October 4, 2006

Eating in SpaHa (First in a series)

It's been about three weeks since I moved to Spanish Harlem and I've finally started to get out and eat here.

Patsy's Pizzaria
1312 2nd Ave

Like a first kiss, Patsy's will always have a special spot in my heart. Their 69th and 2nd restaurant was the only place I'd eat when I came to New York City before I lived here. The copper ceiling, the same eastern European waitress every time, the crispy, crunchy, basil and mozzarella-covered paper-thin pies.

Anyway, I never thought I'd have cause to go to the 118th and 1st Avenue location, but now that it's 3 minutes away I imagine I'll be going frequently. This Patsy's, I discovered is different from the others.

It's a lot more like a regular old pizza place than the downtown Patsies. No copper ceilings, no eastern European servers, no basil/mozz; just plain old awesome pizza. It was fitting that I went to this Patsy's with Marc, the guy who introduced me to Patsy's in the first place all those years ago.

The pies are $11, which puts them about $3 to $5 cheaper than the other Patsy's locations, so we started off with some absolutely killer calimari (note: on a subsequent trip with Amy, they were even better). The thin, crispy crust exhibited slight floppiness.

Haven't tried the real food yet but I will. Oh will I ever.

2257 1st Ave

This one came highly recommended by our broker and our first almost-landlord and Liz and I decided to go there for her birthday. Relaxed, dark atmosphere, good waitstaff, standard cocktails.

I got the Chicharron de Pollo (chicken marinated in Rum and garlic then fried in a light batter) and it was dry and unimpressive. The sweet plantains and corn and even the broccoli were, on the other hand, quite good.

Liz ended up choosing penne with a spicy vodka sauce, which she loved.

For dessert we got a bomba (molten chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream) and bread pudding. I was skeptical of the latter and Liz outright said that after her summer in the deep south knew she wouldn't like it. The only other choice on the dessert menu was an apple crisp. Anyone can make a decent apple crisp and it tastes, well, like an apple crisp, so we boldly tried the bread pudding.

The apple-studded dulce-de-leche drizzled bread pudding rocked my world and molten chocolate cake, lived up to its gooey, chocolatey potential.

I'll go back.

Many thanks to Slice over at flickr for the pizza. They have a popular NY pizza blog too.

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