Author Topic: Patsy Grimaldi's Goes West  (Read 5973 times)

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Offline giotto

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Patsy Grimaldi's Goes West
« on: May 15, 2006, 02:49:56 PM »
It's interesting how Patsy's has made its way to the west in Arizona... The same state as Bianco's. About's reviews are high on the place... scorching is well accepted in 115 F weather. I've known people who never return to a pizzeria after an owner changes hands.† In other cases, the legend remains and few are in the know:

1933
Patsy Lancieri opens Patsy's in East Harlem

1990
Patsy Grimaldi, his nephew who started at 10 with Lancieri, opens† Patsy's in Brooklyn (and, in 1994, in Hoboken, N.J.)

1991
Lancieri's widow sells Patsy's to Frank Brija and John Brecevich

1994
Brecevich and Brija license name "Patsy's," and Patsy's franchises begin to open in Manhattan

1996
After legal battles over the name Patsy’s. Patsy Grimaldi renames his two pizzerias "Grimaldi's

2001
Grimaldi sells Brooklyn store and the name "Grimaldi" to Frank Ciolli

2003
Ciolli's son Joey opens Grimaldi's in Scottsdale, Ariz.

2004
Grimaldi's nephew Bill Massa opens Massa's in Huntington Ciolli's son Russell opens Grimaldi's in Garden City, NJ.


Offline Gino that Bastad

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Re: Patsy Grimaldi's Goes West
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2010, 02:16:55 AM »
Tried this recently and was really unimpressed. Much better pizza to be had in AZ.

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Patsy Grimaldi's Goes West
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2010, 10:46:41 AM »
Grimaldi's -- South Texas

Recently went in to see what the buzz was about.  There wasn't really a buzz, but I did create some hype as to get the family pumped up for some coal fired oven pizza.  We ordered to pizzas and a salad.  I'll start with the best and work towards the worst.  The antipasto salad was very good, with fresh mozz and kalamata olives, the vinaigrette was awesome.  Small pesto pizza with artichoke hearts and pepperoni.  The pesto sauce was great, you cant mess up artichoke hearts and a spicy pepperoni made this pizza very good.  Now last and least:  large pizza with ham and mushroom.  The sauce just ruined the pizza for mdw and I.  The initial taste was a sweet bright tomato sauce, but turned quickly to a canned paste taste.  Maybe this flavor profile is traditional with Grimaldi's, if so, I don't care for it.  There was a fair bit of moisture on top of the pizza, under the cheese.  Maybe they are still getting the recipe tuned into our humid environment.  One saving grace was that to keep the kids busy while waiting at the table, they brought a triangle shaped piece of dough, about 3/4" thick for them to play with.  Of course I got me a piece also, i did a quick slap technique and had me a nice little skin going in no time ;D :chef:.
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scott123

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Re: Patsy Grimaldi's Goes West
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2010, 11:14:15 AM »
Jet_deck, thanks for the write up.

I'm curious, could you discern whether or not the mushrooms had been cooked prior to being used for topping?

I don't think this is across the board for Neo-NY coal places, but I think the majority lean towards a heavier hand when it comes to toppings.  With a quick bake, this allows very little time for evaporation, so the residual moisture makes for a wetter pie overall.  When you add fresh mozzarella to the equation, that only exacerbates the problem. If you watch Tyler Florence's video of John's of Bleeker



you'll see that with the finished product, although the rims are crunchy, the area under the cheese is pretty wet. NY style quantity toppings (especially wet toppings like veggies) combined with short coal baking times is a recipe for flooding.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Patsy Grimaldi's Goes West
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2010, 11:17:20 AM »
Am I to understand that Grimaldi's and Pasty's is one in the same?  Is this the same famous Patsy's that Varasano imitated when he first started?  I ate at the Grimaldi's in Az when I was there a few weekends ago and will do a write up shortly. 

Chau

scott123

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Re: Patsy Grimaldi's Goes West
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2010, 11:34:07 AM »
Chau, no, Grimaldi's and Patsy's are two different pizzerias, but, if you look at the first post in this thread, you'll see that their history is intertwined.

