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Dan and Jarrod's PizzaTour

NEW YORK - The holy Land of Pizza
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NEW YORK - The holy Land of Pizza
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2006 Tour: featuring G'S PIZZA

I've died and gone to Heaven!

This is the YouTube version of our New York Pizza Trip. The reviews follow.

Victoria's Pizzeria Ristorante en Mexican
11117 Roosevelt Ave., Queens, NY 11368
(718) 803-8408

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A late night beacon calls out to Jarrod and Dan

My fellow pizza aficionado, Jarrod and I went to New York to see the Spice Girls and eat as much pizza as we could from the epicenter of the American pizza world. We drove from Michigan, and got into New York around 1:00am. We didn't have a whole lot of hope that we'd find a pizza place open without going right into downtown. Surprisingly we discovered Victoria's about a mile or two from Shea Stadium.
The street where we found Victoria's Pizzeria Ristorante had a laundrette, a restaurant called "Los Tres Caballos," and a few other places, and it felt like some type of a movie set. Steam was coming up from manhole covers, it was just a wonderful way to be introduced to the New York Pizza scene.
Interestingly this was not an Italian place, but this pizza had a wonderful, traditional flavor more in line with Italian pie than any kind of Mexican food.

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Making our delicious pies

We each ordered a pie at around 2:30am. We got our pies at just before 3:00. Jarrod ordered his with double cheese and pepperoni. I got pepperoni and broccoli.
I enjoyed the crispiness of the crust. The sauce was a nice flavor, not too sweet and not too spicy. Jarrod described the sauce as not thick, "kinda like slightly sweet." We both agreed the flavor of the sauce was predominantly of fresh tomatoes.
The crust had a wonderful texture, nice and thin, with a very pure, white breadlike edge.

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Dan's Pizza

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Jarrod and his pie

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Dan had Jarritos soda with a broccoli pie

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I always eat too much when the pie is this good.

Grimaldi's Pizzeria
19 Old Fulton St., Brooklyn, NY
(718) 858-4300

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Jarrod, just before we enter Grimaldi's

On our first full day in New York, Jarrod and I went to Grimaldi’s.  This place is under the Brooklyn Bridge, and is famous for their quickly made, yet quality “coal brick oven” pizzas.  Jarrod noted the wonderful sauce, describing it as very fresh, much like a salsa. 
Jarrod watched the pizza men make the pie in less than a three minute window.  He noted the crust and pepperoni.  I loved the pep as well, they were thick, but still curled up.  The sauce was so light, and thin.  We saw them sprinkle something from a canister, possibly “secret spices,” giving their pie a very unique flavor…and being so close to the Brooklyn Bridge, gives the place a wonderful atmosphere.

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The pizza men at Grimaldi's

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Look at that pie! It was so wonderful!!

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Imagine being in a tiny spaceship flying over the surface of Grimaldi's pizza planet.

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The smoky goodness of the crust is apparent, even in pictures.

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Jarrod's pizza-induced happiness.

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I know, bad form in New York, but I had to use a fork.

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A couple of full, fat Michiganders embracing the New York pizza lifestyle.

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Dan under the Brooklyn Bridge with a Grimaldi's slice...two true New York icons...and my Mets hat!

DiFara Pizza
1424 Avenue J, Brooklyn N.Y.
718-392-1222  (don't call...just go there)

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Your pizza tour guides meet the master

What can I say about Domenico DeMarco?  The man is a pizza legend.  He’s been featured in newspapers, books, he is all over YouTube, he’s been on TV, and my God, this man deserves it.  He puts in an eleven hour workday every day, with no rest…and he just keeps making those heavenly pies.  He is a true pizza hero! – Dan

When narrowing down the top five pizza places to visit in New York, one name kept turning up over and over again…  “Di Fara!"  I began to read about this legendary pizza maker and watching videos of his magic hands at work.  I couldn’t wait to taste his amazing pizza.  And let me tell you, Mr. DeMarco is one of the greatest pizza makers alive! – Jarrod

 

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Pies in the famous DiFara oven

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Jarrod tastes a square piece, shared by John, whom we met in line.

