Ok, how many pizza shops are called New York Pizza? Seriously, it took me 5 minutes to find this one on Google because even typing “New York Pizza San Jose” into the search comes up with more hits than and oldies radio station. I realize that many restaurants sell New York style pizza. Use. A. Different. Name.
I suppose I should apologize to A Slice of NY Pizza for that rant, they deserved it no more than the hordes of other pizza places of the same name. One of which, mind you, I’ve already reviewed. But these two are not related, thankfully, despite a flash of panic when we arrived to pick up this latest pie. Two of our friends who live in San Jose recommended (read: demanded) that we try this pizza place. And unlike all the other “New York Pizza”s out there, this one is actually called A Slice of New York Pizza, though the distinguishing forewords are in such tiny print on their sign that no one but the hummingbirds are aware of it*.
Apparently this place is sort of legendary. My friend tells me that lunch is a mob scene during the week and there’s often a line down the sidewalk for a slice. We were fortunate enough to order take away early on a Saturday evening and avoid that nonsense, but the people speak loud and clear: they love this place. The company’s site backs it up too – under the general information on the site they list a heaping handful of awards they’ve received.
My impressions? First: the facility is small, there’s virtually no place to eat there (some stools inside and minimal patio seating outside when it’s not rainy/windy), and they don’t deliver. The shop is not fancy; it’s a run-of-the-mill pizza place smooshed into an old strip mall with junk stapled all over the walls, and a small flock of people scurrying around at light speeds behind the counter. Nothing special here. Second: the pizza didn’t look great, I’ll be honest. The toppings looked a little sparse (too much sauce showing through the cheese upon first glance), the crust looked a little limp, and the pizza box wasn’t even personalized (come on guys, show us your big shots, don’t just tell us!). Not that any of these thing really matter, necessarily, after you’ve had a bite, but still, the lead up was throwing me off a bit. Third: It’s not cheap. Granted, the pizzas are large, but you pay for the hype and, hopefully, the quality, which always makes me wonder which is driving the price up more.
When we finally sat down to eat our dinner, I found that I enjoyed it a lot. We ordered two larges (18-inchers, a good size), one with mushrooms, basil, and garlic, and the other with pesto and cheese. When we ordered the pesto and cheese one, I think they took that to mean extra cheese (which we didn’t really mean, but I see the cause for confusion), which turned out to be a fabulous choice. I love that phrase – “extra cheese”. That’s basically how much cheese I always want. Never normal cheese, standard cheese, or just plain cheese. Extra cheese for me please, I love cheese.
I think I’ve made my point on cheese. The pesto was good, and I was happy to see that they used it as a topping over the cheese rather than as the sauce. Bread, tomato sauce, cheese, more cheese, pesto. It was a good combination. The pesto didn’t knock my socks off, but it was enjoyable. The other pizza may have been my favorite of the two, however, with the thinly sliced mushrooms, sprinkling of fresh basil, and diced garlic cloves. I tend to be a toppings glutton, so I could have gone for a denser gathering of mushrooms and garlic (and, as you might guess, cheese), but I think they did a nice job constructing our pizza. They tasted good; I would happily order them again.
Plus, I like their website. Not because it’s terribly fancy, but because they include a link to their menu, they ask for feedback, they support charities (toward the bottom of the page), and they have a three-page long FAQ PDF available to answer all your frequently asked pizza-related questions. And since I did want to know why they don’t have a medium size pizza, this was helpful to me. I just like a company that is into what they do and puts effort into what they show to their customers. Good info, guys. Also, they include tax in all their prices which is, like, one of my favorite things ever that I think should be mandated by law in America like all the other civilized countries in the world. I guess it’s just sort of a rant-y evening, isn’t it?
*Follow up note: The owner of the restaurant subsequently informed me that the title of the restaurant is actually “A Slice of New York”, they don’t use the word Pizza in their technical business name, though it is on the sign to let you know that’s what they sell. This post was written prior to that knowledge and I don’t want to change it since this knowledge was found out afterward. The title of this post was changed, however, to show the word “Pizza” in parens, and this note was added the day after the original post to appease said business owner.