom and chilling. This guy obviously knew what he was doing. Standing dead smack in the middle of the area in front of the counter was a lady on her cell phone. She created a physical barrier that made it so no one could either line up behind her - to walk in front of her would have been rude, but she was about two feet from the counter. Third dude was a meathead clocking everyone’s digits but again standing back from the counter. If I were either of those people I would have moved to the counter. After about ten minutes, Dom asked what people were waiting for and all there responded they were waiting for slices. Dom began a slice pie. I walked to the right side of the counter and looked down and saw two slices below the counter. I said to Dom, “I’ll talk the slices you have.” He plated them up and I paid. I guess I didn’t think about it much because a) the dude waiting knew there were there because he was at the counter for at least ten minutes. The cell phone lady or meathead could have easily walked up to the counter to see if there were any “older” slices. I thought it was all fair game. Meathead freaked out and said I cut the line. I gave it back and said “you’ve been standing at the front of the line for 10 minutes and didn’t think to see if there were slices?” I offered meathead the slices but he was too agro. Dude at the counter stuck up for me and said “they’ve been there for fifteen minutes, you should have spoke up.”

Tuesday was interesting. Around 1:00 PM. I walked in and the first thing I noticed was a lady returning her pie because it was burnt. I thought to myself “silly lady, it’s called char and it’s good for you.” But she was right, it was black and sooty. Dom brought it back as a slice pie but removed five pieces and brought them to the back. I had two slices from that same pie that were not burnt. They were delicious (I was too proud to ask for the burnt ones at a discount). Another anomaly was a round pie for pickup clearly had a hole in it. The pie was boxed up and there was a hole about the size of a quarter in the middle. Dom used the old pizza trick by cutting through it and added basil to cover it. Even the master makes mistakes.

So I don’t really know what I accomplished. Maybe it’s that one bad run in with a meat head at Difara can ruin it (not the pizza, the experience). And the eternal question remains, what is worth enduring to eat the best pizza in the world? I’ll draw the line at weekends.

Aug 01, 2008
bklyn_j in Outer Boroughs

MADINA - CIA - What Happened?

Medina re-opened yesterday as celebrated on the ditmas park blog (ditmaspark.blogspot.com) with one of the deepest descents into comments purgatory on a neighborhood blog that I have been unfortunate enough to witness.

The re-grand opening was after two weeks closed undergoing renovations. There was some speculation that there were DOH issues afoot but this turns out to be unfounded.

Considering Medina is on a whole different level of steam table joint quality than its CIA brethren, the kind folks there are kicking it up another notch with an open kitchen and more open space in general.

The food looked and from what I sampled yesterday is exactly the same as pre-renovation. The pakora and samosas are really good as are the chickpea and lentil curries. The fried fish, fired peppers stuffed with chicken and shish-ka-bob sandwiches are all non-steam table options that are cheap and delicious. Prices have always been inconsistent – meaning takeout for the same item might be 4.99 this week but 5.99 next, depending on who is ringing you up. Medina is a good spot and nice folks who have obviously just put in a lot of work to improve their customers’ experience. Oh, and don’t forget the (green) hot sauce.

Apr 07, 2008
bklyn_j in Outer Boroughs

Pepe's P & P (Park Slope's Best Pizza...Shhhh...)

NYJB - you've seemed to bought into the pizza curve (Out of disagreement with Peppe's being included in this category, my protest is to dispel the term "arc" and replace it with "curve" - it's a subversive thing) myth (also I knew you meant "corner" but I just got a thought about a corn meal crusted or corn topped pizza when I read "cornder" and thought yum!).

Bob M. you're one of my most favorite CHers ever (not that I know you personally or nothing). Your pizza (arc) *curve* theory has merit - I don't think it applies here. Again, avoid Mondays but Pep(p)e's is no flash in the pan.

All my previous posts about pizza have been forlorn and tales that have disappointed my heart. Please don't take my joy, Peppe's has been so good to me during such a personally important time in my life - I've been taking (and making - on a whole other thread) stock (in my life and beef respectively) in things. In fact quite karmaticly - I moved to Ditmas Park from 18th Street just last week...No wait for slices from Dom the last two wednesdays at about 6:30 pm has been my salvation. I'll eat a peppe's slice sometime this weekend though and am a better person for it.

