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Grimaldi's Pizza

I went there a two Saturdays ago. Keep in mind that I've never had a DiFara pizza or any of those mythic pizzas the NYC Chowhounders and Yelpers hold so dear to their heart. But still, I found the pizza to be very good, but probably not great.

Honestly, I have no real criticisms about the place. I live about a 15 minutes drive from the Douglaston Mall, which my family has been going to since I was a kid - that is, when Macy's was still a Sterns, Modell's was still a Herman's, and when Toys'R'Us was awesome rather than the piece of crap that it has become. We still go to the Macy's and Modell's occasionally, and I noticed the Grimaldi's right across from the Waldbaums in the lower level. Awesome!

But when I checked it out, they were closed - the menu on the window said they had a no-slice policy, and another sign said that the staff was in training. Okey-dokey.

I previously had the Grimaldi's at the Aviator in Floyd Bennett Field: it was expensive per slice, the cheese to sauce ratio sucked, and it was mediocre overall. The Grimaldi's at Douglaston, while not the complete opposite, was surprisingly good and cheap compared with the Aviator disaster. The training period was really for the best.

Large pies start at $14 each, which is not much more expensive, if not on par with large pie prices around Queens. The large pies are 18", and if they are a little smaller than normal pizzeria pies, the fresh mozzarella and sauce used make up for the discrepancy in size big time. Toppings range from $2-$4, and most are $2. I suggest you get a couple of them.

We got a large pie with Italian sausage and mushrooms. The pie was cooked well, it looked fantastic, and the cheese, sauce, and toppings were great. Overall, it tasted very good. Until I've had the mythic pizzas of NYC, that's all I can say.

The atmosphere and decor was comfortable on a rainy Saturday. The waiting staff were the owners, I believe, and they were generally nice. But getting a seat was awkward.

The restaurant wasn't full, so we came in and waited to be seated. And we stood there, awkwardly waiting for someone to come by. The seats were all out in front of the restaurant, while the kitchen and wait-staff area was in the back, partially obscured by the wall to the right. So if one waiter is on the phone taking an order, and the other is giving the order to the kitchen, then nobody is around to seat you. But it doesn't take long at all, honestly, for at least one waiter to be free to come back to the seating area.

So they did come back to serve pizzas to customers and take orders, but they still didn't acknowlede us while we waited by the entrance. So I'm wondering what the hell is going on. I go towards the kitchen to see if I can flag down somebody, and then finally one of them acknowdges us.

That's the basic story of the service there. The owners, husband and wife I think, are generally nice enough. But they generally won't bend over backwards to serve you and make sure anything is all right (at least the wife won't, as Stuart mentioned above. We had to flag her down to get extra water while she was talking on the phone - she was preparing to leave as well. The husband got us extra napkins with out desert).

I think this stems from a couple of things.

First, is that they can ride the reputation of the original Grimaldis, and don't have to really put much of a sweat into the service because they know people will come. Call it arrogance or whatever.

Second, is that since they're the owners of the place, they don't have to work as hard for the tips: they're getting the biggest share of the profits at the end of the day.

Still, don't let okay service get in the way. The food is the most important thing in the end, and it was very good.

Nov 25, 2008
dchan in Outer Boroughs

Wendy's Double Stack 99 cents..Terrific !

*Smacks head!

Of course! I'm a moron for not thinking of that. Then again, my whole mission was simply to get free napkins and fill up at the same time. Thanks again.

Oct 13, 2008
dchan in Chains

Wendy's Double Stack 99 cents..Terrific !

Meh, it's okay.

If I ever go to Wendy's (mostly as an excuse to load up on a ton of napkins, because I'm a cheapass), I buy a bunch of the 99 cent menu burgers and sometimes fries. I usually buy Junior Bacon Cheeseburger and the Junior Cheeseburger Deluxe. Both have their own advantages: the bacon and mayo complements the cheeseburger pretty well, while the lettuce, tomato, onions, and mayo complement the cheeseburger also pretty well.

The problem with the Double Stack is that it doubles the patty portion of the burger. While the Wendy patty is somewhat better than the Micky D's and Burger King's patty, it's still a fast food patty: if it were good enough alone in a cheeseburger, well, you get the idea. The patty by itself, or doubled and itself, is simply uninteresting and boring. That's why if I ever go to Wendy's, I'd rather buy the other two burgers and settle for less meat than simply buying more of boring.

