The American pizza community is basically divided into three camps. First, those who like thin crust pizza (let’s call them the “Smart” pizza lovers). Second those who prefer the deep-dish style (also known as people who don’t understand what pizza is all about). In geographic terms, it’s New York vs. Chicago. The final group is California “pizza”, dough topped with goat cheese, bean sprouts, and other things God never meant on pizza.
Okay, maybe I’m a bit biased on this subject. (You think?) I love a crunchy crust, and nothing is crunchier than a pizza made in a coal-fired brick oven. Patsy’s way.
The original Patsy’s is in East Harlem, going strong since 1932. From most places in Manhattan, it’s a longer way to go for a pizza, not as easy as going around the corner. And its atmosphere can best be described as what atmosphere? But it’s worth it for the pizza… Read what Michael Stern of Roadfood.com had to say about it:
It is the simplest pie imaginable, easy to hoist slice by slice, built on a marvelous thin crust with charred spots all along the edge that have the smoky flavor that only a coal oven delivers. Two versions of plain cheese pizza are available: fresh mozzarella, with thin pools of creamy sliced cheese spread out within the microthin layer of tomato sauce, and regular mozzarella on which saltier, slightly oilier shredded cheese is spread evenly all across the surface. They have a very different nature, topping-wise, but they both sport that marvelous wafer-thin charcoaled crust.
This is one of the Great American Things I haven’t personally had the opportunity to try yet. Next trip to NYC, it’ll be a must-do. The only problem is, I may never be able to eat Pizza Hut or Papa John’s again…