Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 23, Pizza Month 2010 - Rose & Joe's Bakery (Astoria, Queens)

DAY 23: OCTOBER 23rd, 2010

LOCATION: Rose & Joe's Italian Bakery (Astoria, Queens)

ORDER: 1 slice of grandma, half a slice of cheese

GUEST: Andrew Butterworth, Linda Butterworth, Heidi Handelsman, Alan Fessenden, Maddy Mako, Brooks Jones, Robin Rothman

The purest form of pizza.

At first whiff, it is clear that Rose & Joe's is, first and foremost, a dessert bakery. But walk to the back and, lo' and behold, it's pizza! Cooked with their own fresh mozzarella cheese and bread dough, ingredients don't get much fresher than Rose & Joe's. The tomato sauce is a family recipe that brings the whole slice together. Tons of taste for well under the going rate for a a slice - that's the Rose & Joe's way! Try the grandma. Pushed into the very cookiesheets responsible for many of the desserts in the display case, the twice-cooked thin Sicilian style crust provides the ideal base for the copious amounts of sauce, herbs, spices, low-moisture mozzarella and olive oil it contains.

There are no seats and not much room to move around within Rose & Joe's and it's cash only. Also, since the primary business is desserts, I can't even guarantee there will be pizza available, but, in a sense, this makes Rose & Joe's just about purest pizzeria out there.

You see, long before pizzerias, the only way to get a slice of pizza was to go the local bakery. As a means to test oven temperature, (pre-thermostat) bakers would toss some herbs, spices, olive oil, and maybe some tomato sauce on some dough scraps and put it in the oven. When it cooked thoroughly, the oven was ready for bread. Also, when it cooked thoroughly, pizza was made. Yes, pizza is a bread byproduct! People used to line up around the corner to get a piece of the pie. Soon the byproducts outsold the actual bakery products prompting businesses to declare themselves pizzerias. Rose & Joe's Bakery is one of the hold-outs.

If you are in the area, drop by and grab a slice. It might just be your next favorite slice.


4.31 out of 5

  • VALUE:


  • TASTE:

  • SERVICE: N/A /3

15.5/18 = .861 x 5 = 4.31

1. Brooks Jones has awesome photography skills and runs a blog called Me, Myself, and Pie and is also working on a documentary about pizza. No wonder he is the pizza commander!
2. Heidi Handelsman is no longer a vegan. So, she can now eat cheese!
3. Alan Fessenden and Maddy Mako are running the 2010 NYC Marathon. They hope to improve upon their 2009 time.
4. This is the first pizza month the newly wed Andy and Linda Buttworth have attended with the same last name.

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