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Author Topic: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits  (Read 16698 times)

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Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #180 on: March 17, 2022, 02:36:41 PM »
You guys are great...I'm glad I posted that.
Matt

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #181 on: March 17, 2022, 03:02:23 PM »
Johnny's Pizzeria in Mount Vernon

Finally made it to the somewhat legendary spot, I believe originally made known to the masses by Jeff Varasano, who was from the area.

What's already obvious is that taste preference varies from person to person. This pizza wasn't for me.

Its possible that my pizza was a bit more well-done than usual, but I suspect that is not the case.

To summarize, the flavor of this pie was well-done/crispy/char crust coupled with tomato. There was very little cheese or other flavor. I had a couple bites here and there where I could taste some hard cheese and herbs, but 99% of it was crunch and tomato.

I had an audio recording going so that I could take notes while eating. Some quotes were:
- It's not bad, but it's not good
- it's clearly not my style
- no taste of cheese whatsoever...there's just no cheese
- it's fu**ing matzo dipped in tomato sauce...what a g-damn waste. (It's harsh, but I was highly disappointed!)

I'm know many people like it, and I think I see why. Just wasn't for me. I would, however, encourage anyone that likes cracker style to try making matzo pizza. It's real simple and not bad.

« Last Edit: March 17, 2022, 03:06:17 PM by hammettjr »
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Offline foreplease

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #182 on: March 17, 2022, 03:32:38 PM »
Johnny's Pizzeria in Mount Vernon

Finally made it to the somewhat legendary spot, I believe originally made known to the masses by Jeff Varasano, who was from the area.

What's already obvious is that taste preference varies from person to person. This pizza wasn't for me.

Its possible that my pizza was a bit more well-done than usual, but I suspect that is not the case.

To summarize, the flavor of this pie was well-done/crispy/char crust coupled with tomato. There was very little cheese or other flavor. I had a couple bites here and there where I could taste some hard cheese and herbs, but 99% of it was crunch and tomato.

I had an audio recording going so that I could take notes while eating. Some quotes were:
- It's not bad, but it's not good
- it's clearly not my style
- no taste of cheese whatsoever...there's just no cheese
- it's fu**ing matzo dipped in tomato sauce...what a g-damn waste. (It's harsh, but I was highly disappointed!)

I'm know many people like it, and I think I see why. Just wasn't for me. I would, however, encourage anyone that likes cracker style to try making matzo pizza. It's real simple and not bad.
WHO are you and what have you done with Matt?  :P
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Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #183 on: March 17, 2022, 03:44:57 PM »
WHO are you and what have you done with Matt?  :P

Nope it's me. I once said I don't like my toast toasted. I've actually changed my mind on that and do crisp my toast now...but the undercrust of a pizza is a different story.
Matt

Offline 9slicePie

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #184 on: March 17, 2022, 04:47:32 PM »
Johnny's Pizzeria in Mount Vernon

Finally made it to the somewhat legendary spot, I believe originally made known to the masses by Jeff Varasano, who was from the area.

What's already obvious is that taste preference varies from person to person. This pizza wasn't for me.

Its possible that my pizza was a bit more well-done than usual, but I suspect that is not the case.

To summarize, the flavor of this pie was well-done/crispy/char crust coupled with tomato. There was very little cheese or other flavor. I had a couple bites here and there where I could taste some hard cheese and herbs, but 99% of it was crunch and tomato.

I had an audio recording going so that I could take notes while eating. Some quotes were:
- It's not bad, but it's not good
- it's clearly not my style
- no taste of cheese whatsoever...there's just no cheese
- it's fu**ing matzo dipped in tomato sauce...what a g-damn waste. (It's harsh, but I was highly disappointed!)

I'm know many people like it, and I think I see why. Just wasn't for me. I would, however, encourage anyone that likes cracker style to try making matzo pizza. It's real simple and not bad.

I put stock in your posts/thoughts about pizza.  And yeah, as delicious as that looks (and coming from someone who appreciates a little well-doneness), the undercrust DOES look a tiny bit toooo well-done.

If the cheese was lacking as you say, then yeah, that's another "strike".

