I work in Midtown Manhattan, and though it’s the tourist mecca, I’ve actually found it’s pretty slim pickings for good food, especially pizza. Most things worth trying are too far to travel during my “lunch hour.” Therefore, I was pretty excited that there were a few places nearby deemed worthy; one being New York Pizza Suprema on 8th Avenue & 31st Street, only blocks away from my office.
I went around 1pm, so it was crowded for lunch. It’s right by Penn Station and it seems to get a pretty good crowd from there as well (though I’m technically one of them, so I can’t complain… or can I?). After shouting my order through a glass case way taller than my body, I was made to repeat my order multiple times – to the cashier, to the guy taking it out from the oven – which annoys me, but whatever. Their red & white striped outfits were ADORABLE.
I was planning on just getting the renowned upside-down slice (left), but I can’t turn down a margherita slice, so I ordered both. At $3.00 and $3.75 a slice, respectively, they were a bit more than I’d like to pay for two slices, but HEY, IT’S NYC! (A reasoning for charging more that I find to be absolutely bullshit).
I first tackled the upside-down slice, which is essentially a Sicilian slice with sauce on top. Here’s one good reason to favor places that refuse to sell by-the-slice: your pizza will be fresh. If you’re ordering a whole pie, they’re making it for you then. At a place like Pizza Suprema, they have multiple (maybe around 10-15) different pizzas sitting around waiting to be served, and it was obvious that my chosen slice had been there for quite some time.
Though they reheated it, my crust was more than burnt. I’m a lover of char, but this was so hard, not even crisp, that it kind of ruined things for me. I didn’t even want to eat my pizza bones – they were barely edible! I found this on the margherita slice, too – the crust was cooked for far too long that it became overly chewy and even hollow. This could be attributed to their lunchtime rush, I suppose – though it’s not really a reason to abandon quality. They probably left it reheating too long, as well – if you didn’t remind them of what you ordered and to take it out, you would have stood there waiting forever.
HOWEVER, the sauce on both pies was impeccable. If their sign is to believed, they actually use 4 different sauces (at once?). Big chunks of tomato, plenty of seasoning. The cheese and sauce essentially blended together on the upside-down pie, and were it not for the petrified crust it would have been completely enjoyable.
The sauce on the margherita slice was extremely sweet, which for once I have to say I didn’t mind. Crispy, thin crust – much better until I got to the edge (pictured above). It was even good cold – I got a bit stuffed eating so much at once; those bready Sicilian-style pies fill you up!
I did find it a bit over-seasoned and also overcooked so the cheese wasn’t as stringy as it probably should have been. Nevertheless, it was a decent slice, though their plain cheese slices looked the best – perhaps next time. I guess that in the land of dollar slices and tourist trap chains, sometimes the best you can ask for is “good enough.” :(
New York Pizza Suprema
413 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10001