The teriyaki (blech!) slice at Roll and Go
Here in Gotham, pizza is everywhere, and we’ve got new (and newfangled) places popping up every day in increasingly more obscure neighborhoods. And now it seems like the hipness of a neighborhood is measured by the assortment of pie places it harbors, explaining why the demise of Motorino was considered such a loss to Graham Avenue.
Yes, we’re in the middle of an age that’s a real pizza love fest. But what nobody talks about is how a lot of this pizza sucks. The pizzacone was perhaps too obvious an example, but there are lots of slices that taste even worse than a pizzacone. Here are my nominees for the five worst slices in town.
5. Teriyaki Slice at Roll and Go — This place — whose name sounds like an invitation to roll yourself a joint, and then get lost — prominently displays a sign offering a teriyaki slice, and I took the bait on a Sunday afternoon when almost nothing else in the Garment Center was open. What a mistake! The crust was blah. The brown trickle of sauce sweet enough to make your teeth fall out, and the meat topping — well, let’s just say I couldn’t even tell what type of meat it was. 570 Eighth Avenue, 212-398-4646
This place is worse than it looks, and it’s just the type of place I go when I want to eat sushi.
Pineapple should never be found on a pie for any reason.
4. Hawaiian Slice at Anna Maria Pizzeria — Anna Maria has been turning out mediocre pies for nearly a decade — it’s your last chance to get a slice before boarding the L to Elsewhere — but with the Hawaiian slice they broke the mold. Yes, I know that the topping of bad boiled ham and canned pineapple is a standard in South America, but who cares. It’s still supremely awful. 179 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-599-4550
Leave the chicken on the bones, please, and don’t bother with the crust.
3. Buffalo Wing Slice at Rocket Joe’s — Buffalo wings are great. Pizza is great. That doesn’t mean the two can be successfully merged — in fact, just the opposite: The slice thereby spawned is frustrating and annoying, and who knows what that squiggle of white on top represents, at Rocket Joe’s, a normally great pizzeria that sprinkles sesame seeds on everything. 61 Delancey Street, 212-334-5900
Normally, this place is great. Rocket Joe: What happened?
This pizza is aimed at Taiwanese customers, but really, awful pizza can occur in any context.
2. China Town Slice at Pizza 8 — I was working on a review of the New World Mall Food Court in Flushing when I stumbled on bad-pizza gold: a slice surmounted by Cantonese-style roast pork; sweet, sweet Taiwanese sausage; bad mozzarella; and, in a final coup d’état, fresh basil leaves. Yes, the aesthetics of freshness is operable, but that doesn’t mean the slice won’t be repulsive when you bite into it. Corner of Roosevelt Avenue and Main Street, Queens, 718-321-3008
The slice lies under a snowy blanket of — “cheese.”
1. Vegetable Slice at Famous Ray’s — Mystery-story writers may have pondered if it were possible to literally smother a victim with cheese, but I can provide them with an easy answer. Yes! Because the awful cheese at this crypto-chain (dozens of pizzerias, some related, some not, have put “Ray’s” in their name) is so thick and gooey, so redolent of polyethylene, that you would certainly die if you should happen to fall face down in your slice. At which point your body is whisked away by uniformed attendants and you’re never seen again. 465 Sixth Avenue, 212-243-2253
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