If only Dicken's were still alive and yet to write the end of a Christmas Carol - this version would take place in a tiny pizza shop on 4th Avenue near Prospect Ave. - Tiny Tim chomping on a grandma slice in one hand and Peppe's house slice in the other, scrouge picking up the tab, Italian league futbol on the tube.

Dec 13, 2007
bklyn_j in Outer Boroughs

Pepe's P & P (Park Slope's Best Pizza...Shhhh...)

Chef's off on Monday - it's true.

Dec 10, 2007
bklyn_j in Outer Boroughs

Poll on Best Pizza in Park Slope

This post has been bothering me for months. While there are Poppa John's in Dayton, the two biggest local pizza chains are Donatos and Cassanos - no self respecting Daytonian corporate pizza consumer - without some really spectacular kind of coupon - would buy from PJ. Donatos being of a higher quality than Cassanos, it's the high end under thirty minutes or less spot- but please don't eat either - except in the name of science of course.

There is a decent New York style place with a downtown and Wright State University / Wright Patterson Air force Base (where local lore leads to speculation that the alien bodies of the Roswell crash are kept) location called "Flying Pizza". I think the owner is in the federal witness protection program.

Then there are Dayton style pizza places. I can recall two with great fondness. The First in Marions - the location on North Main allows you to self serve quarts of beer during your meal. The second, and by far, the gem of the Gem City's pizza scene is Hoagies Pizza on North Dixie by the Drive In and strip clubs. They serve the pies on foil. Old men sit there for hours and salt and pepper their beers... I do agree that Laura's Pies are tops. Don't eat them much anymore, but your initial advocation was dead on.

Dec 09, 2007
bklyn_j in Outer Boroughs

Pepe's P & P (Park Slope's Best Pizza...Shhhh...)

It's impossible to hold a candle to Dom and Pepe's P&P is still wet behind the ears to certain extent. That being said, try for yourself - the margin of exception to the rest of the PS slice shops is pretty vast. Maybe in 50 years those dudes will have the same well deserved rep as DiFara.

Nov 22, 2007
bklyn_j in Outer Boroughs

Pepe's P & P (Park Slope's Best Pizza...Shhhh...)

Discovery being in the eye of the discoverer, I can’t lay claim to finding the best new slice/pie/calzone/hero shop in Brooklyn (south park slope no less) - It’s just new to me and after several visits over the past month, I’m convinced this place makes one of the best slices I’ve ever had.

From it’s tiny storefront, Pepe’s Pizza and Panini on 4th Avenue – steps from the Prospect Ave. train station between Prospect and 18th Street will soon be over run, with a long wait and accolades from far and wide lining the walls. Until then, get your pizza on hassle free, time though is running out. Given the quantity to quality ratio in the area for pizza – Pepe’s P & P does its part to even out the statistics.

The owner and cook are both masterful in their execution and warmth. The crust is unreal in its tastiness and tomatoes are flown in from Naples. The owner is a Napoli native and it comes through in the freshness and quality of the food. When was the last time you walked into a pizza shop and everyone in there was from Italy hunched over a streaming video of Italian league futbol. The WiFi is extended to any patron who wishes to use it which is a nice touch.

I was with my son a few weeks back on one of the first cold days of the season. Once we ordered, the cook brought us both soup, chicken with escarole, it was delicious. The slices I’ve enjoyed most are the house slice, arugala and prosciutto, and the broccoli rabe and sausage one. For $5 you can get a calzone as big as your head with ricotta, ham, tomatoes and onion.

I remain impressed and wish them all the success in the world – they’re doing it properly and you can taste the love.

Nov 20, 2007
bklyn_j in Outer Boroughs

Best places to buy BEER in the 5 boros

Bierkraft is extraordinarily over priced when buying bottles but they redeem themselves with the Growler option - that's the way to go. The selection, price and quality of taps are superb. Thrifty on Court St. is 20 - 30 % less expensive on all bottled beer than Beirkraft with a similar selection plus has two taps - usually a Capt. Lawrence or Six Points.

The bomb of beer stores is Eagle Provisions on 5th ave. b/t Prospect Ave & 19th Street. No fresh beer but the best prices and selection I have ever seen in NYC - their domestic craft brew 6 pack and 22 oz. selections are off the hook as are their imports, arranged by nationality, like a fine wine store. Eagle is one of the best places on Earth – it will bring a tear to any beer lover’s eye.

