Google+

Pizza City Book Review

Pizza City: The Ultimate Guide to New York’s Favorite Food 51iMHkt0nqL
by Peter Genovese

Rutgers University Press
Paperback, $22.95
200 pages, Illustrated
ISBN: 978-0-8135-5868-4

Book Review by Kam Williams

“I love pizza. Who doesn’t? The idea of this book started to form after I completed a six-month journey into true pizza obsessiveness…

From the beginning, I decided this book was not going to be simply a Zagat-like guide to New York pizzerias… It was going to be two books in one–profiles of at least twenty pizza personalities, then honest reviews of as many pizzerias as I could visit.

You’ll learn a lot in this book [like] what kinds of cheese and tomatoes and ovens pizzerias use… If it opens your eyes to the great big pizza world out there, makes you suddenly crave a couple slices, or leads you to embark on your own sleepless search for the city’s best pizza, then I did my job.”

— Excerpted from the Introduction (pgs. 1-3)

I was lucky enough to be born and raised in New York City, home to some of the best pizzerias around. I’ve loved pizza for as long as I can remember, but have admittedly been bitterly disappointed on many an occasion upon impulsively trying an unfamiliar joint.

. Trouble is, as any connoisseur could tell you, all pizza is not created equal. In fact there is a tremendous range to be found around the Big Apple, with an uninformed patron as likely to be left feeling ripped-off as satisfied after purchasing a slice or two.

I have a couple of personal favorite pizzerias in Manhattan, with Joe’s on Carmine Street in the Village being the best by far, provided money is no object. The other is 99 Cent Fresh Pizza on 9th Avenue, which still serves slices for under a buck for folks on a tight budget.

Before deciding whether to review this book, I perused its list of restaurants covered to see whether those faves had made the cut. So, when I saw that Peter Genovese had not only included both but recommended them as well, I figured that this was definitely an author who had taken his mission seriously.

You might be surprised to learn that this is the first guide ever devoted solely to New York pizza. Fortunately, it is well worth the wait. Besides assessing the quality of the offerings at hundreds of eateries, Pizza City is chock full of intriguing trivia.

For example, did you know that the first pizzeria opened in Naples, Italy in 1830? Or that Lombardi’s, the initial in the U.S., opened in Greenwich Village in 1905?

Or that Massachusetts has the largest number of pizzerias, per capita, followed by New Hampshire and Connecticut? New York isn’t even in the top ten. Guess it’s very much a New England delicacy, given how high on the list Rhode Island (5) and Maine (7) sit, too.

Genovese takes the time to explain the dough, sauce and cheese on different styles of pizza, which range from the traditional, Neapolitan, to the most popular, New York, to Sicilian to Chicago to Trenton to New Haven to California and beyond. He even talks about the Top Ten pizza movies (including Home Alone, Do the Right Thing and Mystic Pizza) and the Top Ten pizza chains (including Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Papa John’s and Little Caesar’s).

Still, the author is at his best when eliciting insights from discerning devotees and chefs as to what makes a great pie and why first-rate places like Ray’s, John’s and Joe’s have endured and earn so much respect. The definitive pizza bible deserving to be consulted before you sample your next slice anywhere in New York City.

To order a copy of Pizza City, visit:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0813558689/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Entertainment

For movies opening September 30, 2016

  OPENING THIS WEEK Kam's Kapsules Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun by Kam Williams For movies opening September 30, 2016 BIG BUDGET FILMS   Deepwater Horizon (PG-13 for intense action sequences, disturbing images and brief profanity) Disaster flick recreating the real-life events surrounding the 2010 explosion of the offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico which claimed the lives of 11 crewmen and led to the worst … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Richards Rocks!

  Sandra L. Richards The “Rice & Rocks” Interview with Kam Williams Richards Rocks! The American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, Sandra L. Richards is the author of “Rice & Rocks.” She hopes that her debut picture book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity. Sandra completed both her undergraduate and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

More Than a Score

  ACRONYM TO FOLLOW by Peter Brav   Finally Our Day has come There’s a Day for everything For doughnuts, siblings, eight track tapes Grilled cheese, daughters and sons to work Encouragement, Alzheimer’s Coffee, math, chewing gum Blasphemy, yo-yos And now finally One for us Truly a Day to celebrate National Don’t Shoot An Unarmed Brother Doctor King Not Seeing Progress George Orwell Laughing It Is So About the … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Richards Rocks!

  Sandra L. Richards The “Rice & Rocks” Interview with Kam Williams Richards Rocks! The American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, Sandra L. Richards is the author of “Rice & Rocks.” She hopes that her debut picture book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity. Sandra completed both her undergraduate and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Apex Gear ACCU•STRIKE XS Series Bow Sights

  Apex Gear ACCU•STRIKE XS Series Bow Sights By Brad Fenson As an avid bowhunter, I’m always looking for a sight to not only help me acquire a target accurately and quickly but provide adjustability while being lightweight. It might be a lot to ask for but with a wide array of hunting situations, you have to be selective in your equipment to ensure you are always successful in the long run. The Apex Gear ACCU•STRIKE™ XS was … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

There Are Superheroes Among Us

  There Are Superheroes Among Us by Amy Lignor   This story truly proves that a superhero does not require a cape, tights, or the ability to fly. In a world where all headlines seem to be centered around who shot who, who is being put upon, who’s “getting away with it” – all the way to who is getting divorced and who may or may not be kneeling at NFL games – negative stories seem to be the only ones covered anymore by the media. … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Scholastic Announces Sales of More Than 3.3 Million Copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

  Scholastic Announces Sales of More Than 3.3 Million Copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two New York, NY (August 10, 2016) — Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two script book, the eighth Harry Potter story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne, published in the U.S. and Canada by Scholastic has sold more than 3.3 million copies in North America to date.Scholastic announced a first printing … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Vacation Time Has Turned “Spooky”

  Vacation Time Has Turned “Spooky” by Amy Lignor   Myths and legends, both spooky and surreal, are becoming the subject of many books and newspaper articles lately. And the location of many, oddly enough, happen to be in the Southwest. It used to be that a nice white sandy beach was the one place we yearned to go on vacation to get away from it all. Now, however, people are searching for places to travel where legends still exist, and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Controlling a Species: Humans Being Humane

  Controlling a Species: Humans Being Humane by Amy Lignor   Humane. There is a reason why this word and human are basically spelled the same. What needs to happen, however, is for them to mean the same. There are societies out there that talk about just that. From clubs to groups to volunteer organizations that protect all varieties of our animal friends, “humane” is one act that they wish would be considered in any and all … [Read More its Good for You...]