Lunch: Not Sure What I Just Ate, But Don’t Think I’d Call It “Pizza”

photo-19When you get right down to it, New York is really so weird about pizza. There’s a certain pride about it; “the pie” is one of those iconic food symbols of the city. There’s also the egalitarian bent: The slice as common ground. We all stop in for a slice, at some point or another; in a city this diverse, that is something to take pride in.

All this pride and emotion leads to a certain protectiveness of pizza’s merits, as if the acknowledgment of the existence of bad pizza, or un-pizza would somehow make these principles less glorious. (Entirely untrue!) So what to make of this? 

photo-17… I was confronted with all these thoughts and more today when, in one of the most humble of all restaurant establishments, the stripmall pizza joint, I found one of the strangest pizzas I’ve ever seen in my life. I discovered the “Fresca Pie” ($30) , “fresh mozzarella, fresh diced tomatoes and fresh basil,” ready and waiting in all its diced tomato glory at Paradiso Restaurant & Pizzeria in Rockville Centre, a small town on Long Island that’s just a short, 40-minute LIRR ride from Penn Station.

photo-18How would this bruschetta-pizza love-child hold up against the sanctity of the slice? I like to consider myself fairly judicious, but even I don’t think I’d call it pizza.

More like: fresh mozzarella and tomato salad, that happens to be on top of a doughy, breadstick-like square. But what does this mean? I’m still not sure, but today turned out to be a much bigger day than I’d imagined.


Breakfast: The Hojicha Green Tea Mystery Train

Isn’t “light caffine” and “green tea” a bit of a paradox?

photo       I mean if we’re comparing apples to apples, green tea certainly is not the tea drinker’s half-caff. So why list “light caffine” as the third bullet point front-and-center on the packaging unless Mighty Leaf is advertising the fact that they’ve actually gone in and lightly decaffinated the tea? Therein lies they travesty, at least in my view, tired already before the day’s begun, chugging away on the Long Island Rail Road before the clock’s even struck 8 a.m.