The Patsy's chain (of Varasano fame) and Grimaldi's, at least the NY area Grimaldi's, are, imo, extremely similar.  Patsy's leans a little more toward the Neapolitan style, but not much.


Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Patsy Grimaldi's Goes West
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2010, 11:47:19 AM »
Jet_deck, thanks for the write up.

I'm curious, could you discern whether or not the mushrooms had been cooked prior to being used for topping?

...
I did not pay attention, but they toss their skins, and do the topping all out in the open.  Just a glass sneeze protector between you and the toppings, also he had 2 small containers of dry ingredients that he tossed on a piches worth, after it had been cooked.
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Patsy Grimaldi's Goes West
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2010, 01:08:40 PM »
I was asked to provide my feedback about my recent experience at Grimaldi's in Scottsdale, Az.

I was really looking forward to trying this place out having heard some good things about it.  Upon entering the establishment, I thought the ambiance of the place was very NY-ish feeling.  The restaurant had a certain bar-like look and feel to it.   They were just opening so we were seated right away.   Perusing through the menu, they had a lot of specialty pies and many toppings to choose from.  I decided on a basic pepperoni and mushroom pie for me and the wife picked a chicken and roasted peppers with white garlic sauce pizza. 

I spent some time chatting with our waiter and later the manager came by and I grilled him for a some answers.  I asked the manager if the pizza was the same or different from the original one in Brooklyn.   He said that the owners have tried to do everything they can to keep everything the same.  From the same oven, to the same ingredients, etc.   He said keep in mind that the original ovens in NY are older and will cook a bit differently, but as far as the sauce and cheese, and toppings itís pretty much the same.  He said that heís had patrons of the original come in and tell him itís the exact same pizza while others say there is a slight difference, claiming the NY water to be the difference.   When asked about the water issue, he said they use a reverse osmosis process  and they lower the pH to the same level as the NY water. 

I sat next next to the pizza making station to watch them stretch the skins.  The kids doing it had a lot of fun showing off their skill.  I saw one guy open up 2 skins at one time stacked on each other till they were about 75% open, then he tossed both up in the air opening them simulataneously.  I asked him to rolled a skin behind his back which he happily obliged.   I also saw their  technique on making calzones and that was interesting as well.

They allowed me to take pictures of the finished pies before going out to the tables which I will post below.  I timed the bakes of our pizzas and the others as well.  Our small 12Ē pies took about 7min to bake and the larger pizzas took maybe a bit longer. 

Over all I thought the pizza was good.  The mushrooms are fresh and my pizza wasnít overly topped.  The pizza wasnít overly sauced or cheesed and had a nice balance of sauce, cheese, and crust.  I wasnít blown away by the sauce, cheese, or crust though.  It was good but not over the top.  The sauce was probably the best of the 3 but didnít stand out much.  I asked for a bowl of fresh sauce to dunk the crust in, and this I thought was really good.  When asked about their sauce if it was precooked, the waiter said yes and spent some time telling me that it isnít sold and isnít allowed to leave the restaurant either, which I thought was interesting.   The cold sauce was not overly spiced but reminded me of a good marinara sauce.  Baking it turned it from something special to just good for me.

The cheese seem to melt ok and cooled quick.  A little rubbery for me and reminded me of belgioso cheese.  The crust was also ok in terms of flavor.  Very crunchy all the way around the rim and dry, but not a cracker crust.  The middle of the slice was soft, foldable, and chewy.
I thought my wifeís garlic chicken pie was better than mine.   I was told itís just olive oil, garlic, cheese, and toppings.  But it all worked well together. 
Overly, I enjoyed the experience and pizza.  It was good pizza as I didnít leave any slices, but it wasnít outstanding.  I was left a little lost with it categorized as an ďeliteĒ NY pie.  I was surprise the bake time was about 7m for a small pizza and had just expected an ďeliteĒ to be something more. 

As an aside, it had a rather commercial pizza look and feel and taste to me.  It just lacked that authentic one of a kind artisanal look/feel to it.  Hard to explain.  It was good just not special.  Also a bit pricey IMO.  2 small pies, and 2 diet cokes plus tx and tip came to over $40 for lunch.  Might have just been b/c we were in Az. 

