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Author Topic: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits  (Read 15170 times)

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Offline CIZ28

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #40 on: January 19, 2019, 09:02:27 PM »
I'll be honest, I get zero value from this post. The discussion on this thread is about the corner slice. I never claimed it was more real or better than anything else (see my quote below). Your post is no different than if someone had said Neo is the true pizza, or Chicago thin perfected the pizza. Its personal opinion that leads to endless debate with no outcome. My intent with this thread was simply to share observations with a hope to learn more about techniques used at slice shops.

Itís about being true to the craft, that was the truth lol. Neapolitan technically IS the true pizza. Coal oven tomatoes on top is the true NY Style pizza. These things are not opinion. Corner slice cheese blanket is the watered down version of pizza MOST of the time. There are some good corner slice places but they are few and far inbetween IMO. Iím probably more judgmental because itís my field. Itís also the most simple to make and duplicate though. People just think too much it seems. Typical slice joints and what many people consider pizza in this country is what brought pizza down until this whole awakening thatís happened to pizza in which people are looking for things closer to the roots and artisan methods. Iím definitely happy for that.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 04:21:38 AM by CIZ28 »
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Offline CIZ28

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Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #41 on: January 19, 2019, 09:22:43 PM »
IMO, this comment gets to the heart of the matter. I think Joe's is the canonical NY slice. I like it, but it's just not that interesting.

That is typical corner slice pizza. Boring, plain, nothing to write home about. Joeís is the lead example of it. But it seems that they probably use high quality stuff and get the balance and ratios right versus most of the industry where itís about saving money and undersaucing and overcheesing (or vice versa) somewhat thick pizza.
"If it's not well done, it ain't done well."

Offline Josh123

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Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #42 on: January 20, 2019, 10:32:00 PM »
That is typical corner slice pizza. Boring, plain, nothing to write home about. Joeís is the lead example of it. But it seems that they probably use high quality stuff and get the balance and ratios right versus most of the industry where itís about saving money and undersaucing and overcheesing (or vice versa) somewhat thick pizza.

Youre not trying the right slices, dude

Offline CIZ28

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Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #43 on: January 20, 2019, 11:45:11 PM »
Youre not trying the right slices, dude

Iíve tried just about everything lol. And worked many places. Regular corner slice fare is not my style really. Though too thin, Patsyís Harlem was the best plain slice that was not a sauce on top that pie Iíve ever had. Crazy to think that old coal place sorta qualifies as a slice joint, but it does. Best overall pie Iíve ever had out was Johnnyís in Mount Vernon probably, but not a slice shop. Also, this one tomato pie slice place in NJ was right up there. But these are not your average places.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2019, 04:00:26 AM by CIZ28 »
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Offline Josh123

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Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #44 on: January 21, 2019, 12:39:38 PM »
Iíve tried just about everything lol. And worked many places. Regular corner slice fare is not my style really. Though too thin, Patsyís Harlem was the best plain slice that was not a sauce on top that pie Iíve ever had. Crazy to think that old coal place sorta qualifies as a slice joint, but it does. Best overall pie Iíve ever had out was Johnnyís in Mount Vernon probably, but not a slice shop. Also, this one tomato pie slice place in NJ was right up there. But these are not your average places.

Then youre just a coal oven guy then, and thats fine. But there are plenty of world class corner slice shops that use great cheese, great tomato with good seasonings, and nice flavored crispy crust. If that's not your style, its not. But to me the umami bomb you get from biting into the first cheese/sauce blob from a hot slice of top tier NY street slice is unmatched by anything pizza. You crave it in a way that no other pizza can do.

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Offline CIZ28

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Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #45 on: January 22, 2019, 08:21:31 PM »
Then youre just a coal oven guy then, and thats fine. But there are plenty of world class corner slice shops that use great cheese, great tomato with good seasonings, and nice flavored crispy crust. If that's not your style, its not. But to me the umami bomb you get from biting into the first cheese/sauce blob from a hot slice of top tier NY street slice is unmatched by anything pizza. You crave it in a way that no other pizza can do.

I like the coal oven or ďtomato pieĒ method of building a pizza the most but prefer gas for the crust it produces more than coal you could say. That or Margherita style. The mass produced cheese blanket isnít for me no matter the quality of ingredients lol.
"If it's not well done, it ain't done well."

Offline Josh123

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Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #46 on: January 26, 2019, 11:49:31 AM »
I like the coal oven or ďtomato pieĒ method of building a pizza the most but prefer gas for the crust it produces more than coal you could say. That or Margherita style. The mass produced cheese blanket isnít for me no matter the quality of ingredients lol.

