Ambiance : 2/5
Food : 3.5/5
Service : 4/5
Value : 3.5/5
Price : $$ (cash only)
Reservation : Accept
Original coal oven pizza with onions & sun-dried tomatoes.
A lot of New Yorkers would swear by Paty's Pizzeria located in the East Harlem. Opened in 1933, is considered to be the first in New York to sell pizza by a slice. In 1991 the original owners sold the establishment to Frank Brija, who has since expanded the brand across the tri-state area.
The ambiance is simple, and very Hollywood Italian mob movie restaurant like. Just do a google image search for "godfather Louis restaurant". The first thing you'll notice as you enter is the walls on either side lined with photographs of famous people dining here. There are tables on either side, covered in white cloth and chairs that look like the originals that are refurbished in the mid-1960s. The wooden paneling on the walls looks damaged with pain chipping out at multiple places throughout the stretch. I chose to believe there is a reason why the place is kept in such a condition, but I clearly failed to understand why!
We were 4 very hungry adults on a cold Friday evening. We were quickly seated in the section adjacent to the entrance. I was surprised to see an all-male service staff. Their rugged looks and tattoos reminded me of the Italian mafia even though our server was not only polite but witty and funny.
We quickly ordered 3 pies between the 4 of us. The pizzas were thin and slightly charred at places, tasting of a good coal oven. The pie was not oily, but it was not crisp either. Unfortunately, in a hurry to order we forgot to mention our want for well-done pies. The outer crust was well risen, hollow from the inside and complimented the soft soggy interior well. My favorite was the Original Pizza with onions and sun-dried tomatoes. The fresh mozzarella on the Margherita brought it to a close second. The least favorite unanimously was Verdura. Roasted peppers made it extra soggy and it was dripping liquid as I folded the slice, the right way to eat an NY style pizza.
I am a sucker for history, and Patsy's at East Harlem was on my bucket list! The pies were not great but not bad either. I for one will not drive all the way to Harlem to eat here anymore, but will not miss a visit if in the area. There are a couple of other locations in midtown and Greenwich Village which are easily accessible.