Chau
« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 01:14:36 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Patsy Grimaldi's Goes West
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2010, 01:12:27 PM »
A few more shots of the crumb, and sauce. 

Anyone have a clone recipe for their sauce?

scott123

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Re: Patsy Grimaldi's Goes West
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2010, 02:11:49 PM »
The manager said that some patrons said there was a 'slight' difference? A 'SLIGHT' difference?! 7 minutes? Who the heck is he kidding?

Google Grimaldi's and check out the images. Sure, one or two have a somewhat even golden tan appearance, but almost all are the uneven ashy color that you get from quick bake times. The pie below is representative of what they produce.  Do you see that crust? It's night and day.

The same way U.S. Neapolitan places try to appease American tastes by taking their bake times in a coal direction, here we have a coal place taking it's bake time towards American Style.  They've been Pizza Huttified  ;D That's not a tweak, it's complete adulteration.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 03:04:50 PM by scott123 »


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Patsy Grimaldi's Goes West
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2010, 02:55:41 PM »
Scott, it could have been that the ovens weren't hot enough at 1130am.   They open at 11 and I was there about 1130.   I had a plan to catch in a few hours.  I called earlier and the manager assured me the ovens would be ready to bake at 11am. 

Yeah the 7min bake time was really surprising to me as well.  I snapped a pic of the oven, saw 1 pile of coals in there, but their oven was really deep.  The kid loaded like 5-6 or more pies in there at one time.  The rim was crunchy through and through, so it was dry to my taste.  I'm sure it would have been better with a shorter bake time like in the 4-5m range.  I agree that a difference in bake times of even 1-2 minutes can make a dramatic difference in the texture of the crust. 

Chau

scott123

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Re: Patsy Grimaldi's Goes West
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2010, 03:13:28 PM »
That's a good point.  It might just have been too early for the oven.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Patsy Grimaldi's Goes West
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2010, 02:07:47 PM »
Chau,

I'm not sure which of the two Scottsdale Grimaldi locations you visited but I posted a review of my visit to the Old Town location at Reply 16 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3669.msg54056.html#msg54056.

Peter

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Patsy Grimaldi's Goes West
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2010, 02:54:16 PM »
Peter, I was not aware of your review of the Grimaldi's in Old town Az.  The one I went to was the location on Scottsdale Rd. 

Your review is chalked full of info.  I'm surprised and well...not surprised that you were able to get so much info from your conversation with the manager.  In reading your review, I was reminded that I had much of the same impression about the dough.  HG flour, relatively low hydration, no oil or sugar, stretched thin.  The only difference I noted was that I thought the sauce was moderately spiced.  Not overly but moderately.   It, of course wasn't your typically NP sauce of just tomatoes and abit of salt, but I remembered visibily seeing pepper and other spices floating in there. 

Good to hear that the used Carmelinas tomatoes as that has been on my list to try.

Chau

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Patsy Grimaldi's Goes West
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2010, 03:12:00 PM »
The one I went to was the location on Scottsdale Rd. 

Chau,

There is only one Grimaldi's location on Scottsdale Rd. so we went to the same location.

Peter

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Patsy Grimaldi's Goes West
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2010, 04:36:27 PM »
Chau,

There is only one Grimaldi's location on Scottsdale Rd. so we went to the same location.

Peter

You're right.  I was thinking you went to the one in North Scottsdale for some reason.

http://www.grimaldispizzeria.com/arizona.html

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Patsy Grimaldi's Goes West
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2010, 09:57:13 AM »
Jet_deck, thanks for the write up.

I'm curious, could you discern whether or not the mushrooms had been cooked prior to being used for topping?


I did verify that the mushrooms were raw on the pizza, and cooked in the oven.
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Offline shuboyje

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Re: Patsy Grimaldi's Goes West
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2010, 02:36:43 PM »
Sadly I see the exact same thing in my area.  All the brick oven places use the oven as more of a gimmick then anything else.

We have two coal fired places in MI, I have been to both.  The first one claims to be trained in New Haven at the classic coal oven places.  I've seen them claim there oven is as hot as 1600F in some articles.  The day I was there they told me it was hot so the pies were cooking fast.  The oven was 565F and pies were cooking in 6 or 7 minutes.  The other tells you all about their 1200F $100,000 coal oven right on the menu.  The pies took 6 minutes to cook and they cook a detroit style pie in the same oven.  No way it is anywhere near 1200F.

