New York Pizza by Kirstin Massmann
Another business trip, another cancelled flight… However fortunately enough this time I was able to have a few drinks with a good friend and wander around Manhattan the following day. While taking my self-guided tour throughout Times Square, Rockefeller Center, St. Peter’s Cathedral, etc. I was searching for just the right NY style pizza. I actually walked into a few places but nothing really caught my attention. That was at least until I came upon a very small pizza place that had a 15-20 person line outside. I hopped right in line with a few others to follow quickly behind me. I noticed the random crowd of people that ‘The Original Little Italy off Vanderbilt’ attracted. I began a conversation with a gentleman in a full suite who was standing in front of me simply asking if the pizza was worth the wait. He laughed and told me ‘When you see New Yorkers spend their whole lunch hour to get a few slices to go, it’s worth the wait.’ He then continued to tell me that about 10 years ago he thought they closed but came to find out they just relocated to their current location at 1 East 43rd Street (between 5th and Madison Ave). The man behind me in cut off jeans and a tshirt chimed in and said he also has been coming to this same pizza place for over 14 years as well. While we made our way in line, the two guys reminisced about their favorite Little Italy Pizza memories. They informed me that Little Italy uses semolina flour on the bottom of the crust instead of using all purpose, corn, or bread flour giving it just the right amount of crunch and chew. I finally got my pizza (2 when I clearly only needed 1 slice) and went to Grand Central to sit and enjoy it. Enjoy it I did! It was the absolute gold standard of New York style pizza. Greasy, but not too greasy, fresh shredded mozzeralla, tomato sauce with just the right spice, and some of the best crust I’ve ever had! It was really fantastic and I will absolutely make it there again!