I don't post often, but I am an avid forum follower. I had to share my grief with someone, and I thought you guys would understand. I grew up in North Jersey, which for pizza purposes is New York. I was weaned on the ambrosia at Phil's Pizzeria in Montvale, against which I have compared all other pies. Not having eaten there since I was about 13 years old, the memory of that taste was fond but hazy. A month ago I found myself in Montvale, and Phil's was still there, remodeled, surrounded by different businesses, without the remembered faces, but still there. I went in and quivering with anticipation ordered a large sausage pie just for me. As I waited for my first Phil's pizza in over a quarter of a century, I looked around the joint, trying to reconcile my current surroundings with a ghostly memory. The pizza came. It looked okay -- just okay. No blisters, no flecks of oregano... just okay. I carefully chose and pulled away my first slice. Too much cheese; not the thin delicately balanced pizza against which I had gauged all comers. I bit. Not bad -- just okay. The crust, a bit bland, some semolina on the bottom and the rim, more delicate than chewy -- none of the alternating crisp and leathery texture that I have held in my heart these many years. The sauce, simple and tomato-y, probably the best thing on the pie. The cheese, well-melted and abundant. Not a bad pizza, but not my Phil's. Just okay. No fondly remembered drip of orange-tinted grease from the back of the folded slice onto my sleeve, no slight droop at the tip to be snapped back onto the firmer crust with a flip of my wrist, none of the long anticipated blending of taste and texture from long ago -- Just an okay pizza. Was it real or merely a manufactured memory? I'll never know.