Nov 15, 2007
bklyn_j in Outer Boroughs

Sidecar on 5th ave in South Slope?

It’s hard to put into words the sublime experience of spending an evening at the new Sidecar restaurant on 5th avenue in Brooklyn last night. Authenticity and quality by their very nature cannot be manifested by will – irrespective of any factor – including money. Sidecar is basking in the light in both of these qualities without drawing any attention to the fact.

The scaffolding surrounding the building next door and other similar constructions on adjoining blocks speak to the continuing growth in this part of the neighborhood and with it - more mainstream retail and dining trends availing and introducing themselves on a weekly basis.

Sidecar is the antidote to the phenomenon. Sitting at the kitchen counter, eating a burger that will ultimately end the ‘park slope’s best’ debate and having selection to fine local taps and an enormous bar. Everything from my perspective was right with the world. They got everything right.

Burger, BLT Soup, Fries, Cobbler, Service all exceptional. It’s was lively in the bar, things are more quiet in the back. While the menu may be interpreted as “comfort food”, I see the menu as American Bistro-ish, prepared with too much detail and care to fall into the prior category.

Sep 09, 2007
bklyn_j in Outer Boroughs

Franny 2 Star

Eating at Franny’s a dozen or so times over the past three years has always been a satisfying experience food and drink-wise. The two star Bruni love letter will only serve to cement the legacy of the “haughty t” pizza trailblazer. Obviously I enjoy the restaurant tremendously but haven’t been in quite a while. The reasons for this beside a move southward are two:

1) The last few times I dined at Franny’s the service was unapologetically unfriendly. I was discussing the review this morning with a dining companion and she has the same impression and similar experience in what I can best describe as service that was detached, unconcerned and uncomfortably pointed to sell up everything on the menu; having ordered pizza and a salad, I felt slightly embarrassed when the waitress asked, “what would you like for an appetizer?” Met with a bill for 120 clams for two at the end of the evening, her apparent disappointment throughout the evening at our cheapskatedness was a bit unsettling. I hate complaining about service and try to do so only when there is merit but I’ve never dropped $60 on a bottle of wine before and had the waiter or waitress not offer to pour it. When during my conversation this morning, my friend asked, “Did he talk about how bad the service is?” I shrugged and asked if Bruni ever has an authentic dining experience with scornful service. I doubt it but maybe I’m wrong.

2) The pizza seems to be overpriced. This has always been the case, I know, and once you know what to expect there tends to be a normalization of the prices in ones mind. I do have to admit the first few times eating there I experienced a bit of sticker shock. This is something else I'm sure Bruni can't relate to.

I do like Franny’s for a number of other reasons not the least of which is the quality of ingredients and menu options (a nice pizza too) but with the two stars there is a standard set which I am not convinced it lives up to. Maybe I need to re-investigate a few times to be sure.

Aug 29, 2007
bklyn_j in Outer Boroughs

BURGERS!!!

I have been on a bit of a burger binge of late. in the last two weeks I have eaten a cheeseburger cooked rare at Bonnies, Dumont Burg., R &B's, Bruckner Grill (Bx.). I have eaten all said burgers before, but I had a mission to discern a hierarchy in quality. I dined alone at the bar at all establishments. These are my findings:

Bonnies is so nice. I have prayed that the DOH wouldn't come by; it would be like shooting fish in a barrel. Their health certificate has a picture of the Dali Lama on it, for Pete’s sake. I've gotten take out a few times, but I recommend you eat there. I ordered a rare burger with cheddar and everything (let., tomatoes, onions, hot peppers and a mound of fries falling off the plate. Every condiment available, they offered mayo, and the fries were high quality. The cooks were drinking PBRs, it was sublime the way their tiny kitchen runs, feeding a packed house with three guys out in the open for everyone to see.

Bonnies came out on top, #1.

I can't say a bad word about any of the other places, Dumont is delicious. The bread is like challah, slightly toasted and nice draft beers. Sitting by the window, one half of the burger bun flew off in the wind (I'm a burger cutter, which there might exist some debate over but if it should ever make it’s own ch thread, my talking points are ready). The bartender was just so sweet about replacing it. Excellent burger with Bacon, blue cheese and a side salad worthy of any fine dining establishment.

