Monday, June 24, 2013

REVIEW: Slice of NY Pizzeria

There are quite a few pizza joints in Kenosha that have been around for a long, long time. Take Tenuta's, for example: It first opened its doors in 1950... That's older than the Beatles! I mean, people were just starting to wear poodle skirts and leather jackets and all that. The general public would still have to wait one more year before I Love Lucy even aired. So yeah, places like Tenuta's have been around for a long time. There's Valeo's Pizza too.. been in operation for more than 40 years. Gee, 1950s... 1970s... We're talking places where my parents could remember getting food from when they were kids! Yikes! Slice of NY, however, is like an infant in Kenosha terms. It's only been open since March of last year. That doesn't mean that Slice of NY has been treated like some pathetic rookie thus far though. Imagine if allllll the pizzerias in Kenosha went to high school together: You might think Slice of NY is the sad little freshmen who gets stuffed into lockers by the big tough seniors, like Tenuta's and Valeo's, but this isn't the case. Slice of NY is actually like that freshmen who's gaining popularity extremely fast- even bolstering a rep comparable to the seniors already! Why? Well, Slice of NY- if the name doesn't give it away already- serves up authentic, by-the-slice, New York-style pizza. This freshmen has a personality totally original to Kenosha High, one the likes of which the school has never housed before. And it's about time this reviewer gets her chance to meet this up-and-coming freshie.

