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Author Topic: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits  (Read 16700 times)

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Offline Pazzo

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #100 on: June 30, 2019, 01:33:59 PM »
Matt, have you been to Brother's before? I have a friend that told me he just went there and it was pretty good.
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Online jkb

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #101 on: June 30, 2019, 02:34:28 PM »
Some of this is part of his routine and is an attempt at humor.



For sure, he's got a schtick and caters to his barstool audience.
John

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #102 on: June 30, 2019, 04:21:27 PM »
Matt, have you been to Brother's before? I have a friend that told me he just went there and it was pretty good.

No, not yet. Fairly easy to get to though. Fresh pie from Yelp below (and their classic signage).


Matt

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #103 on: June 30, 2019, 08:45:17 PM »
...the videos scott w and mike i recorded seem stiff and rehearsed.


Despite all the YouTube videos on pizza I watch, I had never even heard of that series. Just took a look, and based on the episode titles,  it seems horribly uninteresting. Then I watched about 30 seconds of one...its not watchable. Definitely scripted, but it seems like it was written by people that have little experience with pizza. I can't imagine that if these 2 guys got together to discuss pizza that this is what it would be. For example,  why on earth would they want to discuss ramen on pizza?

Agree with Pazzo that watching Iocono and Pinello together is very entertaining. (Dont get the pizza grease on your white shoes!) And I like Scott too (enough that I watched his full documentary).

Matt

Online jkb

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #104 on: July 01, 2019, 11:30:32 PM »
It's goofy, but it's supposed to be.  I like Mark.
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Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #105 on: July 03, 2019, 08:33:02 PM »
Lunch today at Scarr's Pizza.

My approach to eating/dissecting the pizza was a little bit different than some of my other pizzeria visits, as my focus wasn't solely on the pizza. Instead, I was engaged in lively conversation with Quiet Desperation  :)  It was great to finally meet a forum member in real life!

Also, when we were leaving the pizzeria, Scarr was hanging out on the sidewalk with a couple friends. The 3 of us chatted for several minutes. We didn't get too specific into ingredients or the pizza itself. He talked a lot about how NY slice pizza has changed (degraded) over the years. That pizzerias use bad ingredients, but that the tourists don't know any better because it's still better than anything they can get where they came from.

Scarr said his pizza was different. He uses the best ingredients, and its organic. The result is that you don't feel sick after it, he said. Personally, I still think some of this is marketing. I do think he uses good ingredients and cares a lot about his pizza. But while we do buy some organic products at my house, I still don't think it makes a real difference. He did say something to the effect of milling his own flour isn't marketing, it really makes a difference.

We also chatted about different pizzerias, and some other pizza-men he knows, primarily Paulie.

*****
Ok, on to the pizza. QD and I each had a slice, and we split a Sicilian. They were re-heats.

Overall, I liked this pizza. I was especially pleased that it was seasoned and had a good amount of flavor. After the first bite I said I was reminded of the Sicilian Oregano I use. I'm not sure that was it, but I was clearly hit directly with oregano. There was basil in it too. And atleast one hard cheese. You can see in one of the photos where the mozz didn't quite get to the rim, that there was a lot of hard cheese.

The tomato itself wasn't super present. I think the reason, is that there just wasn't that much sauce on the pie. QD said he prefers more sauce, and I do as well. I wouldn't say it was significantly undersauced compared to an average slice, but it was nothing like the sauce-heavy pies in Queens.

The sauce is also fairly thick. This, and the fairly modest amount, meant that the slice didn't really have any juice. No real grease. Nothing dripped. I don't know if the re-heat impacted this, but I don't think it would've made much of a difference based on how the pie was topped.

The mozz cheese was fine, nothing really to say. Again, the flavor was driven by the herbs and hard cheese.

The crust had a nice structure. No flop when holding the slice, but very bendy and no chance it would crack. QD commented that it got tough as it sat, and I agree. It also just seemed to add to the overall dryness of the pie. But hey, I prefer a high-oil dough. The undercrust coloration was interesting, you'll see the contrast of black areas. I went basically right up to the oven (this place is tiny), but I couldn't read the temperature gauge. It was as if it was fogged over. But I took a picture where we can see the needle at least. QD asked the temp, and guy said "uh...600 to 700". I thought, "ok, usual BS answer". But given the undercrust, who knows, I guess he could be baking hot.

The Sicilian was ok. Very crispy. I agree with QD's assessment that it was like a focaccia and that it was baked with a good amount of oil in the pan. Given the sauce was on top, I would've expected it to be very saucy, but it wasn't. (The upside down Sicilian at Suprema was loaded with sauce, actually too much for me). Not much more I can say on this one.

As I said, overall, I liked the pizza, and I was happy to see someone using herbs and hard cheese. But not a slice that hit my tastes. A very good experience though. And Scarr seemed like genuine guy.

Oh and bonus points for leaving a small pitcher of water out with cups for customers to help themselves. I've never seen that before.



