NYC Trip 2010: Home Slice headed back to the home of the slice.
The Big Apple has been New York City’s nickname since the early 1900s and officially since the 60s. But with pizza seemingly on every block of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, The Big Slice might be more fitting. For a city that is richly flavored by each immigrant community’s authentic and diverse cooking, Italian food, most notably pizza, has become synonymous with New York food culture. New York City is the undisputed hometown of pizza. And the staff of Home Slice is headed back for the fourth year running for a pizza-centric trip to slice joints and other bona fide eateries for education, enjoyment and a fresh dose of street cred. The trip will run from Labor Day, September 6th to Friday the 10th. Home Slice, the original, dine-in location at 1415 S. Congress will be closed Monday, September 6th through Thursday the 9th, open regular hours on Friday the 10th. More Home Slice, next door, at 1421 S. Congress will be open throughout, open one hour later Sunday, September 5th until 11 pm.
This year, 28 Home Slicers (our largest group yet) will make the trip hitting some classic and up-and-coming restaurants all around the city’s motley neighborhoods. Thanks to all our fans, friends, and readers for their awesome suggestions on places we should check out. You guys definitely know pizza! In fact, throughout the years, we’ve been to quite a few of the places you guys have mentioned including Grimaldi’s, Patsy’s, and Roberta’s. Great suggestions outside of the city, too. If we could find a way to get the whole group to New Haven, CT in a timely manner, we would be eating a clam pie there to be sure.
This year we will start off by a trip to the historic Brooklyn staple, L & B Spumoni Gardens for a wicked Sicilian slice and homemade spumoni. Then we head to the Coney Island boardwalk for a stroll by amusements and hot dogs at the foot of the Atlantic Ocean. That evening, as is our tradition, we will converge in the last stronghold of Little Italy for coal fired pizza at NYC’s first official pizzeria, Lombardi’s. Lombardi’s has been in business since 1905 and is still as rocking and delicious as ever.
Tuesday, we will first hit up Torrisi’s, a deli and Italian specialties shop that serves only domestically made Italian-American fare. No typical deli, this place is run by two up-and-coming chefs and has an almost cult following. There is often a 2+ hour wait for dinner. Then we head uptown to the original Shake Shack location for, burgers, shakes and fries in Madison Square Park. Shake Shack has take out service and quality down to a science, and is a must see for all our More employees. Although this trip is not mandatory to our staff members who went last year, I’m willing to bet most everyone makes the trip for another taste of the ingenious Shack Stack, a burger stacked with a fried, stuffed portabello mushroom. Dinner will be over the bridge in Brooklyn at Motorino, a Neapolitan-style pizzeria opened in 2008 that comes highly recommended. Considering the rave reviews, and the popularity of Kesté, another Neapolitan-style pizzeria, amongst last year’s staff, we are very excited to try Motorino’s fare.
Wednesday we have our city-wide scavenger hunt, where each team is sent to a historic Italian neighborhood in one of the five boroughs to learn about it’s unique history. At dinner, each team reports on their neighborhood and the best presentation wins. For dinner, we will head back to Brooklyn to Queen, a restaurant founded in 1958 and still run by the Vitiello family serving classic Italian fare. Pasquino and Vincent Vitiello, sons of founder Anthony, are chefs and co-owners.
Thursday we are thrilled to make the trip way out there in Brooklyn to DiFara. Arguably the best NY-style pizza in the city. Owner Domenico De Marco has been artfully preparing pizzas, one at a time, since the 50s. Hours are unreliable, the atmosphere is cramped and chaotic, with no discernible line and people eyeing the few seats like lions to lambs. What is not unreliable is the incredible pizza. And what is AMAZINGLY INCREDIBLE is that our kitchen manager, Phil, wrote a letter to De Marco’s daughter that began correspondence that would lead to us getting a private hour in DiFara with De Marco! Lastly, we head to Totonnos in Coney Island, the oldest pizzeria continuously run by the same family since 1924.
And there you have it, in a nutshell. We look forward to seeing you all in Austin again, refreshed and inspired with our love of pizza.