New York Daily News: Pizza tour leads cheese-and-sauce faithful to citys cream of the crust
BY JOTHAM SEDERSTROM
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
No bus tour ever tasted this good.
New York City — already home to a “Sex and the City” tour, a TV and movie trek and a Harlem gospel expedition — has a new attraction sure to please tourist taste buds.
Each Sunday, Scott’s Pizza Tour will sample the slices at a half-dozen of the city’s famed pie palaces like John’s in Greenwich Village and Totonno’s in Coney Island.
“This is like a dream, this pizza tour. It’s great,” said Chris Brady, 28, a Massachusetts customer service rep who downed 10 slices at five pizzerias yesterday during the tour’s maiden voyage.
“I just wish I didn’t have breakfast. I could’ve had more.”
The trek is the brainchild of Scott Wiener, a New Jersey resident who quit his job as events coordinator for the City of Hoboken to launch the tour.
Pizza lovers with $55 to spare can tool around in a school bus on the first citywide pizza tour, which will hit premier pizzerias on a rotating basis.
Wiener is hoping to feature up-and-coming joints — like Luzzo’s in the East Village, yesterday’s second stop — as well as established favorites.
“They may not have the track record of Lombardi’s or John’s, but their pizza is still on the same level,” said Wiener, 26, who said his personal favorite among the 130 pizzerias he’s visited citywide — Brooklyn’s Grimaldi’s — will be on an upcoming junket.
Don’t look for a Jersey stop anytime soon.
“A lot of pizzerias in Hoboken don’t try very hard because they don’t need to,” Wiener said about pies in Frank Sinatra’s hometown. “The market doesn’t demand it. The standard is low.”
At Patricia’s in the Bronx, where workers dished out free extra helpings of the Neapolitan-style Margherita pie, Jon Anzalone said the wood oven-cooked pie ranked high on his short list of authentic pizzerias.
“I would go back to every one of these places, but they really spoiled us here,” said Anzalone, 25, of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
At Lombardi’s, billed as the country’s first-ever pizzeria, fans enjoyed the famed coal-oven pies without waiting on the Spring St. pizzeria’s infamously long lines.
“Take a look, take a picture if you want, this is Lombardi’s famous coal-oven pizza” said Wiener, who giddily showed off one of the city’s few remaining coal ovens as chefs stuffed pie after pie into the 859-degree stove.
Not everyone on the tour could eat like a pro.
“I ate till I quit,” said John Moyer, 53, of Pennsylvania, who inhaled 41/2 slices before calling it quits at Louie & Ernie’s in the Bronx.
“Too. Much. Pizza.”
Register online at www.scottspizzatours.com for the trek, which will leave from Lombardi’s on Sundays starting May 11.