What a Difference a Penny Makes: The Dollar Slice at 2 Bros. Pizza in the East Village
Supplicants fly into the door of 2 Bros. in search of the perfect dollar slice.
I have seen the future, and it's dollar slices of pizza.
Last week I approached 99ȼ Fresh Pizza on Sixth Avenue in the Village with great skepticism. I was right to be wary, because the slice sucked big time. The cheese was sparse and inferior, the crust tasted like baking soda, and the tomato sauce as if it had been poured directly from the can. Still, I concluded, if you're really hungry, a couple of slices will totally fill you up.
The phenomenon fascinated me, so I resolved to visit every new dollar pizza place--and I'd heard rumors of other locales with the same formula in the offing.
Dollar pizza's time has come. To the culinary world, it's the equivalent of a discount airline--no frills, but good solid value. There's no reason why it can't be good, since the ingredients are comparatively cheap. Cut into your profit margin slightly, and the product is improved vastly, and with it your sales. Does dollar pizza endanger more traditional parlors? Not necessarily, but it will force them to compete with better cheese and better crust, and maybe lower their prices. Certainly, good cheap pizza is a boon to cash-strapped consumers.
This is borne out by 2 Bros. Pizza, which recently opened on the St. Marks tenderloin in the East Village. The unadorned slice there is a dollar, rather than 99ȼ, but the extra cent is worth it. Pies shoot out of the oven continuously, and you're very likely to get a pipping hot slice that hasn't been reheated. This is just one more reason to shy away from the $1.50 slices topped with extraneous ingredients also available--these slices must be reheated, which, in a normal neighborhood parlor, renders the cheese rubbery, and the crust like oily carboard, as it does here.
The dollar slice at 2 Bros. Pizza
To refresh your memory, here is what the slice at 99ȼ Fresh Pizza looked like.
The slice at 2 Bros. is emphatically not like a normal neighborhood slice. The crust is more like something you'd find at one of the better Staten Island pizzerias: slightly thicker than Neapolitan, and more bread-like. The sauce is piquant, as if good tomatoes had been used, and little flecks of herb can be seen in the scarlet sauce. The cheese is the same cheese used in neighborhood parlors, applied with a free hand.
2 Bros. also bests 99ȼ Fresh Pizza by having a seating area far more opulent than you might expect. I left the place yesterday wishing I had another slice.
The regular-price pizza parlor across the street has been rendered nearly devoid of customers.
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