I was skeptical on Rhythm and Booz at first. It's a working class bar with keno, bud, a nice menu of sandwiches and specials - it's not trying to be anything it's not. A neighborhood restaurant and bar (mets leaning - which is a big plus in my book). The burger is off the freaking hook. English muffin (not Thomas' style) bun and cooked to perfection. Good baseball talk at the bar, large group of regulars, real nice guys. As I was leaving and telling the owner how good the burger was, he bought me a beer and said I had to try the steak sandwich next, I told him that I wouldn't be able to - but maybe when I'm burgered out it might cross my mind. That was with bacon and cheddar and nice fries.

Bruckner is on the gentrified half block in the bronx near where I work. It’s run by a couple of Israeli dudes. It was good, not as visceral of an experience as the others but worth a trip. Very tasty.

May 13, 2007
bklyn_j in Outer Boroughs

Poll on Best Pizza in Park Slope

I don't know why I am so turned off by Franny's? I would take Anthony's and the extra $15 in my pocket any day (or maybe buy another pie at Anthony's with it). As a former 321er, I got to give it up for Pino's.

Feb 18, 2007
bklyn_j in Outer Boroughs

YUM! Sheep Station, on 4th Ave down from BAM

Last Thursday we went to this spot. I found the service atrocious. With our curiosity peaked, the intention was for a big meal and plenty of drinks. We were asked upon arrival if we minded sitting at the bar. This was no problem. We sat in the corner. From where we were sitting, I could not see the chalkboard with the listed beer options. I asked the bartender what draft beers they sold. Her reply was “there are too many to name...they’re written on the board.” As previously stated, I couldn’t see the board. I rose and walked to the front of the bar, looked at the six beer choices and then returned to my stool. We ordered drinks, drank them and after twenty minutes left. No menu offered, no interest in our plans to buy their food and possibly enjoy it...this was very disappointing. I guess we should have minded sitting at the bar.

Nov 04, 2006
bklyn_j in Outer Boroughs

looking for good dinner restaurant/south slope or near park slope

I have had two nice experiences visiting the kitchen bar. The menu, in my opinion suffers from a slight identity crisis; burgers as tapas, tapas as entrees, large plates for two or more people with an Italian/ Latin/ continental/ mediterranean vibe; there was a thread recently about the burgers somewhere that you might what to check out. I think the reviews were mixed.

We had the cheese and charcuterie plates, me and my girlfriend, the earth didn’t shatter, but they were both really nice experiences. Friendly staff, and eager to make their customers feel welcome while exerting little effort to do so, it is always nice to receive such service. For those of you who like to enjoy a pre/during/post dinner cocktail - the bartenders were substantially generous, noticeably both times. I will go back...if only to catch a whiff of the pulled pork next door, which I think, being the activist type, I am currently boycotting.

Aug 05, 2006
bklyn_j in Outer Boroughs

Bar B Q South Slope - I am sorry for hating your guts - I was wrong

For this I’m not surprised...I spent the best fifteen years of my life inking for DC and Marvel (Epic), and if he knew this I’m sure he would kiss my tush, but he doesn’t and I don’t care to talk comics in such a loud and obnoxious way anyhow.

I stand by my former comments of admiration for the pulled pork (god, It’s good, jeeez, almost went again last night). I have been in there at least twenty times in the past year and have never once, not once, been welcomed - let alone enthusiastically.

Superman would welcome his customers; maybe he should take some manners lesson from the man of steel. Or what if Lois Lane wandered in and walked out because no one seemed to care, she’d be so hurt, would he even know?

Aug 02, 2006
bklyn_j in Outer Boroughs

Bar B Q South Slope - I am sorry for hating your guts - I was wrong

Your points about service and (slightly less so) plastic utensils are well taken, the service issues are inexcusable - no one there is mean, just self involved and indifferent - which can make you leave with a bad taste in your mouth, no matter what you’ve eaten.

What’s frustrating is that it’s such an easy problem to correct, to be nice and concerned with your customers’ satisfaction, enough to look away from a private conversation (albeit an unnecessarily LOUD one about comic books or horror movies or some crappy band) and see that an empty glass needs to be filled. That was what initially got me so riled up - and after reading your remarks, it still does – it defies logic and it’s what made me want to flame them and see them fail.

The spirit of my initial post was that the terrible service blinded me to a really good food find, one menu item that I would endure all of this for, something kind of special, in my opinion. My love for this sandwich has made all of the other nonsense irrelevant, the pulled pork blocks out the terribleness of not only the environs but also the ultimate existential truth of humanity.