Matt

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #106 on: July 03, 2019, 08:58:09 PM »
Here's a good (and quick) video of Scarr. While the stated topic of the video is the Sicilian, he talks about ingredients, fermentation, the food industry, slice shops etc. Reminds me of the conversation we had. 

Matt

Online jkb

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #107 on: July 04, 2019, 09:18:50 AM »
The schedule for the the trip to Citi Field got compressed and we didn't have time to go Lucia.  >:( :(
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Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #108 on: July 04, 2019, 09:52:43 AM »
The schedule for the the trip to Citi Field got compressed and we didn't have time to go Lucia.  >:( :(

Ah bummer...I was waiting to hear. Hopefully you make it back down here again soon.
Matt

Online jkb

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #109 on: July 04, 2019, 11:48:20 AM »
Ah bummer...I was waiting to hear. Hopefully you make it back down here again soon.


John

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Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #110 on: July 19, 2019, 09:08:23 PM »
Once again, Lucia Pizza, Flushing Queens

I had the opportunity to go again, less than a month after my first visit. Confirmed, this is my favorite NY pizzeria. (Though admittedly, I haven't tried that many of them.)

It seems so simple, no over-the-top flavors, but its so good. I had 2 slices, different pies. Both were what I was hoping for, with medium doneness. The crust had crisp, but was still light. Sauce just as good (and perplexing) as before.

I asked 2 different guys (first a young guy, then the old guy) if I could buy dough/sauce/cheese. They both said dough only. I'm a bit confused as there was a review on google from a week before my first visit saying that you can buy dough/sauce/cheese there. But, no luck.

The first flavor that came to mind early on was salt. Then sweetness. I'm reminded of my comments about Margherita, the sweetness doesn't taste like sugar. Could just be the tomato, but I don't know. Then at the tail end I tasted a nice milkyness.

A few pics, and I took 2 very short videos of my 2 slices. I thought a video may capture them better than pics alone.

I wish I could say more about these slices, but I have a very hard time describing them.






 

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Offline foreplease

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #111 on: July 19, 2019, 10:15:53 PM »
Iím glad you posted the videos, Matt. The top side of those slices really popped in a way that was not as apparent in the photos. Nice that you had an opportunity to revisit Lucia and good of you to post it here.
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Offline invertedisdead

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #112 on: July 20, 2019, 01:39:56 AM »
Once again, Lucia Pizza, Flushing Queens

I had the opportunity to go again, less than a month after my first visit. Confirmed, this is my favorite NY pizzeria. (Though admittedly, I haven't tried that many of them.)

It seems so simple, no over-the-top flavors, but its so good. I had 2 slices, different pies. Both were what I was hoping for, with medium doneness. The crust had crisp, but was still light. Sauce just as good (and perplexing) as before.

I asked 2 different guys (first a young guy, then the old guy) if I could buy dough/sauce/cheese. They both said dough only. I'm a bit confused as there was a review on google from a week before my first visit saying that you can buy dough/sauce/cheese there. But, no luck.

The first flavor that came to mind early on was salt. Then sweetness. I'm reminded of my comments about Margherita, the sweetness doesn't taste like sugar. Could just be the tomato, but I don't know. Then at the tail end I tasted a nice milkyness.

A few pics, and I took 2 very short videos of my 2 slices. I thought a video may capture them better than pics alone.

I wish I could say more about these slices, but I have a very hard time describing them.





Epic! So cool you were able to get back there in such a timely fashion.

I need two of those big slices right now  :drool:

Would you guess that the salt hit was coming from the dough, the sauce, the cheese, or the whole enchilada in all it's glory?  ;D

The sauce IS boss, a GREAT sauce, unique and unforgettable, now that's a challenge!
the proof is in the pizza

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #113 on: July 20, 2019, 03:38:56 PM »
Ryan, regarding the salt, first a couple caveats. 1) while I noticed the salt early in the first slice, it faded fast. It wasn't like I thought the slices tasted salty and 2) I eat very little sodium (when it's not pizza night) and therefore am more sensitive to it.

I didn't notice any salt flavor when eating the rim crust, so I'd say the salt was primarily coming from the sauce and cheese.

A couple more observations now that I've slept on it:

While at my first visit I was convinced there was hard cheese in the pie, I was less convinced this time. I certainly didn't notice the unmistakable flavor of a sharp Romano. But there still could've been a different Romano or parm.

Second, I noticed that behind the oven they have a staircase leading to the basement. I actually noticed it when someone came up with metal containers that he then put into a fridge. I had been wondering where they did the prep work as the main level is so small.

Lastly, you can see in the pictures that I was eating in front of a mirror. I actually really liked this. As I was taking each bite, I could get a nice view of the top of the slice in the mirror,  and it added to the experience.
Matt

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #114 on: July 20, 2019, 03:42:14 PM »
Iím glad you posted the videos, Matt. The top side of those slices really popped in a way that was not as apparent in the photos. Nice that you had an opportunity to revisit Lucia and good of you to post it here.

You know I'm more than happy to  :)

The videos did work well and I've rewatched them a bunch. You definitely get a much better feel for the juiciness.

