I know that my normal writing is less hard hitting ground breaking journalism and more wry commentary on tragedies that befall me spiced up with food porn but today that changes. Today, right here, I will be breaking one of the biggest
Three years living in
When mom told me that we were going to a place called “Grimaldi’s” a little bell went off in my head., “… that sounds familiar.” In the car on the way to dinner I spent at least 10 minutes on thoughts like, “Is that the name of a baseball player?” “Did I ever date a boy named Grimaldi?” “Does having this mental conversation at 29 years old constitute early onset Alzheimer’s?” until I shouted out, “Hey! The famous pizza place near work is named Grimaldi’s! Mom, we went there.” And then my mom started in on, “Oh, I bet this is the same place, it’s probably a chain.” But OF COURSE she is wrong because I am an incredibly cool foodie and I do not eat at chains. And seriously the supposed best pizza place in
Um. Actually. Fuck. I hate it when my mom is right.
The Grimaldi’s of the west (with locations in Vegas,
Patsy Grimaldi learned the trade from his Uncle Patsy Lancieri, who trained with the man credited with opening the first pizzeria in
in 1905. Lancieri opened Patsy’s Pizzeria in America East Harlemin 1931, where Grimaldi started learning the art of coal brick oven pizza at the tender age of 10.
The menu at Grimaldi’s:The New Dough (see here) is also strangely similar to the NYC joint with the exception that it is sponsored by no less than 4 brand name products (China Mist Tea, Lavazza Coffee, Carmelina Brands (exclusive Grimaldi’s supplier of tomatoes) and Hormel Foods (not exactly sure what they’re bringing to the party since Spam does not appear to be on the menu…)). You order plain pizzas and pay extra for toppings, the toppings options are pretty much the same though I think the west coast might have more variety (Does Dumbo’s Grimaldi’s offer anchovies or ham?). West Coast Gs also offers an Oreo cheesecake which I cannot imagine would be sanctioned in NYC.
The pizza itself was good – I suspect surprisingly good for a pizza served in
It was fast becoming clear that someone in the Grimaldi’s family was raking in some sweet licensing cash. And part of me thinks, “good for you guys!” But the more cynical part who sometimes also considers bands less cool if they, you know, sell any records is certain this is a sign that Grimaldi’s has sold out and will soon start sucking. I think the natural flow in situations like this is, “good restaurant -> open chain -> start serving frozen tater tots -> vermin infestation -> closure” So you know, consider this a warning.
The biggest difference (outside of décor) between Grimaldi’s NYC and Grimaldi’s:The Cash Cow is the friendliness of the wait staff. For those of you who have never been to Grimaldi’s NYC might I just say that customer service has been sacrificed in favor of creating a stereotypical
I just took a gander at the Dumbo Grimaldi’s website and the (much snazzier though still rather crappy)