HAVING SAID THAT, I'd devour that pie  :drool: ;D

Thanks for the review.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2022, 04:49:28 PM by 9slicePie »

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Offline wb54885

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #185 on: March 18, 2022, 11:58:51 PM »
Yikes! Thatís a scorcher. Looks like you went right as they opened for lunch? Theyíre known for cranking the ovens IiRC, I wonder if they were blasting too hard for this one and the oven hadnít mellowed out from steady use over the day yet.

Looking through Yelp pics, the char bubbles arenít uncommon but the left side of the crust being blackened, that seems like a defect. The pie I got there was cooked in the middle of a busy dinner service and even it still had a little char, but not like that.

There are times as a restaurant cook where you know you could remake something and do it better, but you donít. I bet this was one of those times for the cooks that day. That sucks Matt, Iím sorry you got a bad one! I think you would have liked it more with a gentler bake. I think you still got most of the point regardless, though. Itís not really a complexly flavored pie, itís mostly a ratio thing. Which means the bake counts for a lot.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2022, 01:14:35 AM by wb54885 »
Every oven is a law unto itself and only itself.

Offline scott r

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #186 on: March 19, 2022, 09:34:02 AM »
I have had really amazing pizzas there every other time I have gone, but the last time I was there I saw boxes of frozen restaurant depot dough balls on the floor of the kitchen.  The pizza was really bad.  I was hoping their mixer was just broken and it was not that they changed what they were doing!  I have never seen a bottom like that (is that an insane amount of bench flour on the bottom too?)

Offline wb54885

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #187 on: March 19, 2022, 09:53:50 AM »
Oh no. Was it just the crust that was off, Scott, or was the rest of the pizza changed from what you remembered as well?
Every oven is a law unto itself and only itself.

Offline scott r

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #188 on: March 19, 2022, 11:17:26 AM »
Oh no. Was it just the crust that was off, Scott, or was the rest of the pizza changed from what you remembered as well?

Just the crust was off, but it was WAY off lol!

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #189 on: March 20, 2022, 05:42:03 PM »
Ok, some thoughts and responses after letting things settle for a few days.

First off, I typically post my reviews after giving it ample time for thought (& reflection). The review above was quick and raw, however, had I given it more time, my views would've been the same (albeit with less colorful language).

This pie was certainly overcooked. I don't have many other Johnny's pies to compare it to, but the Barstool review provides one look. Barstool's pie had a bit less black rim, but it was pretty black. More noticeable was that his slice dropped when he held it up, even with a fold. But the droop was probably 1/3 of the slice. The other 2/3 looked to be a solid sheet of crunch.

I'm definitely sensitive to crusts being cooked well done. Even with my own pizza, where I've spent years working on flavors and ratios to meet my specific tastes, if it cook the crust too much it can ruin the pie.

There were some bites that were less done and had bits of flavor. Those were pretty good, but still not spectacular for me.

No real issue with bench flour. I did notice it coming off on my fingers, I think it was fine semolina, not sure...but that didnt seem to be a problem.

Regardless of crust bake, the ratios didn't meet my preference. While I like saucy pies, sauce on top is tricky for me, and it was globbed on in most spots. It reminded me a bit of the upside down Sicilian at NY Pizza Suprema. And it reminds me of dipping bread into a pasta sauce.

I hadn't thought of WB's point that the oven was hot as I was early. I was actually remembering my visit to Modern in New Haven where I went to lunch the day after Christmas and I suspected the oven was unusually cool. But yeah, I might have actually been their first pie that day. I imagine consistency is generally tough to achieve, and its tricky when I'm doing a one-and-done review. I like to get a fresh pie instead of a reheated slice to try to tip the odds in their favor. I'm also reminded of my visits to Tommy's (Bronx) and Scarr's. At Tommy's I had 2 reheated slices, and I could see that one was from an older pie. The difference was tremendous, the older slice was dry. Somewhat similar at Scarr's. It wasn't until the tail end of my experience at Johnny's that I thought of ordering another pie and asking for it to be less well done...I would've been ok to donate another $20 to see how it came out, but I ended up not doing so. Partially because I was headed back to work, but mostly because of my next comment.

9SlicePie said he'd devour the pie. I want to note that while I nitpick pizza, particularly my own, I really, really like pizza. I had my usual salad with me as a backup in case for some reason I wasn't able to get a pie. But the thought of breaking out that salad never crossed my mind. And while I complained a bunch, I crushed the pie (except for the bones). I'm guessing there was 6 ounces of mozz on the 16" pizza.


