Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Grim Truth

As you know, I have been having a bit of a love affair with Brooklyn Heights lately. I have found that it is impossible to visit the Brooklyn Bridge area without taking note of Grimaldi's Pizzeria - a small storefront with an everlastingly long line outside. The first time I saw it, I was walking across the street.

"What on earth is that line for?" I asked my Husband.

"Oh, that's Grimaldi's," he said, knowingly. "It's supposed to be the best pizza in New York."

"I thought that was John's. Or Lombardi's," I replied, knowing this only from second hand knowledge as I am not really a pizza enthusiast.

We walked by, continuing on our way.

Over the coming weeks I found that I could not stop thinking about Grimaldi's and the crazy people who stand in line no matter what the weather. Could it really be so good that people would stand in line not only to get a table, but for take away as well? Was it better than my beloved Cicero's in San Jose? I could hardly fathom the thought, but I was desperate to find out.

The next free day that we had, Husband and I hopped on over to Brooklyn and took our place in line with the rest of the hungry masses. I was a little surprised that Husband had agreed to participate in my pizza quest, since he is one of those unfortunate New Yorkers who hates both crowds and waiting in line. After a few minutes of reviewing the take out menu, I asked him to hold our place so I could go across the street and take some photos of the line (my mom would never believe this!). I returned to find him on his cell phone. When I approached him, I asked him who he had been talking to.

"Oh, I decided to just call the order in," he said,stepping out of line. "I got tired of waiting. It'll be ready in 15 minutes."

Seventeen minutes later Husband walked out of the bustling restaurant, pie in hand, while the poor girl who had been ahead of us in line still had three people in front of her. We rejoiced in our success and retired to eat our bounty.

"What? Was this made by a blind man?" I asked as I opened the box and saw the sloppy pizza inside.

Toppings were scarce (we had ordered sausage and mushroom) and tossed on willy-nilly. There were blobs of sauce or gobs of bland mozzarella and you were lucky to get a bite of one topping let alone both. I choked on a naked piece of crust and mozzarella and longed for an even distribution so I could experience all of the elements together. The crust was a little too tangy and way too chewy. The nicely charred bottom and whiffs of fresh basil were lovely, but ultimately, could not save this pizza.

"This is definitely not better than Cicero's," I pronounce, ever loyal.

"No it is not," Husband agrees. "I like Patsy's better than this."

We ate the rest of our pizza in silence. We didn't need to talk to know that we were both disappointed since we had started this day wanting to like the pizza. But we both knew that it could have been worse. We could have waited in line for 40 minutes like everyone else. Somehow that realization made the final bites a little bit tastier.

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