The good places get their cheese and sauce to melt into each other as a cohesive flavor

Offline Fiorot

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Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #47 on: January 26, 2019, 01:04:09 PM »
Iíve tried just about everything lol. And worked many places. Regular corner slice fare is not my style really. Though too thin, Patsyís Harlem was the best plain slice that was not a sauce on top that pie Iíve ever had. Crazy to think that old coal place sorta qualifies as a slice joint, but it does. Best overall pie Iíve ever had out was Johnnyís in Mount Vernon probably, but not a slice shop. Also, this one tomato pie slice place in NJ was right up there. But these are not your average places.
I don't get it? Johnny's is thin!!!

Offline CIZ28

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Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #48 on: January 27, 2019, 10:47:20 AM »
The good places get their cheese and sauce to melt into each other as a cohesive flavor

If you like that style, I categorically do not. Most of the top places donít do it either. Patsyís Harlem, DiFara, and Joeís are the exception. Theyíre mostly either sauce on top or sell Margherita style pizza.
"If it's not well done, it ain't done well."

Offline CIZ28

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Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #49 on: January 27, 2019, 10:48:06 AM »
I don't get it? Johnny's is thin!!!

Johnnyís is thin, Patsyís is paper.
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Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #50 on: June 22, 2019, 08:06:52 PM »
Lucia, Flushing Queens. The review, pics, and video will be across the next few posts.

Wow! Loved these slices! This really could be my ideal pizza.

I had high hopes for Lucia, one of the pics I found on Yelp previously, I said was exactly the slice look Iím going for. I was pumped when I walked in and saw everyoneís slices looking exactly like the one I had been hoping for.

Of the 3 mesh-screen shops we talk about (Lucia, Amore, Margherita), for me personally, Iíd put this ahead of Amore, and either tied with Margherita, or on its own at #1. It definitely gets a notch above for location, being easily accessible by either 7-train or LIRR, while Margherita is in the center of Jamaica. (Lucia being in the middle of Chinatown is fun too, so save room for some other treats.)

The words to describe the flavor that hit me at the time were: tomato, grease, hard cheese. It was seemingly simple, yet so good (and Iím sure not as simple as it appears).

I tried to get as many questions in to one of the counter guys as I ate. (When I arrived at around 3pm on a Saturday, it was very busy, and this place is tiny. I found a spot to stand at the counter, ordered, paid, and ate without moving from that counter spot. Later it thinned out, and I took my second slice to the other counter that had bar stools. Also note that the takeout window to the sidewalk was busy as well.)

I asked if the cheese was Grande, and he said yes. I never trust that pattern, however, and it wouldíve been better if he said the brand rather than me. I asked if it was whole milk or part skim or a mix, and he said it was a mix of whole milk and part-skim. This was more believable based on how the conversation was going.

I asked if they were using romano or parm (as I could clearly taste something). He gave me a bit of a funny look and said, no, nothing. But, when I later asked to buy a doughball and some sauce, he said they donít sell the sauce, dough no problem. Not selling the sauce is an indication. While the overall flavor seemed simple, they wouldnít be hiding their sauce if it was just tomato and salt. My second slice had one large piece of fresh basil. Other than that, absolutely nothing was visible.

He said they finish the pies directly on the deck for about a minute. No re-heats as they are always busy. But, 2 things I noticed. First, they did store baked pies under the counter (like Margherita). And the pies they were directly serving sat on some sort of (stone?) cutting board that was under heat lamps. The lamps were hidden, but there were clearly a bunch of bulbs directly over that spot with lighting that stood out.

I could clearly see the Bakerís Pride ovenís temperature needle at 500 degrees on both decks.

I recorded a video of the pizza-maker opening and topping a pie, and there is a very clear closeup of the topped pie. I also captured them moving a pie from the screen to the deck.

My first slice was well done with a lot of crisp. I asked if it was a reheat, as it was very crispy, and cracked. He said it wasnít a reheat. While Iím generally not a big fan of crisp, this slice was really awesome. It didnít taste overcooked, or have any char flavor. (Amore was crisp and charred.) Thin sauce, greasy cheese, hard to describe the flavor, but just awesome.

My second slice came off a pie directly out of the oven. (When I was taking the video, I saw the pie come out and asked for a slice right after he cut it.) This one was much less done on the bottom. Pale and blond toward the rim. Certainly no chance for it to crack. Part of it got very soft. But, if you know the kind of pies I like, this one was even better!

