Here’s a #barpizza from test No. 4. Regrammed from @timtweetseats, who did the testing at @pizzalovesemily earlier today. I would call this a “pizza bargherita.” #barpies #pizza #famousoriginala #margotspizza @margotspizza

Belated #kubslunch post from last week—met up with Jeff Orlick at Gotham West Market. Hadn’t had a Court Street Grocers sandwich in ages. Good to revisit (even if in a new location) and to finally talk with Jeff in person for more than just a few minutes at a food event. He’s doing interesting worthwhile work to highlight the food and culture of Queens for new audiences while showing respect for the communities and cultures that produce the food. Check out his stuff: 

Pictured: The CSG turkey club: confit dark meat, roast white meat, Burger’s Smokehouse bacon, Bibb lettuce, and mayo on Balthazar white bread. Gotham West Market: 600 Eleventh Avenue, New York NY 10036 

What is bar pizza? Good question, and there are as many answers to it as there are bars serving pizza. Which is to say, it’s somewhat fluid.

But to my mind, most bar or tavern pies I’m familiar with and love are:

  • Very thin crusted
  • Decidedly crisp
  • Well-done but not to the point of being burned
  • Large enough to share but small enough you could house one yourself

But that’s the physicality of the bar pizza. There is also a communal and spiritual aspect to this style of pizza. The best bar pizza joints are beloved gathering spots that bring together generations and social classes.

These are the pizzerias we grew up going to on weekends with our families and friends. They’re the places your dad took you and that you now take your kids. Those of us who moved away from home love them from afar and head there first thing after blowing into town for a visit.

Those elements together define “bar pizza” in my book.

But isn’t any pizza served in a bar by definition “bar pizza”?

I would say no. The places that serve free slices or small pies with a beer often serve something different not only in style but also in intent. There, you are going mostly to drink, with the pizza an afterthought or something to soak up the booze.

At a bar-pizza bar, the pizza is the focus and the booze is the bonus. Spots like Star Tavern (Orange, New Jersey), Colony Grill (Stamford, Connecticut), Kinchley’s(Ramsey, New Jersey), or Lee’s Tavern (Staten Island, NYC) may have started out as actual bars but the pizza is definitely the draw these days, and you’ll find more kids there than actual drunks.

These pizzerias are and aren’t A THING. The best of them, obviously, have a huge, loyal following and are crowded most nights. But they’re not courting trends. They’re classic, they’re iconic, they’re eternal.

The spirit of these pizzerias, and their delicious crisp pizzas, are my inspiration for the pies I’m trying to create for my bar-pizza pop-up night (details TK). I am trying to meld elements of these places I’ve visited over the years into a tavern-style pizza that is uniquely my own.

  1. Camera: iPhone 5s
  2. Aperture: f/2.2
  3. Exposure: 1/40th
  4. Focal Length: 4mm


Columbus Circle. Photo: Julienne Schaer/NYC & Company

2014-04-10 — Bar pie test at Emily in Clinton Hill today. This was the best of the bunch. Didn’t go as well this time. Still, we learned some things. Tim Nguyen, Matt Hyland, and Blayze O’Brien helped out.


Confessions of a racing sausage

When I was 18, I made SportsCenter. Well, at least half of me did. My legs, to be exact.

I was racing as the Bratwurst in the sixth inning Klements sausage race, and as we passed the visitor’s dugout, Cardinals catcher Jason LaRue trotted out in front of our flock of fleet frankfurters. We narrowly ducked and dodged each other; he went behind the plate, and I went on to finish in a distant second place to the Chorizo. Later in the night, I found my scrawny legs on SportsCenter’s Not Top 10, my own secret pride (or shame, depending on how you look at it).

See, for three years, starting in high school and ending my sophomore year of college, I was a proud member of the Milwaukee Brewers Brew Crew. The job mostly entails doing odd jobs of various levels of boredom around the stadium. But the main draw of the gig – other than getting essentially paid to go to games – was, every so often, getting to compete in the sixth inning Klements sausage race…

Continue reading “Confessions of a racing sausage" on OnMilwaukee. (Photo: David Bernacchi)

Gotta love the Brewers’ sixth-inning sausage race.

