The Bronx is awesome. Here is an exploratory tour from last year. I met some interesting characters and had a couple of good slices on this trip. 2 of these made it to the Real Pizza app. – Jeff Tastes
2559 3rd Avenue
Bronx, NY 10451-6322
This place is ….. awesome! I want that meatball hero, that fried whiting, I want that fried shrimp. They do a lot of business and they deserve it. The takeouts from lunchbreak is chaos, but to eat upstairs is somehow oasis.
The heroes are monsters and only $5.50, including parmegiana as standard. I respect that. If you work nearby and prefer hot foods for lunch, you have hit the goldmine. There’s chicken francese, pastas, broccoli rabe and lots more. You could eat here every day for 3 weeks and never tire of it.
The slice is also impressive. The bottom is tough with character. The sauce is zesty with a nice grease quotient. There’s only a bit of orange drip, but not enough to make the plate mad. And it’s cheesy. It gets sloppy. Enough to burn your mouth with the mix of cheese and sauce. This is a slice that comes alive. Curiously, there’s not much char and nothing exceptionally notable about the preparation or visual characteristics overall. They probably don’t use San Marzano tomatoes or 00 flour. There’s not even 70-year old pizzaiolos making the pies. But for some reason, it’s wholly enjoyable to eat the slice. There’s no clear distinction about it, but it’s excellent.
If a paper claimed this #1, it wouldn’t be a travesty. Not like it was when La Pentola was named number one years ago. I don’t know how that happened there…
560 E 149th St
Bronx, NY 10455-2812
The same owners of Gaby’s in Hollis, Queens. They say they use the same ingredients so it should be the same pizza, but it’s not. The crust has more rise here, reaching about 1/2″. Also the lip is dissimilar – At Gaby’s, it’s more Hubbahubba, here it’s like a gruff what’s up.
They both have that similar screen indentation on the bottom, which keeps the knowledge of their lineage on the mind. But here it’s more bready, less mess – although a similar sweet sauce. This could all be attributed to a different person doing the oven sliding, of course. Maybe I should be more forgiving.
Other than Gaby’s, it’s probably incomparable. Some other notables are their pepperoni bites and 1/2″ high pinwheels. Did you know Gaby’s was named the best in a Chicago vs New York pizza competition on Rachael Ray. As a tribute, they have pizza named after her, which looked great. Some people hate her, but I don’t. I think she’s cute.
Within 2 blocks of Fresco, I saw this man with questionable wits and an amazing bicycle. I ran him off the road and into a pole trying to get his attention. He said he made it himself. This bike was attached with lots of black and gold wood and accessorized with plastic lights, a tape player, and other audio devices. It was like Pee Wee Herman’s bike on ketamine. It was awesome!
THEN, not 2 blocks later, up comes this guy on a skateboard. But only he wasn’t stepping to it, he was flowing – No foot pushing nothing. It was possibly more awesome! This ingenious man looked like he was from the future! I also pulled him over and asked him what the hell he was on. He showed me that he has a remote control in his hand that controls the vehicle. If you want a board, prices are $800-$1100. Eddie can be found on the telephone. Dial 646-404-6162.
Fratelli’s Pizza Cafe
404 Hunts Point Avenue
Bronx, NY 10474-7012
Now I came to Hunts Point. This is an industrial area, home to one of the largest food distribution facilities in the world. It’s not a foodie destination (unless you’re checking out Mo Gridders), and it’s an incredibly strange place to find a decent slice. Obviously this turned me on.
The dough was my favorite part about the slice. Thick, fluffy, slightly underdone. Near the lip it even tasted similar to an L&B square. They use a pizza screen, so that’s a good sign. The sauce was zesty, but the cheese reminded me of Ellios – kinda weird… It actually wasn’t much different from Fresco’s, apart from being floppier. Some of the specialty slices looked nice, especially ones topped with fresh mozzarella. Also of note was their huge bloated pepperoni pinwheels.
I’d tell people it’s moderately good, but obviously nothing’s homemade other than the heating process. And why would they make anything in house? All their ingredients can be had right on the food supply mecca of a peninsula.