July 6, 2007

Potato Pizza

I've recently made a discovery: New York Pizza has started to stink. Sure sure, there’s still that place around the corner you love, or that one place you know out in Brooklyn, but I tell you this, that place used to be on every other block. I’ve heard theories ranging from the water to the mob, and am not wholly convinced about any of them. Personally, I blame the tourists for not knowing any better. They’ll eat slices from Famous-Original-First-Ever-Whatever-Adjective-We-Use-To-Describe-Ray’s-Pizza and then take pictures of the store-front and tell all their friends about the great pizza they ate in midtown. Because of this, the pizza joints don’t really have to try so much any more. And it’s not just in midtown.

It was with this in mind that I began, call it… a quest. I need to find pizza in New York that I know as my own. Since then, I’ve been sampling just about any pizza I can find. There are qualifications. 1) A New York Slice is thin, not too little cheese, not too much. 2) There is a decent amount of sauce on the slice, but not so much as it overpowers the rest of the meal. 3) The slice should not cost more than two dollars. And finally, 4) You can get a slice at the counter, and walk out eating it.

I have tried many of the pizza places in New York, but I have not yet found my perfect slice. The closest I’ve come is Nina’s Pizza on Meeker Ave off Sutton in Greenpoint. It fulfilled all qualifications except for the crust, which was thicker than a traditional New York slice. I no longer live in Greenpoint, and Nina’s is a ways off the L train, so it’s not really in the running for me anymore anyway. So I’m still looking for my slice again. Still, while I’ve been looking, I have found a number of extremely wonderful alternatives.

My current favorite is the potato pizza from the Sullivan Street Bakery on 47th between 10th and 11th. For those of you who hear “potato pizza” and quiver, you have no idea what you’re missing. Sullivan Street’s potato pizza has a very thin crust, covered in scalloped potatoes. There’s perhaps half an inch of potato on top of the crust. There’s no sauce, no cheese, just crust and potato. The slices are small, but heavy. It’s three bucks a slice, but if you eat two that’s a decent meal, and in midtown, a six dollar meal means a lot.

The pizza itself is absolutely fantastic. It’s served room temperature. The crust is very moist where it touches the potatoes, but crunchy just underneath. I think there’s some onion in there, but that might just be me trying to figure out how to make it. The pizza is well spiced, a bit of rosemary is in there, good amount of salt and pepper. I have no idea if it actually is healthy, but I know that at the very least, it tastes that way.

Anyway, even if you’re not so into potato pizza (which you really should be, I mean, it’s potato, and it’s pizza – there’s nothing NOT to love), you might still want to check out the Sullivan Street Bakery. The bread’s outstanding, and they’re known for having some of the best sandwiches in town. I haven’t tried them. My buddy James has, and though he didn’t agree with “best sandwiches in town” he did like the sandwich. Also, there are another four kinds of pizza. There’s the mushroom, which I won't eat because I can't stand mushrooms. A friend of mine tried it though, and proclaimed it the best mushroom pizza he'd ever eaten. There’s one with just a tomato sauce on top, which I thought was decent, but inferior to the potato. Also, they have a plain crust which I have no interest in, and a zucchini which I haven’t gotten up the nerve yet to try. What can I say? I work in midtown, and I need to be able to find food cheap that I will want to eat!

So if you find yourself in the forties with nothing to do, I’d take the hike out to 10th and check out the Sullivan Street Bakery. And if you find great pizza for less than two bucks, I’d appreciate a shout.


skip said...

The best pizza in my book (considering your requirements) is Koronet, up on 110th st/Broadway. Their jumbo slices have an unparalleled taste:cost:surface area ratio. It's worth the trip.

Joanie said...

I'm reminded of the episode of "The Office" where Michael is standing in Times Square saying he's going to have an "authentic New York slice"...and promptly walks in to Sbarro.

Less Michael Scott, more scallopped potato pizza. Sounds delicious!

Anonymous said...


After tasting potato pizza in CA, I have been earnestly looking forward to NYC's own potato pizza place. Thanks for your posting. In fact heading to Sullivan's right now. I hope they still have it and are open!