Matt

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Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #190 on: April 03, 2022, 01:10:07 PM »
Great review of Tommy's by PROTG. Pie looks stellar to me. I need to stick to my guns about buying pies instead of slices. I got slices at Tommy's because I went to Louie and Ernie's the same day. I was thinking to go back to L&E, but now I'm putting a revisit to Tommy's ahead of it.

Edit: link below to my review of the 2 Bronx pizzerias as it's in a different thread:
https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=51924.msg552767#msg552767




« Last Edit: April 03, 2022, 01:19:43 PM by hammettjr »
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Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #191 on: April 23, 2022, 07:33:05 AM »
What the heck is this? Their website says they call themselves "Lucia of Avenue X" because they plan to expand to different locations. I wonder if that's truly it or if they had to distinguish themselves from the original Lucia. (Was a fight to use the word original instead of "real").

The pizza actually looks pretty good though. But most of the pictures online are glamor shots they had done by a photographer.

https://youtube.com/shorts/nFN1vbbrIzs?feature=share

Matt

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #192 on: May 26, 2022, 12:16:49 PM »
Luigi's Pizza, Brooklyn

A nice unexpected detour today. When we got into our car at 10am to drive to Hershey, I saw the GPS was sending us through Brooklyn to avoid some traffic. That led to, "uh, honey, you mind looking up a pizzeria and seeing what time they open?"

What I didn't realize based on all the videos, interviews etc, was how small this place is. It was pretty busy for 1130am on a Thursday.  Gio was there sitting with someone while there was one pizza maker and one counter guy.

Watching a pie being prepped I saw him sprinkle something onto the sauce, I suspect dried herbs. The pie had hints of fresh basil, dry basil and hard cheese. It was a pretty crisp pie. Not as juicy as I prefer, but solid. My wife (a typical native NYer that likes crisp slices) really liked it, noting the crisp. My second slice was intentionally one of the ones that got jammed by the box because the pie was too big. This made it a bit softer and juicier. Nice flavor for sure. The other thing I thought was that the sauce, where heavier , was somewhat velvety. I wonder if that's a result of the pizza oven.

Kids liked the pie too. The last slice was donated to an appreciative guy asking for help in a busy intersection.

« Last Edit: May 26, 2022, 12:41:29 PM by hammettjr »
Matt

Offline quietdesperation

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #193 on: May 26, 2022, 12:53:09 PM »
matt, haven't been there in so many years but a favorite when we used to play nyc softball leagues in prospect park in the early 80s. I believe it's one of the places I proposed for the chau tour but admittedly, a hike from the other places we visited in brooklyn.

happy to hear it's still good!

best,
jeff

Offline jkb

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #194 on: May 26, 2022, 07:56:12 PM »
Cool plates.
John

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Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #195 on: May 26, 2022, 08:44:37 PM »
Cool plates.

Everything is cooler in Brooklyn...Reminds me of when we were in Vegas, my wife complained every time she got one of those biodegradable paper straws.

Matt

Offline jkb

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #196 on: May 27, 2022, 05:06:22 PM »
Everything is cooler in Brooklyn...Reminds me of when we were in Vegas, my wife complained every time she got one of those biodegradable paper straws.

I remember when all straws were paper.
John

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #197 on: May 27, 2022, 06:26:25 PM »
I remember when all straws were paper.

Man you guys had it rough!

Matt

Offline 02ebz06

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #198 on: May 27, 2022, 07:07:16 PM »
I thought the current idea is to go back to paper to get the plastic out of the landfills.
Bruce here... My cooking toys --> Pizza Party Emizione, Pellet Grill, Pellet Smoker, Propane Griddle, Propane Grill

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #199 on: May 27, 2022, 07:21:17 PM »
I thought the current idea is to go back to paper to get the plastic out of the landfills.

It is, atleast I assume so. I'm fine to go without a straw. But I do get where my wife is coming from, drinking liquid through paper isn't great. Can always bring your own glass or metal straw if it's that big a deal...

Those funky plates from Luigi's worked pretty well. Slice pics would've looked better with a white background though.

Matt

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