Consider the Cannoli: Subjective Preferences and Conversations about Geek Media

Here's the thing - not ALL pizza in NYC is good. It is quite possible to get crappy pizza in NYC.

The reason NYC is proud of its pizza, and its bagels, is not that they are always good in NYC. It is that good examples are easy to find in NYC. Go to a neighborhood, try just a couple of places, and you will find a pizza you like.

There is competition, yes, but "good" is not the only thing that rises to the top in competition - low price and convenience do too. If a new Yorker has got half an hour for lunch, they go down to the street, walk into wherever is close by and cheap, and will shove a slice of greasy floppy gunk down their gullet and get on with life.

New Yorkers will not whine about crappy pizza. Just like they don't whine about how the streets are often kind of smelly. New Yorkers are insufferable because they have a shared bond over putting up with crap. It builds character. And if youse can't hack it, they don't need ya.
There are usually enough pizza places in the main business areas that any place that is crappy will suffer quickly for business and go under. I have run into the odd slice or 2 over 40 years of experience there that was not amazing, but I have found there is good pizza and even better pizza. Even better you need to hunt around a little for, but easy to find with some effort. Garbage days are the only really smelly days, especially when it is really hot out, but there are a lot of cars there and subways and sewer smells at times ...

This is actually a nice time to visit, not hot or cold so you can walk around much easier.
 

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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I've got a solid, fairly simple recipe for caesar salad dressing that I much prefer to others I've had. It's also the only way I like anchovies, which I find vile, but making the dressing without anchovy paste is not right.
There’s something about that trace of “ocean” the anchovy brings to the dressing that really makes it. The Caesar-oids aren’t bad, but they’re clearly not the same.
 

If I ever go back to Montreal it will be to visit Schwartz Deli for Bagels and Montreal Smoked Meat, on my way pretty much anywhere else.
Just smoked meat, no Montreal in front of it. :p And St. Viateur for bagels if you want the best in the city.

For those that do not know, smoked meat is the Montreal version of pastrami (or corned beef).

Unfortunately my trips back to my home country are always to Toronto these days. Toronto actually has very good food now but it is not home.
 

Ryujin

Legend
Just smoked meat, no Montreal in front of it. :p And St. Viateur for bagels if you want the best in the city.

For those that do not know, smoked meat is the Montreal version of pastrami (or corned beef).

Unfortunately my trips back to my home country are always to Toronto these days. Toronto actually has very good food now but it is not home.
The best food in Toronto isn't of the Canadian variety and you can get pretty much anything at 1:00am. One of the few good things about the city. I generally get out as quickly as I can, after work.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I'm sure. Isn't Sbarro from New York?

There are at least 20 Dominos shops in Manhattan, a similar number in Brooklyn.

Dominos, who should have the jingle...


There are usually enough pizza places in the main business areas that any place that is crappy will suffer quickly for business and go under. I have run into the odd slice or 2 over 40 years of experience there that was not amazing

See above - there are dozens of crappy pizza shops in NYC.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
RE: bad pizza in NYC

If I may offer the parallel of “Americanized Mexican fast food” places exiting in states like Texas, New Mexico, and California, sometimes operating within LOS of real-deal Mexican, Tex-Mex, Cali-Max etc. places.

You might find those chains have a couple of things on their menu that are decent enough, but they pale in comparison to the more authentic places. Usually, the reasons they survive is price & convenience.

I mean, I have eaten at dozens of places in my “stomping grounds” that serve better fajitas than Taco Cabana, but TC’s is cheaper and open 24/7.

Likewise, your favorite neighborhood pizzeria in NYC might have pizza you actually dream about. But they probably close before midnight. And they might not deliver without something like Uber Eats. The big chains, OTOH, have later hours and deliveries are part of their business model. It may not be the best pizza you’ve ever had, but “it’s hot and it’s ready”.
 


Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Who cares about authentic? I just want good food.
Good food is good food, agreed.

But with authenticity, you usually also find new options and higher quality. For example, as much as I love my TC’s chicken fajita soft tacos with guacamole and shredded cheese, that’s one of maybe 2-3 things I’d eat there. Meanwhile, a 5 minute drive away, I can go into a Tex-Mex place serving the same thing, but better…(for a few dollars more).

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I can also find more seafood items on that restaurant’s menu that Taco Cabana has on its whole menu. Ditto vegetarian options.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Who cares about authentic? I just want good food.

So, building on what Danny just posted ...

You can have authentic bad food.

You can have inauthentic good food.

But usually when people are talking about "authentic" food, they mean that the food is actually the original example, made using the correct (and fresh) ingredients, by people who have learned to make it from others who have perfected it over generations.

If you even listen to the David Chang podcast (which is NSFW, but I recommend if you are into food), he will often discuss this issue, and the tension that results. Because on the one hand, authentic food ... it can rock. When you have food prepared by someone who is making it the same way that it has been done, and passed down with care, for longer than anyone can remember.

But all food, everywhere, was originally inauthentic; it began as someone experimenting with something new. Look at this thread; we've discussed Tiramisu, which is "authentically" Italian, but was invented in the 60s. Or the Caesar salad, invented in the 20s when the restaurant was short on ingredients. Al pastor was, of course, the invention of Lebanese immigrants to Mexico in the 30s.

Heck, I love me a bulgogi burrito, which is as tasty as it is "inauthentic."
 


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