Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Day 12, 2005: Alba's Pizza and Restaurant (Astoria, NYC)

DAY 12: October 12th
LOCATION: Alba's Pizza and Restaurant (37th St and Ditmars Blvd in Astoria, QUEENS)
GUEST(S): Kevin Hines
ORDER: 2 slices of cheese

PIZZA REPORT: Good to the last slice. And I can honestly say that because I had the absolute last two slices they served today. Fortunately, they were plain cheese and, as a nice bonus, they tasted really good! My favorite part of each slice was the hot mixture of the sauce and cheese. Alba's, like many NYC pizzerias, keeps the slices on display until they are ordered - at which time they place them in the oven to reheat them. My slices came out so piping hot and fresh that you'd swear they were not being "re" heated at all. The evenly spread dough helped create a foundation for the sauce and cheese coexist in hot harmony. And since it was evenly distributed each bite tasted remarkably similar. I savored each and every bite. Alba's is a very solid place to get a conventional oven Neapolitan style slice of pizza. The kind of slice most people picture when they hear "New York City" even though very few picture Astoria, Queens.
  • When I say I had the last slice, this was not because it was late, but rather, Alba's closes early. We entered around five of 9pm and I ate the last slices. This gave us an excellent view of the staff mopping up the inside of store, wiping down tables, and pulling the cages over the storefront. They also turned out the light before I got a decent photo of me and Kevin (see photo above) - so I took another one without us so you could see the "Alba's Pizza and Restaurant" sign.
  • Longtime crossword puzzle fans, Kevin Hines and I began discussing this "new phenomena" of Sudoku. Sudoku is the number matrix game in most newspapers nowadays. Kevin just doesn't get the same fulfillment he does when finishing a crossword puzzle. He likens it to emptying out a deck of cards then picking them up and putting them in order. I'm paraphrasing but me mentioned that when you finish, you don't pat yourself on the back, you just nod your head and get back to what you were doing before. Even though it rings true, both Kevin and I do the Sudoku puzzles every single morning.

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