  1. Camera: Nikon D700
  2. Aperture: f/6.3
  3. Exposure: 1/2000th
  4. Focal Length: 270mm

Coop’s Micro Creamery Hot Fudge

Nice packaging.


Coop’s Micro Creamery Hot Fudge

Nice packaging.

#kubslunch today was #pizza from My Pie Pizzeria, shared with Slice reader “KungSchu,” who I don’t think is on IG. I was a good Catholic today and remembered to forgo the meat-topped pies. #weeklypizzalunch

"Grabbing a slice" with Ed Levine often goes this way … Ed starts chatting with the proprietor about old times and friends they have in common, and soon the owner is personally making you a sandwich “the right way”—in this case an eggplant Parm. Not long after this sandwich hit the counter, Rosario sent out some of his house-made fresh mozzarella, which I am more than familiar with, since Rosario’s is my neighborhood sandwich go-to. I learned a lot about the history of Italian dairy stores in the Ditmars area and Queens in general (Carl’s Dairy, which Ed says was “the Defonte’s of Queens” back in they day, was where the rotisserie chicken place is near La Guli on Ditmars). Anyway, really good eggplant Parm, which I had always avoided—until now. Rosario’s Deli: 22-55 31st Avenue, Astoria NY 11105; 718-728-2920

I still get the occasional email from a Slice reader. Here, a nice bit of Long Island pizza intel:

The Massa Family (related to both Grimaldi’s and Patsy Lancieri of Patsy’s) have now opened a place in Huntington Village. The old place was owned by Bill and he sold it years ago. New place has the whole family involved, is in the town, has a liquor license with a small bar, has plenty of parking and seating and is serving pizza that is better than ever. They even have Esther Grimaldi-Massa’s meatballs. The pepperoni is the best you have ever tasted. I think I saw Patsy Grimaldi when I was there two weeks ago.

I have followed your advice and checked out many pizza places over the years based on your articles. You should probably go check out Massa’s. I think maybe you did years ago. It’s my favorite.

Best Regards,

More intel:

#kubslunch this week with Eater cofounder Ben Leventhal at Don Antonio. Great catching up with a fellow old-school food blogger. The times have changed in the online space, some for the better, some for the worse. Talking to Ben, I realize I miss the early days of the medium, but then again it could be as much nostalgia for a certain time in my life—new(ish) to NYC in my mid twenties. But, yeah, things just seemed different then.


1981 X Toni Basil - Mickey

Whoa. I just Wikied-up on Toni, and SHE IS 70 YEARS OLD TODAY. That makes ME feel old. 


1981 X Toni Basil - Mickey

Whoa. I just Wikied-up on Toni, and SHE IS 70 YEARS OLD TODAY. That makes ME feel old. 

QuestionSo I have been to a Top Culinary School and i have worked at what i believe to be some amazing restaurants but i have never tackled the dough or in this case the pizza. What is your pizza dough recipe like? and what kind of oven temperatures are you cooking it at. Answer

That’s too open-ended a question to answer succinctly. And it depends on what style of pizza you are asking about. At Paulie Gee’s we do a Neapolitan style dough. You can find a recipe for that online. My personal experiments with bar-style pizza are thin crust experimentations. I vary the recipe from week to week, so it’s almost never the same. The best place to look for basic no-fail pizza recipes is Slice/Serious Eats’ “Pizza Lab” series. Once you whet your appetite there, try for some really in-depth and down-the-rabbit-hole pizza geekery.

#weeklypizzalunch with Ed Levine of Serious Eats. Very good crust on this Roman-style pizza at My Pie Pizzeria. Don’t even ask me to name these. Ed ordered a wide selection. Best of the bunch was the caramelized onion–and-Gorgonzola slice (bottom left) and the prosciutto cotto slice (not pictured). My Pie Pizzeria: 696 Lexington Avenue, New York NY 10022