Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved pizza. Like most everyone that I know, I love pizza with all my heart, soul, and taste buds, and it’s been a staple of my diet for pretty much my whole life. My taste for a good slice has grown up with me, and long gone are the days of my childhood when I ate solely cheese pizza, and wouldn’t deign to eat the crust, no matter how hungry I was. But with a more sophisticated pizza palate comes certain demands on the wallet that can become, well, demanding.
When I moved to New York to start going to college, I became acquainted with some of the city’s finest slices, and despite the onerous price of a simple slice from a top-notch NYC pizza place, my constitutional love and need for pizza obliges me to grab a couple at least every few days. As New Yorkers know well, when it comes to pizza (and everything else) the city simply has the best. I like to try new places, but above all others, my favorite slice comes from Joe’s on Sixth Ave, across from Minetta Lane. A slice from Joe’s is huge and thin, with melted mozzarella sitting on top of a delicious sweet tomato sauce, always fresh from the oven due to the spot’s brisk business, and it’s basically my ideal slice. I love Joe’s pizza with or without a little extra parmesan or red pepper, at lunchtime or late night (open until 4 a.m.!). The only problem with my devotion to Joe’s pizza is the price. At $2.75 per slice of plain cheese, Joe’s is not exactly cost-effective.
Which brings me to the other best thing about eating in New York. In addition to offering the best of the best, the city has more pizza places than anyone could ever try, among them a number of places that sell dollar slices. With a steady diet of slices that cost only a dollar, even the most cash-strapped pizza lover can indulge his every craving. Of these cheap pizza paradises, the best and certainly best known is 2 Bros’, which just opened a second storefront a couple doors down from the original on St. Mark’s, between Third and Second Aves. At 2 Bros’, you can find a line that ranges from a few people to a small mob, depending on the time of day. But no matter how many people are on line, you will get to the front in less than five minutes, since 2 Bros’ has perfected the science of express pizza. The fleetest fast food joint can only hang its head in shame at the speed of 2 Bros’, where there are generally more pizzas than you can count in various stages of preparation behind the counter, and one can see three or four customers served at the sole register in under a single minute. And most importantly, 2 Bros’ meal deal of two slices and a soda costs the same $2.75 as a single slice at Joe’s.
For a pizza lover/borderline addict like myself, satisfying my pizza needs without spending too much cash comes down to compromise. My inner connoisseur wants to get a fancy slice every time, without worrying about the price. But in the end it’s not worth devoting too much budget space to pizza, especially when it can be an every-other-day habit. So when I’m nearby, have some time, and it makes sense, I head to Joe’s. When I’m in a rush, have been spending too much lately, or went to Joe’s the day before, I go to 2 Bros’. And when I want something new, I try one of the city’s other eight million pizza places.
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