Top Slices, Personal Pies, and Surprises Around Town


The New York pizza slice, for years the pizza gold standard, inspired a lot of wasted effort and money, what with people trying to reproduce NYC pizza parlors, replete with transported ovens, in places like Kansas or Albuquerque or (gack) San Francisco. Pizza everywhere was measured against some non-specific New York City pie. If you pressed New Yorkers as to where one could go to procure this mythical slice, no two people—not even two natives of the same ’hood—would name the same place. Foodies theorize about what makes this supposed world’s-greatest-pizza so special. One compelling posit is the water argument, which runs thus: New York City tap water is divinely endowed with unnamed pizza-perfect minerals not found elsewhere, which, hence, precludes the New York slice from being replicated anywhere else. The same has been said for whatever it is that deifies the NYC bagel.

Well, it’s all a bunch of hooey. I’m writing this from New York City and I can find nothing in any New York pizza that isn’t equaled or surpassed pretty much anywhere else in the States. The water seems to have much less to do with the reputation of the NY slice than does the amount of beer consumed prior to the impossibly late hour at which it was gobbled down in three bites. And most Charlottesvillians find laughable the notion that they need look any farther than Bodo’s for a world-class bagel.


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Scoutology Staff