Matt

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Offline invertedisdead

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #115 on: July 21, 2019, 12:58:38 PM »
Ryan, regarding the salt, first a couple caveats. 1) while I noticed the salt early in the first slice, it faded fast. It wasn't like I thought the slices tasted salty and 2) I eat very little sodium (when it's not pizza night) and therefore am more sensitive to it.

I didn't notice any salt flavor when eating the rim crust, so I'd say the salt was primarily coming from the sauce and cheese.

A couple more observations now that I've slept on it:

While at my first visit I was convinced there was hard cheese in the pie, I was less convinced this time. I certainly didn't notice the unmistakable flavor of a sharp Romano. But there still could've been a different Romano or parm.

Second, I noticed that behind the oven they have a staircase leading to the basement. I actually noticed it when someone came up with metal containers that he then put into a fridge. I had been wondering where they did the prep work as the main level is so small.

Lastly, you can see in the pictures that I was eating in front of a mirror. I actually really liked this. As I was taking each bite, I could get a nice view of the top of the slice in the mirror,  and it added to the experience.

Interesting stuff Matt -
I'm pretty sure my favorite local joint doesn't use any hard cheese. At least I don't taste nor see any, but they use a fairly heavy amount of mozzarella, and I feel like you can really taste the mozz on their pizzas, unlike most. That pizza really allures me, the sauce tastes complex but when I peel back the cheese I swear it just looks like tomato and oregano, MAYBE some black pepper specks but it could just be tiny flecks of oregano.
the proof is in the pizza

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #116 on: July 21, 2019, 02:10:00 PM »
Interesting stuff Matt -
I'm pretty sure my favorite local joint doesn't use any hard cheese. At least I don't taste nor see any, but they use a fairly heavy amount of mozzarella, and I feel like you can really taste the mozz on their pizzas, unlike most. That pizza really allures me, the sauce tastes complex but when I peel back the cheese I swear it just looks like tomato and oregano, MAYBE some black pepper specks but it could just be tiny flecks of oregano.

Will they sell you the sauce? Worth tasting it raw if you can.

Matt

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #117 on: July 27, 2019, 08:38:58 PM »
Pizza Town USA, Elmwood Park NJ

This was a nice pie. Calzone was pretty good, but not necessary. Zeppole was awesome.

I didn't quite have an optimal experience as we had a ridiculous amount of traffic and it took an hour longer to get there than anticipated. So the first slice was kind of inhaled, but then I settled into the groove.

This pizza was thin and crisp, both more than I anticipated. It had a good amount of sauce, and not a whole lot of cheese, making it a pretty saucy pie. A real generous amount of dried herbs, which was a nice surprise. Some romano (I think it was romano), but it was mild and in the background. Just re-watched one of the videos on YouTube where Bruce describes it as a "Brooklyn" pie, what used to be called a "Tomato Pie", a lot of sauce, dark crust, not a lot of cheese. Of course he described it well.

When I got to the counter I ordered the large pie, small calzone and 6 zeppole. Bruce (I was hoping for his sister given the legendary "stretch" video, but she wasn't there) yelled over the pie maker, 1 large pie. Very soon after he put a pie in the oven. I started a stopwatch, but...given the long car ride, we needed to make a family trip to the rest room. When I got back, the stopwatch was at 6:15, but my pie was already sitting out. The deck was sitting open with a pie in it, which I'm fairly certain was in the location of the one I saw launched. So my assumption is that my pie was already in the oven when I ordered it, so I cant say anything for certain about the time of the bake.

Bruce seemed like a good guy, commenting on my Giants gear (I was headed to training camp), but he is really all business. After that first comment everything else was pure NY (NJ) service, with him barking orders at all of us. But the efficiency was really good. My wife was very appreciative of the speed of service (given the kids were hungry) and I was too (as we could get over the Giants camp on time).

The fried calzone (small) was ok. It has ham, but very little, which is fine. The ricotta was liquified, which was interesting, it was totally smooth.

The side of sauce with the calzone was amazing. I watched Bruce ladle it out already hot. I sipped it from the cup. Definitely chunks, which seemed like chunks of a whole peeled, and lots of seasoning.

The zeppole was really good. Like a fresh fried donut with powdered sugar.

Good pie, I'm glad I finally made it here. Pics to follow. (Note, 2 of the slices were cut in half for the kids.)

« Last Edit: July 27, 2019, 09:07:37 PM by hammettjr »
Matt

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #118 on: July 27, 2019, 08:39:20 PM »
More pics
« Last Edit: July 27, 2019, 08:40:51 PM by hammettjr »
Matt

Offline invertedisdead

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #119 on: July 28, 2019, 08:33:25 AM »
Great report Matt, really felt like I was having a slice at your table with that review! Digging those photos too, they definitely add to the conversation in a major way! :)

So the pizza sauce and calzone sauce were definitely different then, yeah?

I know you tend to like a cheesier pie - just curious if you thought the sauce flavor came through well with less cheese on the pizza? Sometimes I feel that way, but haven't concluded anything.

Will they sell you the sauce? Worth tasting it raw if you can.



I'll give it a shot next time I pick one up!
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