Grimaldi’s — Or, how I missed my flight
At Grimaldi’s, I noticed a poster facing me. “I’ll make you a pizza you can’t refuse,” it read, alongside an Italian man and a pizza. And this pizzeria wasn’t kidding.
Because of it, I missed my flight home to San Francisco.
But how could one say no to a Grimaldi’s pizza with extra mozzarella, extra basil and pepperoni? The tomato sauce had the sweetness from long-stewed tomatoes, the earthy flavors of oregano and rosemary. The true mozzarella slices (none of the shredded, part-skim mozzarella used by most pizza chains) were partially browned from roasting in the oven, and rendered the occasional air pocket. The basil was spicy, sweet, clovelike. And the crust — ohhh, that crust — was thin, but not to a crisp. It made a crackle upon my bite, but in its aftermath it simply gave way to a soft, smoky-flavored chewiness.
I asked our waiter why he thought Grimaldi’s (in my opinion, the best pizza, world over) had such amazing pizza.
“We use the coal-burning brick oven, which keeps the temperature higher than a wood-fire oven,” he said. Apparently, it’s a subtle art, and Grimaldi’s pies even vary depending on who is making the pizza that day. “If the pizza’s too close to the flames, the dough gets mushy,” he explained. “If it’s farther away, the crust gets crispy on the outside and perfectly blackened on the bottom.”
Was it worth missing my check-in time at the airport, only to wait 3 1/2 hours to barely make it standby on the next flight? Stressful as it was, yes. It was worth every bite.
Grimaldi’s, 19 Old Fulton St., Brooklyn, New York. 718.858.4300