Slice of NY has very reasonable pizza prices on their own. Speciality 14 inch pizzas fall between the $10-$16 range, depending on what pizza you order. By-the-slice orders will cost somewhere around $3 or $4, and each slice comes with a free garlic knot. Slice of NY has some really, really great deals in the Kenosha Happenings magazine: One of these deals was a whole 18 inch, three-topping pizza for only $9.99. Wow! And the best part: Free Delivery! I called in to order a pizza with chicken, mushrooms, and onions- light on cheese- for pick up. (I mean, yes, delivery was free, but my Dad always likes to pick up the pizza from the actual restaurant. I dunno!) I also asked the employee who was taking my order if he could get someone to draw a dinosaur on my pizza box, and he said he'd see if someone was in at the moment. I don't know if any of you know this- you probably do- but you can totally ask any pizza joint to draw whatever you want on your pizza box, and they totally will. How fun!
The pizza would be ready in thirty minutes, the man on the phone told me. After thirty minutes were up, my Dad and I drove over to Slice of NY's location downtown to pick up the za'. Slice of NY is well-kept inside, and gives off this little, out-of-the-way, corner pizzeria vibe. It's really neat. There are numerous small tables to sit at and a large flat-screen to watch TV on. There are red pepper, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, olive oil, hot sauce, and salt and pepper shakers placed around the restaurant, so you can jazz up your pizza the way you please! Slice of NY just has this modern, hip feel that most pizzerias around Kenosha just don't possess. I can't help but notice how many teens and young adults are attracted to the place.
Slice of NY, unlike some pizzerias, is a fantastic, quick spot for lunch. You don't have to wait for your pizza to cook- they just heat up your slice in the pizza oven for a couple minutes! Instant gratification! And you don't have to worry about carrying around a whole pizza either. As I've mentioned, it can be served by-the-slice.
The service seemed busy that day, but the employees very polite nonetheless. The cashier couldn't get to me right away, but he was rushing around, taking people's orders at the table and over the phone, so maybe Slice of NY was understaffed that day. It happens! The cashier was very apologetic anyway. At one point, he couldn't find my name or order on their computer, but after a couple minutes he found it and we had a good laugh about it! That's not so bad. I'd rather have service that is very kind and occasionally makes mistakes compared to service that never makes mistakes but acts like they'd rather be dead than working, you know?
Well, now that we've got Slice of NY's interior and service covered, let's move on to the pizza, shall we? First look, I can't say there's anything wrong with my pizza. It's got an abundance of mushrooms, sliced onions, and shredded chicken, and a very sparing amount of cheese. But not too sparing. That's good. The outer crust, please note, is very thick. It's like a circular breadstick encasing the entire pizza. This is a defining trait of classic New York-style pizza. Also, New York-style pizza is always cut into triangles for easy on-the-go eating. Honestly, I like triangle slices more than square ones. Unfortunately, the latter is all too occurrent in Kenosha pizza. So... way to go, Slice of NY, you newbie! Shaking things up a bit, I like that.
BUT WAIT- There's no dino on my pizza box. THIS IS AN OUTRAGE. How am I supposed to eat pizza without a T-Rex smiling over at me? Oh well, forgive and forget. A drawing won't affect the taste of the pizza.
Or will it...? Dun dun dun...
Wellllll... Slice of NY has pretty solid pizza! I like the taste of the chicken a lot, and shredded meat seems to hold up much better on pizza than huge chunks, you know? More places should use shredded chicken for their pizzas. The onions were sweet, juicy. Sometimes, onions on pizza are cut too thin and becoming crispy and dry when baked in the oven, but Slice of NY's turned out just fine. The mushrooms, I didn't enjoy as much as the other two toppings. I like canned mushrooms on a pizza, believe it or not. I like how they're wet, salty, kinda slimy... They just possess this really unique taste. It's not the best taste, but it's lovable, in it's own way. I don't know whether Slice of NY uses fresh mushrooms or what, but theirs were dry and lacked any noticeable flavor...
Hey, I just thought of something! Why don't pizza places offer the option of both canned and fresh mushrooms? Huh? Why not? I mean, I've seen a few places offer Canadian Bacon and Ham. Pretty much the same things (I mean, not exactly the same thing. There is a taste distinction between the two. Just speaking up as a ham connoisseur). So why not canned and fresh mushrooms? I would forever love any pizzeria that braves up and decides to try this idea out.
Anyway, moving on!
Here's another fun fact about New York-style pizza: The special flavor and texture of the crust is said to come from the minerals in the New York City water. Even Slice of NY's owner, who has made pizza in New York before, says that his pizza just doesn't taste the same when made with our Wisconsin water. Curse youuuuu, Lake Michigan! Even so, I really enjoyed Slice of NY's crust. It has this "best of both worlds" thing going on here. I love thin crust pizza, and Slice of NY;s is pretty darn thin! Like, flimsy thin. Floppy, you know. Flimsy and floppy may sound unappealing, but that just means the crust is chewy and soft! The outer crust, however, is super-duper thick! And I like that. Oh, if you cover the outside crust with a bit of salt and garlic powder, it tastes like a garlic breadstick! Yum! Yes, I prefer thin crust... for the most part. But I also prefer a thick, chewy outer crust. So Slice of NY's crust... It works for me. Tons! Even without that fancy NYC mineral water.
So, if there's one attribute of Slice of NY's pizza (and I suppose all New York-style pizza, actually) that I don't care for, is that they're prepared light on the sauce. I love pizza sauce to death, what can I say? And I just didn't taste it with the pizza I ordered. In fact, I recall ordering my pizza with extra sauce, but when the cashier at Slice of NY read back my order, he didn't list "extra sauce." I guess Slice of NY just doesn't roll that way. Can't mess with the authenticity or something...? Is that it?
At least the cheese was light too, like how I asked. But I didn't pick up a very prominent cheesy taste either. Yes, maybe if I had ordered my pizza with the regular amount of cheese, I would've, but that's no excuse. I've ordered light-cheese pizza from countless places, and I've gotten a full, flavorful cheese taste before from quite a few of them. Not this time though. With the cheese and sauce's tastes downplayed so low, the toppings and the crust carried most of the flavor throughout the pie.
I must say, Slice of NY is doing a lot of things right. Friendly service, cheap prices, good deals, clean restaurant, free delivery; And many aspects of their pizza are admirable as well, especially the yummy crust and generous toppings. I enjoyed eating from Slice of NY very much. The fact that they are bringing New York-style pizza to Kenosha is enjoyable in and of itself! And, might I add, it is very, very good New York-style pizza. Just not the best pizza I've had around town. I'm still a sucker for Tenuta's... Looks like the senior still trumps the freshmen this time, even if that freshmen is a pretty awesome guy. But you know, in this case, the freshmen is the one you can talk to more casually. What I'm trying to say is, you can walk into Slice of NY for a slice and then leave with pizza in hand minutes later. You can't do that with most regular Kenoshan pizzerias. And, this freshmen named Slice of NY is very innovative. Mac N' Cheese Pizza, Philly Cheese Pizza, Lasagna Pizza, Manhattan Pizza, Coney Island Pizza... There's a whole spectrum of new, zany flavors coming from Slice of NY! So, give it a try! You die-hard traditional Kenosha pizzeria fans may not find Slice of NY to be your absolute favorite, but you will certainly enjoy what it has to offer! I did!

RiRi Rates Slice of NY Pizzeria as: 7.5/10

Till' next time, this has been RiRi Ri-porting!

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