We have a new "authentic" sourdough neapolitan place in the area.  Again their menu talks about their 900F oven cooking 90 second pies.  I've been there a few times and the oven is always running 700F.  Last time I timed some pies to confirm my thoughts.  They were cooking just a hair over 3 minutes.

All of these places produce a good pizza that puts chain pizza to shame, but none of them are true to what they claim, and none of them are producing what they could, yet they are all always packed and they dominate the local awards.  Kinda drives me nuts.


The manager said that some patrons said there was a 'slight' difference? A 'SLIGHT' difference?! 7 minutes? Who the heck is he kidding?

Google Grimaldi's and check out the images. Sure, one or two have a somewhat even golden tan appearance, but almost all are the uneven ashy color that you get from quick bake times. The pie below is representative of what they produce.  Do you see that crust? It's night and day.

The same way U.S. Neapolitan places try to appease American tastes by taking their bake times in a coal direction, here we have a coal place taking it's bake time towards American Style.  They've been Pizza Huttified  ;D That's not a tweak, it's complete adulteration.
-Jeff

Offline NY pizzastriver

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Re: Patsy Grimaldi's Goes West
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2010, 02:31:26 PM »
Yes, Patsy's. I wondered about this place as Jeff Varasano got some of their starter and uses it in his place in Ga. I also wondered why living in NY as a kid, with many trips to the city, I never heard of it until a year or so ago. I just went to their site and it opens with Sinatra saying in concert that there's nothing like it, so yes world famous. THEN I realized why I never heard of it, it's in HARLEM! See in the 70's and 80s you didn't go above say 70th st if you wanted to get back in one piece. I still can't say it's a good idea now, lol, but this explains why John's on Bleecker is still my favorite pizza of all time and I never went to Patsy's!

Yes I know wiki says...
Quote
The original Patsy died in the 1970s and his widow sold the East Harlem pizzeria to longtime employees in 1991, "to the chagrin of Patsy Grimaldi, her nephew, who opened a Patsy's in Brooklyn in 1990".[4] The feuding deepened when Tsoulos' Patsy's opened in Manhattan, and Patsy Grimaldi changed the name of his pizzeria to Grimaldi's, which the New York Times said is the best and truest to the original.[4]

In 2009 there was a legal battle with Patsy's Restaurant on West 56th Street, founded by Pasquale (Patsy) Scognamillo in 1944 and a haven for Frank Sinatra and many celebrities, and Patsy's Pizzeria which was sold to the pizza emporium to the L.I. entrepreneurs in 1991.

So it's all very confusing, was Sinatra at the one on 56th, though he mentions the one on 117th? Again too confusing to know what the original even is, or which is good, like Ray's for example. (I thought Ray's original was not very good btw)

So now they are going west, ok, hmmm....

based on some reviews here I think we can say it's nothing like the NY Patsy's, more like offshoots, hey maybe we can all buy a Patsy's franchise soon!  :-D
« Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 02:34:11 PM by NY pizzastriver »
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Patsy Grimaldi's Goes West
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2010, 02:57:51 PM »
Jim,

I went to the Patsy's Pizzeria website at http://www.patsyspizzeriany.com/index.htm and did not see references to Sinatra except a brief mention at http://www.patsyspizzeriany.com/press.htm. Is it possible that you confused that Patsy's with Patsy's Restaurant at http://www.patsys.com/? They have been trading off of Sinatra for as long as I can remember. There was a messy lawsuit between the two "Patsy's" some years ago, so confusion between the two is not uncommon.

Also, you might want to know that Patsy's in Harlem (or any of the later pizza Patsy's) never used starters. See Reply 1 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4125.msg34455.html#msg34455 and Reply 4 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4125.msg35344.html#msg35344. I don't know what Jeff V is using in Georgia.

Lastly, the Grimaldi's pizza chain discussed in this thread (its south/western affiliates) is not related to the Patsy's Pizzeria chain.

Peter


 

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