Well worth the hour and half wait.  The square slice was a little too crispy for my liking, but the natural fresh mozzarella on the slice was divine!  Thank you John!  On the individual thin slices, the olive oil on top was an added treat that, when baked, the cheeses blend better and melt into a golden orange splendor.  The sauce was just right.  It seemed barely there, yet just enough to compliment the other toppings.  You had to tear into the slice as opposed to a bite through.  It was an absolute treasure!  An experience I will never forget.  Waiting in line, meeting New Yorkers, smelling the magic, watching Mr. DeMarco work and receiving the treasure at the end makes everything about this place worthwhile.  Some of the very best pizza I have ever had! - Jarrod

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Our slices are ready, but the master continues his work for the next hungry patrons.

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Look at that heavenly, smokey, amazing, crunchy, delightful crust. So good, I can't explain it!

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Sheer stupid joy, like Rainman with a brand new pair of underwear.

As soon as I smelled the aroma outside the door of DiFara, I knew I was in for a treat.  I had heard about the wait, and hoped it would be worth it.  IT WAS!  The flavors of all of Mr. DeMarco's ingredients blended together into sheer pizza bliss.  I loved the fresh mozzarella and other cheeses.  Mr. DeMarco never uses just one cheese.  The crust was so rich and smoky.  I loved watching the fresh basil blend into the oily surface of the slices, and become one with the cheese.  Each ingredient on its own is wonderful, but the sum is greater than the parts.  Clearly the love this pizza is made with sends it over the top.  I hope Mr. DeMarco lives to 195 years old.  Everyone should have DiFara at least twice in their lifetime. - Dan

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DiFara. Make a point of going to New York, if only for the experience of Mr. DeMarco's pie!

Learn more about Domenico DeMarco

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Return to N.Y. - This time Denis is along for the pizza joy!

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The hand of the pizza master works his art!

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Mr DeMarco's daughter smiles for the camera!

Check out all of the videos of Domenico DeMarco at YouTube.  There's a bunch
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8z0ajsvFPc

Famous Original Ray's
1710 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
(212) 769-3636

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Jarrod enters what is CALLED Famous Original Rays, but it's NOT the Original!

We were walking around Times Square and checking out the sights, when I spotted one of the many versions of a "Ray's Pizza."  I knew full and well that the OFFICIAL Rays was the one in Little Italy, but because of the famous legend of the multiple "Ray's Pizza" businesses, I had to try this one too.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray's_Pizza

The place looked nice and clean, Jarrod said he really appreciated that. 
I got cheese, tomato & basil.  Jarrod got "white pizza" which features ricotta and mozzarella.  Jarrod called the slice very appealing.  I enjoyed mine as well, but still looked forward to the next Ray's.

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For a Sbarro's type environment, the pie is pretty good.

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Eating our slices.

Ray's Pizza  (This is the real deal, my friend!)
27 Prince Street
(between Elizabeth St & Mott St)
New York, NY 10012
(212) 966-1960

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A New York Legend: Ray's Pizza on Prince Street

The final important pizza stop on our New York trip was Ray's in Little Italy.  Known as the official, definitive Ray's, this was a must stop visit.
We started off with straightforward slices of cheese pizza.  Jarrod says Ray's had his favorite sauce of the trip, sweet with "zing" to it.  I say it's not too sweet, because I don't like an overly sweet sauce, and I enjoyed this sauce.
We both enjoyed the crust and the blend of cheeses. 

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After our cheese slices, we got more!

We downed two cheese slices each, then went back for more.  Pepperoni, and pesto were the next slices we ate.  Jarrod said he liked being able to eat the pie with just cheese first, because the pepperoni was so good that he may not have noticed how wonderful the cheese was.  The pesto slice was heaven as well.  The flavor, the texture of the crust...a perfect New York thin!

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Beautiful and delicious!

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Wonderful pesto

There's nothing better than Family, Friends, and Pizza!!