Sunday, October 13, 2019

Day 9, 2019: Upside Pizza (Midtown, NYC)


Exterior

Interior

DAY 9: OCTOBER 9th, 2019

LOCATION: Upside Pizza (598 8th Ave, New York, NY 10018)

GUEST(S): Todd Piro

ORDER: half a slice of cheese (homemade sauce, house made fresh mozzarella), half a slice of Upside Don (homemade sauce, whole milk mozzarella, homemade breadcrumbs, evoo, Parmigiano-Reggiano), half a slice of Upside Pep, half a slice of Fuzzy Dunlop (House-made Berkshire Sausage, secret spice blend, house pickled peppers)

REVIEW: 
90’s motif, timeless taste. Dude, Upside Pizza is freakin’ delicious! Don’t be fooled by the hot pink abstract 90’s era logo (nor my dope 90's jargon), Upside Pizza is fresh and serving up some of the most bangin’ slices in Midtown. It’s hard to believe that the same two brothers that dotted the city with dollar slices are responsible for one of the best old school street slices in the city. According to the NY Times, Brothers Eli and Oren Halali consulted with Anthony Falco (of Roberta’s fame) and decided to step up their toppings, preparation and baking techniques with their new endeavor.  This added a few more bones to the price but resulted in a the taste that is all that. There aren’t many options on the menu but each one has been perfected. Mad props to to the staffers that make the in-house fresh mozzarella, season the secret sauce, and expertly manage the naturally leavened dough. It’s always standing-room-only at Upside and it's not just because the pizza is so good but because there are no chairs, no restrooms and very little shelter from the weather. Most of the square footage is dedicated to the top tier gas ovens, the premium ingredients and the talented chefs that make the pizza. Grab a slice and a square and you’re good to go. Upside pizza is the bomb!

PHOTOS:
Falcowitz

Cheese

Fuzzy Dunlop

Upside Don

Upside Pep

the fiest (all slices cut in half)


Underside

make table

day 9
MISCELLANEOUS:
Todd Piro and Sean Taylor


1. Todd Piro and I met at Dartmouth College when we were undergrads. That's where we both first heard about improv comedy. It was fun reminiscing about our life trajectories, epiphanies, and 180' turns. Despite the 20 years apart, we're both now working in New York City and lucky to be married to our respective soulmates.

2. Todd is a news anchor and has a law degree.

RATING:
 4.31/5

  • VALUE:
     4.5/5

  • AMBIENCE:
     1.5/3

  • TASTE:
     9.5/10

  • SERVICE: N/A
15.5/18 = .861 x 5 = 4.31

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Day 8, 2019: Sauce Pizzeria (E. Village, NYC)

Exterior

Interior

DAY 8: OCTOBER 8th, 2019

LOCATION: Sauce Pizzeria (345 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003)

GUEST(S): Matthew Shafeek

ORDER: 1 slice of cheese (tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella, parmigiano), half a slice of upside down cheese (slices of mozzarella, pecorino, tomato sauce, wild sicilian oregano, breadcrumbs), a few bites of the square vodka slice (mantecato sauce, fresh mozzarella), a few bites of Heritage Sausage (tomato sauce, red onion, olive oil, mozzarella, homemade sausage, garlic, parmesan), one bit of Al Pastor (mozzarella, tomato sauce, pineapple sauce, jalapeno, pickled red onion, roasted pork, cilantro, pecorino)

REVIEW: 
A new old style pizzeria. Bucking the trend of new pizzeria openings that tend to be either dollar slice counters or domed brick oven restaurants, Sauce Pizzeria provides an authentic throwback to the classic New York City slice joint. Entering beneath the red glow of the stereotypical neon sign a visitor is greeted by a surprisingly spacious dining area with a public restroom and windowed counter full of well-crafted slices. With already three locations in Manhattan, Sauce appears to have found a way to make the "old" business model work in even in neighborhoods where the rent is sky high. At the root of their success is a quality product.  Offering a handful of different pizzas each comprised of high quality ingredients ensures every patron leaves happy.  Even older looking slices are reinvigorated once reheated in the brand-spanking new gas powered ovens.  I particularly liked the fried cheese (frico) on the outside of the square slices. As a bonus, each order comes with a container of "Grandma's gravy." This little plastic bucket of red marinara sauce might be as close as some of will ever get to knowing what it must be like to have an Italian grandmother. It's a nice touch. I'm won over. See you soon, Sauce Pizzeria.


PHOTOS:
Options

Dining area

menu

Heritage Sausage

Upside down cheese

Al Pastor

cheese

Vodka square

Underside

Grandma's gravy

Day 8

MISCELLANEOUS:
Matt Shafeek and Sean Taylor
1. Matt Shafeek just got back from Japan!  Since his return, he has had three sold out shows: two for his improv team Metal Boy and one for the Armando Diaz Experience.

2. I have known Matt almost as long as anyone in New York City.  We used to be on one of the Magnet's first improv teams called Pax Romana and he was my sidekick on my talkshow The Spotlight with Sean Taylor (this site has been updated in over a decade).

RATING:
 3.89/5

  • VALUE:
     4/5

  • AMBIENCE:
     3/3

  • TASTE:
     7/10

  • SERVICE: N/A
14/18 = .778 x 5 = 3.89