This sandwich made me understand that life is short and people being who they are don’t always have the capacity for loving their fellow person, they are blinded by their own selfishness for what could be a number of reasons. I do feel sorry for people like this, or think they’ll grow to understand what the rest of us already know. That we’re only on this Earth for a short period of time; the past is over, the future is uncertain. The present is all we have and it is for us to savor or not.

The pulled pork sandwich, fortunately and blessedly, presents no complicated human qualities. Just the delicious, chopped, slowly simmered shoulder of a former living pig on a bun. For this I am thankful. Humans will always disappoint – the pulled pork sandwich at Bar B Q will carry the torch for the remedy to all things that make our species so inherently flawed and imperfect.

Jul 31, 2006
bklyn_j in Outer Boroughs

Bar B Q South Slope - I am sorry for hating your guts - I was wrong

When I visited Bar B Q on 6th avenue and 20th street for the first time about a year ago, I wrote a review on city search that was shortly rejected for being too offensive and unbecoming - I felt the whole operation, from the food to the service were abominable and let loose as such in my review (my ire was raised because it had recently won some “best of” distinction and after my initial experience, I felt I needed to set the public straight on what was obviously some kind of padded survey). I guess what really irked me was the gap between the potential and execution and especially the service and the food quality (I had a brisket sandwich). I was also treated rudely by the bartender/waiter when asking for pickles on a my sandwich – what I thought was a reasonable request. If it were my restaurant and a customer wanted pickles, I wouldn’t be above running across the street to the bodega for a bottle of pickles, I think it was the pickle thing more than anything else that really pissed me off, I thought of bringing in my own, but what was the use, I didn’t want to come across as a jerk, I just wanted pickles.

There was also the comic book/ faux indie rock nerd vibe on part of cook and bartender and their loud obnoxious conversations bantered back and forth that seemed to attempt to alienate the few people in there – who were obviously looking for a neighborhood oasis and some inclusion in what can be a lonely strip of south park slope in terms of finding a nice place to knock a few back and eat some bar-b-qued meat, mac and cheese, sides, etc. Cheers it was not, buy why I thought, why the pretense? I had just moved from two years spent in Williamsburg and never encountered any level of unnessasary pretense remotely close to what I encountered at Bar B Q, good bye and good luck I thought... Hurmpf.

A couple of months later, friends were in town and we went on the basis of convenience and to provide myself with a opportunity to reinforce my strictly negative take, at the very least we could get some booze and not have to stumble too far home. On the second try, the food was kind of amazing. Pulled pork (no pickles still) was superb, no really, it reminded my of the Moonlight in Owensboro, Kentucky near the Blue Grass Hall of Fame, my companions all agreed and we ate and drank and felt well taken care of. With my initial vitriol blinders off, I realized the bourbon selection was astounding (cheap and well poured) and there was some fresh Six Point Bengali Tiger on tap, it was a blissful experience.

I have since been back several times, taking family and friends and although the food I have had (ribs, brisket, chicken) has been good; the pulled pork, cole slaw, mac and cheese and beverage selection (chow hounders: I must stress the pulled pork) remains something really special and worthy of an award. My first impressions were misguided in dismissing the place, all over some stupid pickles (how hard would it be to have a flipping jar of pickles, though?).

I am sorry and want to go on the record as saying I love Bar B Q. I love the slightly alienated and disjoined feeling I get when waking in, sitting at the beautifully authentic BBQ joint bar, still listening to loud and alienating conversations among the staff (which to my own horror, I now kind of find charming) and having the best pulled pork sandwich and freshest Brooklyn brewed beer that have ever existed.

Jul 30, 2006
bklyn_j in Outer Boroughs

Pizza in Park Slope??

In the south slope there’s a spot called “Friend’s Pizza Café” on 7th Ave. around Prospect. It’s a weird little pizza place - I regularly call it “Fred’s Pizza Cave” because I misread the sign the first time I drove by and like that name better. I don’t really talk about it much, it’s not good pizza, but it is weird pizza - especially when coupled with visual images of poor Fred slaving away in his pizza cave.

