Special Edition: Lombardi’s in New York

John Plichter

My post-collegiate life has taken me to only a few places to say the least. Although I understood the seriousness of the unemployment dilemma, I suppose I just expected more. But when I got the opportunity to visit R/GA in New York and meet with the head of their copywriting department, I knew one thing for certain: I was gonna eat some awesome New York style pizza.

When I first got word of Lombardi’s and their history, I knew no other pizza in New York would do. I decided that I MUST try the pizza at the most historical and well-known pizzeria in New York, if not in the United States. Opened in 1897 and licensed by the city of New York in 1905, Lombardi’s is renown for being the first pizzeria ever established in America. Their take on an old Neapolitan dish quickly became a hit in New York, leading to the slew of copycats throughout the city. Although they can all try, there’s no competing with a history such as Lombardi’s.

Although it took about two trains to get to Lombardi’s from Times Square, we arrived and were seated in a decent amount of time. One word comes to mind when looking back on the exterior of the restaurant: classic. This was obviously the initial restaurant that set the red & white tablecloth pizzeria trend. At the advice of the man at the table next to us (and since I hadn’t eaten all day), I decided to start off with the Caesar salad. I know this is a pizza blog and I’m sure you don’t wanna hear about a salad, so I’ll make this short and simply say it was good. Now, on to the pizza!

Whenever I try a pizza shop with history and character, I feel as if I owe it to myself to try their plain pizza. After all, plain is where pizza got its start. We went with a half plain and half meatball pie. The meatballs were made right there in the shop from freshly ground pork and beef. Cooked in a coal oven that reaches over 1000 degrees, the crust was incredibly crunchy and black on the bottom while still maintaining a softer texture above. Neither over nor underwhelming, a finely crushed tomato sauce blanketed the entire pie. Topped with whole slices of mozzarella and strands of basil, every bite I took was more delicious than the next.

But wait, there’s more! Since he was eating alone, there was little chance that the man at the table next to us would be able to finish an entire white pizza. After some small talk about Dough Boys and the blog, he offered me one of the remaining slices. A thin layer of olive oil, followed by ricotta, mozzarella, and basil made this a must have for all you vegetarian pizza lovers out there. Next time I eat Lombardi’s (and I know I will), I’ll be sure to get the white pie topped with chicken. The day in New York didn’t end there, but the pizza did. Lombardi’s was so delicious, it was totally worth the sauce stain I got on my favorite white khakis.

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About Doughboys Pizza Blog

2 totally awesome, self proclaimed pizza experts on a never ending quest for the best slices in Philadelphia.

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