When I got home a few hours later I weighed and opened the doughball. It weighed 727 grams. Lots of small bubbles on the underside. It opened beautifully. It required me to stretch it, rather than opening on its own, but wasnít hard to stretch. It very quickly was stretched to over 18Ē.

Iím not sure what else to say. Anyone in the area, go check this place out, thereís no excuses!

Pics below of the shop and the entire interior that is open to the public. More in the following posts.

Matt

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #51 on: June 22, 2019, 08:07:10 PM »
Ok, here are my 2 slices. First slice was crispy. Then a shot of the pie straight out of the oven that led to my second slice (not crispy). Both were amazing.


« Last Edit: June 22, 2019, 08:11:39 PM by hammettjr »
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Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #52 on: June 22, 2019, 08:07:22 PM »
In this video you can see the dough being stretched, topped, closeup of the topped pie, a pizza being transferred from the screen to deck.


« Last Edit: June 22, 2019, 08:13:24 PM by hammettjr »
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Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #53 on: June 22, 2019, 08:07:35 PM »
Here's the doughball I brought home (after a couple hours).

« Last Edit: June 22, 2019, 08:14:45 PM by hammettjr »
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Offline quietdesperation

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #54 on: June 22, 2019, 08:24:06 PM »
Matt, great review! Did you bake up the dough ball?
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Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #55 on: June 22, 2019, 08:26:02 PM »
Matt, great review! Did you bake up the dough ball?

Thanks! No, I tossed it. And thanks for the recommendations for the Chinese food!

Matt

Offline jkb

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #56 on: June 23, 2019, 12:46:57 AM »
I'm looking forward to it 7/3. I'd love to hit some Chinese food, but my son will be itching to get to Citi Field.
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Offline norma427

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #57 on: June 23, 2019, 07:37:53 AM »
Matt,

Very interesting video!  In the video at Reply 58 https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=55305.msg583212#msg583212  do they open the dough ball with oil?  Didn't see any flour on the opening surface, but also didn't see any kind of vessel with oil to open the dough balls.  The top of the skin on the screen looks more shiny than usual, at least to my eyes.  The man opening that dough ball and dressing it does it like Sal does his dough balls.  Looks so easy.

Norma

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #58 on: June 23, 2019, 08:45:25 AM »
I'm looking forward to it 7/3. I'd love to hit some Chinese food, but my son will be itching to get to Citi Field.

I'm looking forward to hearing what you think, I hope you like it.

There are Chinese places with counters all over the place. The only trick would be to find one that will be quick. Maybe someone can recommend something that is pre-made, maybe soup? I'd play it by ear depending on what time you arrive and how adventurous your son is at the time.

Matt

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #59 on: June 23, 2019, 09:27:13 AM »
Matt,

Very interesting video!  In the video at Reply 58 https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=55305.msg583212#msg583212  do they open the dough ball with oil?  Didn't see any flour on the opening surface, but also didn't see any kind of vessel with oil to open the dough balls.  The top of the skin on the screen looks more shiny than usual, at least to my eyes.  The man opening that dough ball and dressing it does it like Sal does his dough balls.  Looks so easy.

Norma

Hi Norma, thanks a lot for asking this. I've been thinking about dough opening with oil vs flour on and off for the last couple months, and your question led me to think a step deeper. And I'll likely experiment a bit with my pizza as a result.

My first thought when I saw the skin from a distance was "wow, that's shiny and oily". I didn't see an oil container either, though it's hard to say if it was hidden amongst the other items on the counter. The dough ball I purchased had a good amount of oil on it. I'm reminded of the conversation I had with my local pizzeria, that also uses the mesh screen, where he said (and showed me) that the dough ball proofs in the metal container in a pool of oil, or what he called an "oil bath". It's possible that the oil bath is enough where they don't have to add more oil on the counter.

But, at around the 6 second mark you'll see that he adds flour and rubs it in and all over one side of the skin. That side goes over his knuckles, then becomes the bottom of the pizza. My local pizzeria told me they also add a bit of flour when opening too. This is interesting because I've clearly demonstrated that with these screens, oil is sufficient to release the pizza, and flour is not necessary.

What I'm thinking is that they like to add a bit of flour as it soaks up the oil. The result will be an undercrust that isn't oily/fried, but also doesn't have raw flour. Basically the oil and flour offset one-another. I want to try this.

The other interesting thing in watching him open the skin, is at the very end just before he puts it onto the screen, he gives it a stretch right in the center. Usually we think of that as a no-no, but that's because our skins open themselves and would be overstretched. This one gave him full control over the stretch, and the center stretch helped even it out.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2019, 09:33:16 AM by hammettjr »
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