This is true on all fronts except for server friendliness, where In&Out takes the cake (burger? LOLOL).
But it’s especially true on vegetarian options. Shake Shack’s cheese-filled portobello mushroom is roughly 1MM times better than In&Out’s ‘grilled cheese’ (spoiler: 2 slices of American on a hamburger bun with frizzy iceberg and tomato), Animal Style or plain.
Half Tartufo Bianco, half Apizza Amore
The Gray’s Papaya on the Upper West Side has a question painted on its wall: “How can you tell a real New Yorker?” The answer is, “By her attachment to Gray’s Papaya.”
Personally, I think a better measure of a New Yorker is by her devotion to New York-style pizza. Like, for example, a New Yorker who flies all the way across the country and happily waits 90 minutes for New York-style pizza in the heart of Portland, OR.
Apizza Scholls’s waiting list begins when the doors open at 5. You write down your name, the size of your group, and how many pizzas you’ll be ordering. Then you wait. The list ends - and no more tables are available for the night - when all the rounds of dough in the kitchen have been claimed. This usually happens by 7:30.
The pizzas come in one size, 18”, and you can do different toppings on either half. We went with half the Tartufo Bianco (fresh mozz, pecorino romano & grana padano with truffle oil and sea salt) and half the Apizza Amore (tomato sauce, fresh mozz, pecorino romano & grana padano, hot capicollo, fresh garlic, and basil). It was a good mix: the rich and earthy Tartufo Bianco complimented the sharp spiciness of the Amore really nicely. There was so much truffle oil on the Bianco that we drizzled it over the Amore, perfectly blending the two. A whole pie of the Bianco would feel a little one-note without basil and garlic, but combining these two very different pies made for a perfect pizza experience.
One thing a pizza nerd looks for is a good upskirt. This is the underside of the pie, the part that hits the hot oven. The current trend in New York pizzerias is a wood- or coal-burning oven, which cooks pizza quickly, with a charred upskirt and a subtle smokiness. Apizza Scholl’s had a classic metal oven, the kind ubiquitous at corner slice joints across the five boroughs. These ovens take a little longer to cook a pie but can yield a more even cooking temperature. The upskirt on our pie had a nice char and the dough, while thicker than a typical New York pie, had a fresh, clean taste and a nice chew in the crust.
Would I take Apizza Scholls over Motorino, Keste, Franny’s, or Roberta’s? Probably not, but any New Yorker who finds herself 2,500 miles from home and craving a pie would do well to get her name on the list at Apizza.
Currently drinking: Demolition Ale, Goose Island Brewery, Chicago, IL
A tart Belgian with small, tight carbonation. A little like small, tart green grapes and honey. Saison yeast? Wouldn’t mind a little more hop flavor, but I enjoy the citrusy bitter end notes
Great for a summer BBQ - would wash down a sun-soaked burger and chips like a pro.
What are you drinking?