In general, I'm not that into New York City. I really like eating there. I'm not that into theater (I prefer high school productions to professional ones). Museums are OK but I don't typically go out of my way for them except for well know museums on a vacation, I'm not that familiar with the city, but I can say with certainty that the stores around Herald Square are basically Crossgates Mall with better architecture.
There is only so much food I can stuff in my face on these trips. And this time, I was going to have to be cooperative with at least 2 other people. I had plotted out an insane pizza tour on the off chance I could blow everyone off and head out on my own (John's of Bleeker, Keste, Song e Napule, Scarrs, Motorino - how much fun would that have been?). That wasn't meant to be but the two guys I ate dinner with were OK heading out to 1 or maybe more depending on the timing of what a 3rd fellow traveler was up to. If I had to pick just one off of that list, I really wanted to try Song e Napule. It has been getting continuously good reviews on the Pizza Forum. The other two didn't really care and so we were off to Song e Napule. It is fairly close to Washington Square Park. I think this is where Harry met Sally.
The place is tiny. Maybe 20 seats.
As a group, we got 3 small pizzas. I went with the mushroom/prosciutto, there was a sausage/broccoli rabe and a Margherita. And here's where traveling in a group paid off. I was splitting my pizza with the sausage/broccoli rabe pizza. And the guy who had the Margherita saw the saw sausage/brocolli rabe pizza, thought it looked interesting and we swapped slices so I got to try all 3 pizzas which definitely would not have happened if I was on my own and heading to 3 or 4 more places...pros and cons...
The crust was delicate and light. I didn't taste any sourdough so I think they use cake yeast. Topping were also very good. The tomato sauce was outstanding. It really shined on the Margherita pizza. And while I am definitely not a Neapolitan pizza connoisseur, this was the 2nd best Neapolitan pizza I've had to date (Jay's Artisan is still the reigning champ). The bakes I times were both right around 2:15 which is long for Neapolitan. Technically, too long. But I think the longer bake time is needed to balance the top and bottom heat in the oven. My guess is that cooking hotter and faster in that even would move the bottom of the pizza past soft with a little char to burnt. The non pizza portion of the menu looks delicious too. I think it is a matter of time until word gets out about this place and they are running lines. They seemed to have a decent to-go business running while we were there too. Which is good for their business but tragic for the pizza.
I'd be curious to see how Keste and Motorino compared but as a group, we headed off to meet another colleague at a bar closer to the hotel. Not a place I would have picked, but the drink prices were OK and the people watching was interesting. Got back to the hotel a little after 10. Had to meet up again at 7 AM. My options were go to bed or walk a little ways to NY Pizzeria Suprema....
You can find Suprema right next to Penn Station and Madison Square Garden. Looking at the slices in the case, I went with an upside down square and a plain cheese. I got the reheat on the upside down and was going to have to wait a minute for a fresh cheese pie to come out of the oven. I found a table off to the side and started in on the upside slice. Good crunch. The sauce was a little sweet but it worked with the slice. It was pretty good, not blow my mind amazing like my first Pizza Town USA visit, but definitely good.
The cheese slice, well it was also good. I thought it was a little over sauced. Everything slid around and when I did the classic slice fold, sauce kind of went everywhere. Still, an OK slice and a little bit of a confidence builder - I like my cheese slice more. In looking at the picture again, it is definitely over sauced.
While I was in a short line placing my first order, a few people seemed to be ordering the mushroom slice so I go back in line to try that one.
Also good. The mushrooms were either sauteed or roasted with some garlic and seasonings before going on the pizza. I think the topped pizzas might be the way to go at Suprema. They look good and seemed to have better sauce control. In the "it's a small world" file, Sylvia from DelSo was there earlier in the day. She enjoyed her slices and sent a picture. Both of the these slices had limited amounts of red sauce and I think that might be the key here.
(Sylvia's photo downloaded from The Twitter)
The next day after the meetings were done, we took the subway back to the Penn Station area. We went to a place whose name I can't remember. It was pretty standard mostly burger place. To get there we walked past an Upside Pizzeria, a 2Bros (curious about both but I don't expect much from their pizza) and a Grays Papaya. Pretty sure there was a Shake Shake nearby too. But I wasn't on my own this time. Calorie-wise, it might have been for the best.