I have eaten two of Fred’s slices, on two separate occasions, the plain and the white. Their pizza defies convention of the NY slice joint with small expensive slices (I did ask the first time I went if the slices were eighths, they were, probably 14” pies though) - lots of off beat (and unappetizing in my opinion) slice offerings such as barbeque chicken and Hawaiian pizza. The crust is also “cracker-like” – that’s how I think I would describe it - Eiliosesque maybe. They do have an ATM, which is broadly advertised. The space is actually quite nice (brick walls, garden) although noticeably dirty (uncleaned tables both times I went). They have other offerings besides pizza, traditional pasta/sub fare. There were two or three folks in the place, including me both times I was there. I can’t recommend their pizza if you’re looking for a good NY slice, but am curious what other folks might know about this place.

Two other strange things about Fred’s is that you have to turn a handle on the front door to open it even though it looks like any other shop door that you can just pull. It seemed everyone who tried to get in or out had to pause to figure this out. Secondly, there was (can’t confirm if there still is) a large hand scrawled “bathroom is for paying customers only” sign on the front door, which – irrespective of their policy of allowing people to use their bathroom did not endear me to them or make me feel particularly welcome.

I come from four generations of Pino’s supporters, from my grandparents to my son – pizza night was always (and still is) from Pino’s. Always a veggie pie (spinach and garlic), meat (sausage and pepperoni) and really good zucchini sticks – quick and friendly delivery to 18th street, where my family has been steadily migrating 13 blocks southward over the course of the last thirty years. It is just regular good pizza, true, but I can’t fault good pizza for being good pizza.

I also grew up with the Park Slope establishment (an off shoot of the original Bay Ridge locale that is sadly no more), Lento’s. Lento’s was ahead of its time in terms of Park Slope pizza; my recollections are that it would beat any current pie around hands down. Back when Grimaldi’s was Grimaldi’s, Lento’s was on par. It’s now the Tea Lounge on Union, which I can’t enjoy, because whenever I’m there I just want a meatball pizza.

When I lived on Park Place, I would regularly walk over to Fulton and South Portland for a slice from Not Ray’s, a slice some have said is the best in the city; sometimes I’ll take the A train as an excuse to eat one, or two.

Jul 28, 2006
bklyn_j in Outer Boroughs

Breaking up with Grimaldi’s

As we all know, DiFara's is something special, I'm at about two pies a month. Lento's in park slope is what I grew up on but I heard even their Bay Ridge operation has seen its last days, I don't know this first hand, if anyone can confirm.

But truth be told I have a soft spot in my heart for the regular old storefront slice establishment. Pino's in Parl Slope gets a bad rap in chowhound land and I gues that's ok as my admiration for their pie is 99% sentimental. I will mention another slice spot that I thnk is worth a special trip...Not Ray's on Fulton ("cheese that will please" ;"a crust you can trust")serves a better than average neighorhood slice and pie. I alsos enjoyed recent ventures to Anthony's and Franny's. I'm on the rebound and looking to get loose with some pies, anyone have a single cousin who happens to be a pizza?

Jul 23, 2006
bklyn_j in Outer Boroughs

Breaking up with Grimaldi’s

There were a couple of posts recently about some less than stellar Grimaldi’s experiences, mostly having to do with wait time and having the management allow groups to cut the line. I have been around the pizza block in Brooklyn and NYC for the last two decades so I knew what to expect in terms of wait, quality, what to order, hustle and bustle, etc. We had two pies; one with olives and garlic and the other with pepperoni and extra cheese.

The crusts were thicker and less cooked and the toppings were skimpier than I ever remember them being, two basil leaves per pie offered no additional flavor. Because of the rain, it was less busy than what could be expected for a Friday night (we got there around 7 with no wait) - could that be it, less turn over? The place was defiantly over run with tourists. We didn’t get our beer until the pizzas were half eaten, after three requests; we got the grated parmesan (placed with the initial order). When I asked the old guy for the cheese, he told me to ask a waiter – why couldn’t he have asked the waiter for us?

I think this is, I’m breaking up with my sweetheart, she’s changed; I wish her the best of luck in the future, giving it up to all the people from out of town who will never appreciate her the way I once did.

Jul 22, 2006
bklyn_j in Outer Boroughs

Great coffee in Brooklyn

Gorilla is strong, well roasted, fair trade coffee. The beans are superb with a variety of roasts, very flavorful! I think roasting is a matter of preference; I can't agree that Gorilla is burnt or over roasted. Gimme kind of rocks too!!! CT muff and Ozzies have never done it for me.

Jul 12, 2006
bklyn_j in Outer Boroughs