Oct 13, 2008
dchan in Chains

Gloria pizza heads that think Amore pizza are the same owners?

I was just at Amore a few days ago. Very good pizza, if a little pricy at $2.25 per slice. I guess that's about average nowadays in NYC, but then again, I haven't been in town this long in forever.

The last time I had a Gloria's Pizza was on the Met's opening day in 1997: it was raining cats and dogs, and me and my brother were hiding under the 7 train tracks. But the one thing I remember was that sauce: so delicately sweet, not completely overpowering, and so memorable that I still can almost taste it 11 years later. I was almost 12 back then.

The sauce of an Amore slice is very good. I got my slice piping hot, straight from the oven because this place was really popular: families were there eating pies, a worker from the Pathmark next door was getting her slice, a guy in a suit was getting a couple of slices. Maybe it was the high temperature of the slice, but the sauce, while nice and sweet, simply didn't quite make me think, "ah, here is that sauce that I've been waiting for all these years." It was a very good slice, but I don't know if I want to go out of my way all of the time to get one.

So if I'm in Flushing craving a slice, I would go to either Barone or Lucia because both offer very good slices and are simply more convenient to get to.

Sep 12, 2008
dchan in Outer Boroughs

Lunch near York college

Margherita Pizza is a classic pizzeria. It's somewhere on Jamaica Avenue, I believe west of Merrick. I haven't been there in a long time, but they have great slices.

Sep 12, 2008
dchan in Outer Boroughs

Worst Beer Ever?

Miller Lite is surprisingly not bad at all. It almost tastes like a full American-style lager rather than a light beer.

Bud Light, on the other hand, tastes like cat piss. It's really awful tasting. I don't know why anybody drinks this stuff.

Aug 10, 2008
dchan in Beer

Best pizza in queens??

Ja. That's a great term for what I guess would be considered 'common people' pizza.

It may not be those fancy-schmancy fresh mozzarella, basil, and sauce pies, but it's still pretty damn good pizza nevertheless. It's pizza which you can order a couple of slices and finish all within five minutes.

Aug 06, 2008
dchan in Outer Boroughs

Best pizza in queens??

I doubt this place has the best slices by New Yorker's standards. But Barone Pizza under the LIRR bridge in Flushing makes nice consistent slices. Always hot and crispy, decent sauce and cheese, nice crust; it's my favorite slice so far. I've heard of Romeo's in Fresh Meadows being recommended on the St. John's thread, and it's nowhere as good, so I have to at least recommend Barone.

Lucia on Roosevelt Ave. in Flushing is pretty good also, but I prefer Barone for whatever reason.

Flushing used to have a few other places. I grew up in the 90's, so I still remember Gloria's. The last time I had them was during opening day at Shea in 1997. It was rained out completely, but I still remember eating that slice under the 7 train. It had a great sauce. It's good to hear Amore's is really Gloria's. I might make a trip there one day, and see if that arcade is in the shopping plaza still.

There was also this place in Flushing called Popeye's. It had nothing to do with the chicken franchise. It existed until maybe 1998 or 1999; a bank and Starbucks sits in its place nowadays. The slices were only a dollar back then, and they were nice, hot, and crispy as well.

Jul 30, 2008
dchan in Outer Boroughs

Food Network "Food Detectives"

I've only seen Ted Allen as a judge on Iron Chef America, and he struck me as someone who knew food. Too bad the first episode of this show came out as such complete trash.

Where to start? I expected this to be an informative show, like Good Eats usually is. But besides the best way to quench spicy foods test and parts of the other tests, nothing came close to explaining anything.

More than anything, this show insulted the viewer's intelligence. The most egregious example was when Ted commented that he was surprised that the food lab's supposedly clean floors were dirtier than a sidewalk that dogs walked over. And instead of the food tech explaining why, the food tech basically says, "well, yeah." Ugh. I'm not a super scientist, but I'm pretty sure it's more plausible for a dry outdoor surface that is exposed to the ultraviolet rays of the sun will be cleaner than an enclosed indoor laboratory that's exposed to a bunch of nasty stuff.

The "find out after these messages" tactics don't help either. Neither does Ted's rather ditzy demeanor that is nothing like his demeanor on Iron Chef. Maybe the show will get better later on, but it doesn't look good now.

Jul 28, 2008
dchan in Food Media & News