#111 - go for pizza in all 5 boros; Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx & Staten Island (Brooklyn 11/5/11)
I love pizza!
I love pizza on my pizza...if it were available!
I love all kinds of pizza....
extra black olives
Oh yes....you name it, I have probably tried it!
Living in New York makes you self-assured about a few things & pizza is one of them! Don't try to debate me....you won't win. And I don't want to upset you, but New York is home to the BEST PIZZA IN THE WORLD!
There....I stated the truth....we can now move on....
Having grown up in Queens, I proudly live in an amazing borough that has amazing pizza places all around. Seriously...you can't stand outside of one pizza place without being able to throw a rock & hit another pizza place! But they all do good business because everyone loves pizza.
So I added #111...the pizza mission to my list of celebrations. I've decided to force myself to go to various places for pizza. I figured it's time to get to the other boroughs for a change & see if they can beat my favorite pizza place. For the record, I swear by Centre Pizza in Little Neck, NY. They make amazing pizza!
Today we start in Brooklyn, NY & we are going to Grimaldi's.
Joining me on this tastey mission are Rennick & his daughter, Celia. Since we started this day with the walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, we end up here on Old Front Street in front of Grimaldi's. This is Rennick's 'go to' place in Brooklyn, but only when you have plenty of time to spare.....read on!
Ahhh Grimaldi's...the first pizza joint I've been to in New York that doesn't sell by the slice! Oh no....here at Grimaldi's you must buy the whole pie...so arrive with friends...or just arrive really hungry! And bring cash for Grimaldi's does not accept plastic!
Oh & one warning...be prepared to wait on a crazy long line! I'm not telling a tall tale here...the line will make you nuts, make you hungry or drive you insane!
This is my first visit to Grimaldi's & will probably be my only visit...unless some friends from out of town beg me to take them here! My fellow New Yorkers will not want to brave the long line for pizza. When I mentioned this event to people, I was told I was nuts for waiting as long as we did for pizza. Especially as a friend reminded me, 'I'm sure there were a ton of other pizza places around'. True....but I wanted to wait. I wanted to try Grimaldi's.
Rennick, Celia & I will brave this long line for 80 minutes to be invited in.
One hour & twenty minutes.
Or as I like to think of it...eternity.
Is pizza really worth that long of a wait?
Correction...is New York pizza really worth that long of a wait?
Hmm....let me come back to that questions a little later in the blog....read on...
There we were braving the wait. The anticipation of getting pizza made us cranky. The desire of feeding the pizza craving drove us nuts! There was talk of walking away...but somehow we didn't. We stayed. We braved it.
The line is filled with New Yorkers & tourists. You can hear the distinct accents.
One note to Europeans & other tourists on the subject of personal space.
Learn what it is & learn that you should respect it. Please don't stand on my heels or be up against me. There really is no need for me to keep hitting you. As a New Yorker, I tend to flail when I talk, so if I hit you, I shouldn't have to apologize. You should move back after the second hit. If you can abide by this, I promise not to give you wrong directions! Thanks & welcome to New York!
At some point during this crazy wait, Celia & I will spot the little store right next to Grimaldi's. It's called Jillian & Julia's. They sell clothes & souvenirs. Celia will ask to go in & look around. After getting the okay from Rennick, we leave the dreaded line.
Inside the store, Celia & I will try on some scarves. Celia is also quick to try on some hats. What a little diva! I love it! After making a purchase, we get back outside.
I know...you want me to say Rennick moved to the front of the line by that point...no, no luck. He barely moved a foot!
For the record, I'm surprised he didn't run when he had the chance!
When you're hungry & waiting on line for food, you start thinking about bailing. Oh trust me...there was a moment when I thought I would cave & run from this long line. It seriously was the longest wait I have ever had for food!
And let's face it....there are plenty of other places for pizza in Brooklyn. Grimaldi's is not the only place for pizza! So why are we suffering on this line? Why haven't we bailed & gone someplace else?
Have I mentioned that I am a Taurus & I am highly impatient?????
During this time, Celia will attempt to read her book. Rennick & I will chat. The people around us will be engrossed in their own chats. But all of us have one thing in common today....we were all willing to brave this line for some Grimaldi's pizza!
I just wonder who else is going to blog about it?
After what clearly was an eternity of waiting...80 minutes...we receive some good news...the next available table for three people is ours!
I felt like sobbing tears of joy. Even tears of relief! I almost kissed the nice man who announced the news.
But then the rug was pulled out from under us!
The next table for three people will not be available for about another 20 minutes!!
Seriously...why didn't we bail 70 minutes ago????
Who's bright idea was this?
Why are we still standing in this line?
After the last 20 minutes of waiting, this nice gentleman comes out & points to us. Our table is now...truly ready!
Tears of joy are streaming down my face. I must wipe away the tears. I don't want my mascara to run.
As we are led to our table for three now seriously ravenous people, I am instantly overwhelmed by a delightful aroma.
Let me tell you folks, there is nothing more pleasing to a New Yorker than the smell of great food when you are starving...make that New York food!!! Even now as I string these words together, I can smell that Grimaldi's pizza. And even while chewing Trident Spearmint gum, I can taste that pizza still!
The tables are thisclosetogether. Seriously folks...personal space? Where has it gone?
There is then the discussion of what we are going to order. Luckily that discussion is nowhere near as long as our wait to get in! It's decided we are going to have a pepperoni pizza. No problem...Love it!!
While we wait, as the pizza is being made, Rennick will remind me to look at the celebrity pictures on the wall. From where we sat I saw Vince Vaughn & Danny DeVito.
Oh yes, I must point out...according to Rennick, Grimaldi's is a 'glorious institution'. And yes Rennick, you are right about that!
While we wait for our food, Rennick is amazed to hear Guns N Roses playing. Apparently someone in Grimaldi's is a fan as they played the whole CD! This makes Rennick happy.
And then finally...after 80 minutes of that dreaded long line...we are served a beautiful pepperoni pizza pie!
Again, tears overwhelm me.
I am starving.
I love pizza.
I am happy the wait is FINALLY over!
And then that first bite...mmmm...so warm...so delicious!!!
Made with fresh mozzerella, basil & pepperoni on a delightfully thin crust this pizza is amazing! I must savor ever bite, but I am tempted to jam it into my mouth & grab the rest! But I cannot. I must share with two other hungry people at this table...which is fine. It's the whole point of this celebration.
So now I will post that question again...is New York pizza really worth that long of a wait?
Hell no! I will never wait that long ever again for pizza! New York or otherwise!
I can't validate waiting that long ever again! I did it once...like the whole New Year's Eve in Times Square. It's a right of passage as a New Yorker to do certain things...but then once done, they don't need to be done again!
But seriously, I can't lie...Grimaldi's pizza was awesome! Very fresh! Very delicious! And yes, I admit it, very much worth the wait!
I will only wait in that line again if Rennick & Celia join me again! After all, Celia & I can disappear & shop & leave Rennick to hold our spot! Sorry Rennick...had to throw that in for a good laugh!
Rennick, thank you for getting me to do this. I actually enjoyed the company & yes, seriously, I would brave a long line wait again with you!
Celia, thank you for the laughs today. I'm glad I got to share the day with you & your dad. I hope you two will be available for another celebration sometime soon.
And now for the photos on the day....
This celebration is not considered completed...yet.
I have four more boroughs to visit for pizza. And I'm looking forward to it!
Once again, feeling good about this celebration mission. I can't believe I'm still getting people talking about these celebrations. I'm definitely looking forward to the next celebration...whatever it may be...