Monday, April 25, 2011

2 Bros - St. Marx Place

You can't beat pizza for a dollar a slice, especially in Manhattan, but 2 Bros Pizzeria located all over the island is a dollar pizza place you do not want to miss. At $2.75 for two slices of pizza and a can of soda, this pizza is so good you'll forget how cheap it really is. A haven for struggling students, 2 Bros offers a great meal for anyone with a dollar.

One of the most popular locations for this pizzeria is St. Marks Place, located at the Astor Place 6 train stop, one stop past Union Square. A street full of curious pedestrians, tattoo parlors, head shops, and sushi restaurants, 2 Bros found an amazing location to advertise and sell their special recipe. Though the entrance to 2 Bros is small, the lines filing out the door are always huge in comparison. This pizza restaurant is so crowded with anxious eaters, that the owners opened a second location 2 doors down!

When entering the parlor, you'll find that the doors are always wide open in an effort to accommodate its customers. Inviting you in with the tempting scent of homemade pizza, the decorations inside are nothing to write about. Complete with a long counter, a drink cooler, and pizza oven the décor leaves a lot to be desired. Hardly furnished, the scattered tables with mismatched chairs add to the ambiance of a cheap pizza parlor dinner, rarely making room for all its customers. You’re more likely to end up sitting on the curb with a paper plate and a slice than actually getting a seat.

As you wait in line, there is always a chance that you’ll get to see the real magic: the making of the pizza. Cranking out about 20 pizzas an hour, Anthony Zacardo spends the majority of the day twirling pizza dough.

“I make pizzas all day. The pizza moves so fast and at all hours, that sometimes we can’t get them out fast enough. And we only sell by the slice!” Zacardo said when I asked about his job.

This New York style pizza yields a crispy, thin crust that breaks apart from the slice with a crunchy outside and a soft inside. Although toppings are limited at this pizza joint, their perfect balance of sauce and cheese is more than enough to enjoy your slice. Often creating that cheesy string from your pizza to your mouth, the cheese is a delicious blend of Mozzarella and other cheeses the 2 Bros employees would not tell me. Although greasy, this pizza will satisfy anyone’s pizza craving.

“I come here multiple times a week,” Amanda Raviele, a student at Berkley College explained, “its my favorite pizza in all of Manhattan without the guilty pricing.”

Monday, April 18, 2011

Shake Shack - Madison Square Park

“Oh look, a wedding!” I thought, as I entered Madison Square Park yesterday afternoon. Little did I know, the cluster of people gathered around this silver “Shack” were waiting in line for a Shake Shack meal. Located in a beautiful section of Gramercy, the Shake Shack has the classy feel of a New York café, with the combination of the greasy burgers, and thick creamy shakes that hits home for all Americans.

When restaurant owner Danny Meyer opened his burger joint in this retro urban retreat, he never dreamed it would become as popular as it has. With two-hour lines, resting under the leafy canopy of trees and the spring sun is the best way to enjoy this burger shack. New Yorkers of all sorts fill the spread of green fold-up tables and benches, spilling out all over the park.

So why should anyone wait this long for a burger? The Shack has the art of the hamburger down to a near unsurpassable point. With perfectly buttered buns, fresh, ripe tomatoes, and a meat mixer than involves a paint scraper, the burgers have been built to satisfy meat eaters all over Manhattan. At just $4.50 for the “Shackburger Single,” you can’t go wrong with this park burger.

“I love the food! The burgers are great! I love their shakes. I wish I lived there,” gushed Mike Bolton, a visitor from Philadelphia. His friend, however, was not as satisfied.

“I heard all the hype about the Shake Shack,” Melissa Gran, 34, explained, “A cheesy shack, the burger was absolutely nothing to write home about and the fries; well, I couldn’t even finish the fries.”

Their shakes are all the rage, but nothing beats their “concretes.” Made with homemade frozen vanilla custard, this dessert will keep you coming back for more. Add your own mix-ins for .75 cents each or order one of the Shack’s concoctions, and you will not be disappointed. Although they range from $5 to $9, more expensive then their burgers, these “concreations” are a delicious way to end your meal.

-photos by Taylor Halcomb

Monday, April 4, 2011

Roberta's Pizza - Brooklyn

BROOKLYN - Hidden in an unlikely neighborhood, Roberta's is masked by its warehouse-style building. Don't get disheartened, however, because this hard-to-find pizzeria in Bushwick is worth it!
Stepping off the the subway, the neighborhood surrounding this joint is a little tough. There are run down buildings, and gated off holes in the ground, but who knew a gem would be hidden amongst it all? Almost impossible to differentiate from the warehouses, Roberta's door does not look like the entrance to a pizza restaurant at all. Once you step inside, however, you're in for a treat.
Decorated in a very rustic style, you walk into the restaurant and immediately see the pizza chefs working away on their special Roberta's oven. With real wood, they light a fire in the back of the oven and cook an awesome smokey flavor right into the pizza crust. When you get to your table, you notice that all of the tables wooden, with picnic benches running along the sides. In the very back of the restaurant stands a tasteful bar with an impressive selection of wines and mix drinks. Children might love pizza but Roberta's makes it fun for adults too.
The first thing we ordered was their "Special" calzone. Although $13 is a lot for an appetizer, you cannot go wrong with this order. A combination of mozzarella, tomatoes, prosciutto cutto, and mushrooms, this dish is large enough for your whole table to have a piece. This stringy, cheesy concoction almost melts in your mouth inside of a warm pocket of fresh pizza dough.
"The entire meal was great from the beginning to the end," Peter Maman, a Florida resident gushed. "From the appetizers, to the entrees, to the desert, everything was well executed."
Next was the Margarita Pizza. This 10 inch, $9 pizza is more than enough to feed two with it's incredibly fresh ingredients and choice of toppings. Traditionally the Margarita pizza comes with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil but for a dollar each, you can add whichever topics you choose. With the addition of sausage, our pizza had a perfectly light crust that was not heavy on your stomach. It had dark boils from the oven and delicious circles of melted fresh mozzarella.
"The pizza was absolutely delicious!" Erin Gunther, a housewife from Brooklyn said. "This is my favorite pizza place to take this kids. Its pizza fun and a nice atmosphere for adults all rolled into one. You can't go wrong with kids in a pizza place."

_ Photos by Taylor Halcomb