Integrity is Everything
Perhaps it has to do with growing up on 3rd Ave. in Bay Ridge | Brooklyn, half a century ago. I have a sober and clear understanding of what pizza should and should not taste like. Yes, a genuine pizza snob. 🖕🏼
A true native NYer can tell you where to find great pizza. Shut up and listen to them.
Some pizza interpretations through other cultures are pretty good. For instance, Mexicans might have a little extra kick to their watery sauce. An India interpretation of pizza might have more emphasis on the dough with aromatic oils which soak into the crust. You will definitely want to steer clear of kosher pizza in Brooklyn neighborhoods. Almost always these translate into food stuff that only resembles pizza by virtue of the shape pizza 🍕 and similar colors to a real slice of NY pizza.
NOTE: I understand that this is all may seem like a racist perspective and opinion. Okay. If it makes you feel special to say I’m a racist. Okay. Let’s say a little prayer for me. 😁 What this perspective is… is a generalization for over simplification. NOT ALL Mexican pizza is watery. NOT ALL Indian pizza has excellent bread. NOT ALL Kosher pizza in Brooklyn falls flat of authentic Italian pizza but, enough do to create a hasty generalization.
Different strokes for different folks.
This is what authentic Italian food should look like:
There are very specific places on each borough to try good New York pizza. There should be laws, certificates and trophies protecting the great pizza palaces from their subordinate imitations. Everywhere else should spell what they call pizza as p-i-t-z-a with a “t” so we can all tell the difference just by reading the sign outside or the menu. I’m just sayin’.
I’d been in Marie’s 2 on Hyatt a handful of times before. After a few drinks or pints 🍻 of beer, pizza can be the exact the right thing to throw in the pizza pie hole in your face. Sometimes we do this pizza thing just so we can drink more. I do. One spring night, this was my exact plan.
Marie’s 2 wasn’t that kind of place that you 1. insert pizza into pie hole, 2. drink beer, 3. then, repeat. You only have to take one bite to know a truth. The pizza here is far, far , far above par. In fact, I wasn’t exactly sure after the first slice, so I got a second one. And then a third happened. I was in Wow mode.
Marie’s 2 is, hands down, one of top ten pizza places I’ve ever tried pizza in NYC. They’re good people too.
It was so good I wanted to cry. I asked to speak to the man making the pizza (John). Yep. “17 years” he said he’s been making pizza. That sounds about right to me.
Side Fact: NYC.gov claims 38% of Staten Island is of Italian decent. Even by NYC standards today, that’s a very, very high statistic. I’m definitely in the right place.
Had to try the cuisine on the mothership, Marie’s Gourmet on Victory Blvd. They have a reputation over there from the other Staten Islanders I’ve met who’ve said—“OMG, such good Italian food.” This place did NOT disappoint. The portions are healthy too. The got the details right, right down to the cracked pepper and right down to the service.
We gots the perfectly breaded arugula, salmon salad with lemon parmasean dressing and a traditional mozzarella, rigotta calzone with sausage, meatballs (w/ a very substantial side of marinara w/ 1/4” chunks of tomato which are perfectly seasoned). The filling meal was heaven. This place is a winner. 🏆
There is a certain pride to making great food. This pride doesn’t have to be served with any snobbery. It just is what it is because the chef or cook has has a deeper sense of integrity. This is everything. This is New York. Integrity is Everything.
Go there right now, eat and enjoy. Go on a night when they have LIVE JAZZ (Weds.) and tacos for great food and music. Go on a night when they have OPEN JAM and free pizza (aka great food). Ask for Kate who manages there 5-6 days a week to make sure every person leaves a lot happier than when they came in.
Addy: 977 Victory Blvd., SI NYC 10301
Hours: 7 days a week M-Wed. 9a-10pm, Thur-Sat. 9a-3am! Sun. 9:30a-9pm.
Phone: (718) 981-4664