Sunday, October 31, 2021

Day 30, 2021: King Umberto (Elmont, NY)


DAY 30: OCTOBER 30th, 2021

LOCATION: King Umberto (1343 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont, NY 11003)

GUEST(S): Michael McLarnon

ORDER: 1/2 slice of pepperoni, 1 slice of Metro Pizza (Artisanal style pizza dough topped with locally sourced fresh mozzarella, organic tomatoes, basil, and shaved Parmesan), 3 slices of Grandma's pizza

The ideal pizzeria. King Umberto is the pizzeria you wish you had growing up. This Elmont Long Island institution has been earning loyal patrons one expertly baked slice at a time. Beyond their signature thin-and-flavorful grandma's pizza, King Umberto offers premium pizzas with artisanal dough, locally sourced fresh mozzarella and organic tomatoes proving they can do it all. Even just a standard pepperoni slice involves a generous portion of spicy pepperoni and tomato sauce on a thick-yet-light gas-powered crust. Each bite provides a satisfying crunch as well an equally satisfying chew. It is not surprising that since its inception in 1976, King Umberto has literally grown up the block.  From the intersection of Hempstead Turnpike, the pizzeria is a slice shop with bar stools and booths. Then it becomes a sit down restaurant as it continues up Meacham Avenue. Finally, you reach the King Umberto patio - perfect for private events and weather permitting outdoor dining. This compound was built on delicious pizza. While I envy residents that grew up nearby, I will do my best to make up for lost time and stop by King Umberto any time I'm remotely in the area.


depth of grandma slice

underside of grandma slice

Grandma pie

underside of Pepperoni

Metro Pizza slice

Pepperoni slice

Slice counter

Day 30

Sean & Michael

1. Michael McLarnon is a fellow pizza pilgrim.  He drove his car from Greenpoint out into Long Island where we discussed Billy Joel songs.  Our favorite song is "Scenes from and Italian Restaurant" but my sentimental favorite is my wife's cover of "Always a Woman to Me."

2. After pizza, Michael McLarnon drove us to get dessert and then was nice enough to drop me off at LaGuardia where my mom's plane was arriving.  


  • VALUE:


  • TASTE:

16.5/18 = .917 x 5 = 4.58

Day 29, 2021: Bread and Salt Bakery (Jersey City, NJ)


DAY 29: OCTOBER 29th, 2021

LOCATION: Bread and Salt Bakery (435 Palisade Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07307)

GUEST(S): Bernie Kravitz

ORDER: 3.5 slices of Rossa (tomato, oregano, olive oil), 3 slices of Cheese (house made mozzarella, tomato, olive oil)

Nailed it! Jersey City's Bread and Salt is a bakery first and foremost but it also just happens to also serve the tastiest Roman style pizza I have ever had - and I've been to Rome! As its name suggests, Bread and Salt starts with the most basic ingredients and ends with products so good, it can afford to be open for just six hours a day, three days a week. Loyal patrons descend on this no-frills garage to grab some thin crusted, often topping-less squares of perfection then eat them standing up on wobbly tables set up on the sidewalk. And they love it. Most Roman style pizzerias in the city, such as PQR or Unregular, rely on exotic topping combinations accepting that the thin square foundation is rather unremarkable on its own. At Bread and Salt, the foundation is more than remarkable...and here are my remarks.  It represents the end of a process that began days prior with specifically sourced ground flour to which the precise amount of water is added to achieve optimal hydration. Then the dough is fermented and eventually baked to maximize flavor and consistency.  The slices are large but so thin and delicious you can expect to eat around 6 slices. I particularly enjoyed the herb-infused Rossa which was reminiscent of a tomato pie without the cheese. If you don't live or work in Jersey City, Bread and Salt Bakery is not the most convenient place to go but it is definitely worth it.  Until they open a Bread and Salt Bakery near me, I'll be excitedly making my plans to return.


side view

Slice of cheese

Other sideview


Half Rossa pie

Half Cheese Pie


Day 29

Bernie and Sean

1. Bernie Kravitz and I first met at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Chelsea circa 2000. Over two decades later, he lives a stones throw away from the former theater.  We both were extras on the UCB TV show and thought we were destined for greatness - and we greatness.

2. In the early 2000's, Bernie booked a commercial for the TRUTH anti-tobacco campaign. He taught me that cigarettes contain a caustic compound found in hair-removal products!



  • VALUE:


  • TASTE:

17.5/18 = .972 x 5 = 4.86