Wednesday, August 20, 2008

When the Pizza Guys Order Out... you should too

Ray's looks like your typical New York streetfront pizza parlor; it has a few stools and some benches outside. Many different slices are on display for reheating. It reminds me of a place around the corner from me called Frank's- nothing special, but dependable for a slice on the go. It's next to the A&P in Bloomfield, so there's easy parking. That's about all that places like Frank's and Ray's have going for them. They're reliably mediocre. But how bad can pizza be that the people who run the place order out?
Chinese delivery at Famous Ray's in Verona



I found out when I stopped in this Sunday. They ordered Chinese, and I snapped a photo. I dunno how Ray got famous, maybe for letting his pizzas dry out in the display case? My crust was crumbling apart. As for taste, it was decent chow. Not much to differentiate it from a Sbarro's or Villa Pizza, really. That's the problem in New York- there are a billion pizzerias, so for every Lombardi's or Grimaldi's, there are three dozen corner cockroach casas slinging pie. And they're so convenient. So "New York style pizza" in New Jersey usually means this kind of place.
They're good for something- when you get outstanding pie from a dough-slinging pizza craftsman, you not only know it, but you're thankful. While Bloomfield Ave in Montclair is a nice restaurant row showcasing everything from excellent sushi, good BBQ, tasty Cuban, soul, fish fry, deli, Turkish, breakfast and much more, it does not have a pizzeria of note. A grave shortcoming in a spot where a nice stroll could be in order. It would be nice to order a slice of Napoletano style, like from Queen Margerita or Michael's in Nutley, or even a standard Jersey thin slice like from Three Guy's in Belleville.

So if you go into a Chinese takeout place and see them getting pizza delivered, you might want to go someplace else.

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