Jimmy The Greek

Wow, the craziest thing just happened. I was driving with my pal Chuck on a non-pizza mission in Westchester when something struck me. I had some unfinished business to attend to on Mamaroneck Ave. A couple months back, I experienced an incredible journey when my pizza pal Phil Klipper took me to some incredible pizzerias throughout the county. We visited eight pizzerias and neither of us had any room left for bonus slices, but I’ll never forget the pizzeria I saw while stopped at a red light on Mamaroneck Ave. Jimmy’s looked like a shining beacon of days long gone, a monument of pizza purity untouched by modernity. We decided not to stop for a slice or our robust schedule may have been compromised, so I turned to Phil and made a solemn oath: “I shall one day return to Jimmy’s to find out what hides behind that beautiful brick facade.”

That day was today.

Once I figured out that Chuck and I were within a mile of Jimmy’s, I pretty much begged him to make a detour. Well, I didn’t really beg so much as call Jimmy’s and order a pie without consulting Chuck. But he didn’t seem to mind, so we rolled onward. Jimmy’s is a classic New York pizza pizzeria with blue bench seating and a counter with about half a dozen seats. The deck oven in the back is par for the course and I spied both a round and a square pie available for slices. No stack of day-old pies with thousands of toppings, no heat lamps, no “display use only” tags, a big poster of the gyro lady… Good signs!

Since we had already ordered a cheese pie, I rewarded both Chuck and myself with a couple slices from the square pie. Not bad at all! I loved the cheese-sauce combo but the dough didn’t have much personality. Still a rockin’ slice!

Even more than the pizza, I loved meeting the man behind the pie: Jimmy! He and his wife (we’ll call her Mrs Jimmy) have been running the place for 35 years. But this guy doesn’t have a thick Italian accent, he hails from Greece. Jimmy is so Greek that instead of chatting us up about current events and politics, his conversation veered toward the ancient Sparta army. I don’t even know how we got onto the subject, but Jimmy somehow started telling us about how much he disapproved of how Greece handled the Persian army during the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC. Yeah, it was a pretty incredible conversation.

Jimmy circa 1975 + excellent slogan.

Chuck and I finished our slices and were about to leave when I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. Jimmy has a replica Greek helmet at the end of his counter. I couldn’t leave without trying it on and Jimmy gave me the go-ahead, saying that nobody had ever asked to wear it. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? JUST LOOK AT IT!

And that is the story of how I finally visited the cool looking pizzeria on Mamaroneck Ave I drove past two months ago and even got to try on a replica ancient Greek army helmet.



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