In Shanghai, Feast New York by the Slice

In Shanghai, Feast New York by the Slice

The most memorable foods in New York City are mostly tied with immigrants. Jewish Bagel, Mexican Taco, Hummus from Middle East, the often hunger inducing smell of the Greek Gyros on a food truck. Ah, don't forget the long lined The Halal Guys, a New York version of Huangmenji Rice ( “黄焖鸡米饭” ). 

The most iconic one of them is probabaly my least favorite, the New York-style Pizza

纽约那些让人一往情深的食物,大都来自外埠:犹太人的Bagel,墨西哥阿妈的手工Taco,中东的鹰嘴豆泥Hummus,希腊的Gyro卷,哦,还有博物馆门前53街大排长龙的The Halal Guys,纽约版黄焖鸡米饭。

最有名的一样,我却很少想它。

它的名字,叫New York Pizza

Like many pizzas in the world, the New York-style pizza is a variation of Naepolitan Pizza. Inheriting the same thin-crispy crust, using local ingredients and cooking method such as coal fire instead of the original wood oven, the hand-tossed New York-style pizza is larger in size, ranging from 16 to 18 inches. The all-time best selling flavor of New York-style pizza is ketchup topped with mozzarella cheese. When it's done, look for the ketchup oozing from underneath the greasy, pliable cheese - a distinct New York-style. 

纽约披萨,师承那不勒斯,一样的标志性脆饼底,却大得多,通常可以到16至18英寸,也薄得多。最好卖的芝士口味,就是饼底上刷一圈番茄酱,撒点Cheese进炉烤,熟了以后,点点茄酱从白色的芝士里渗出来,香腻适口。大约也是因为当年的新移民囊中羞涩,不仅肉食是奢侈,连香草、大蒜什么的都一并省了算了。

 

The fashion of Pizza by the Slice was started in New York's Italian immigrant community, by a Little Italy grocery store called Lombardi's. Its targeted customers, mostly immigrant factory workers, could not afford a whole pie. Go by the slice is much more affordable and does not require sitting down with a knife and a fork, fits perfectly the lifestyle of a poor immigrant worker. 

据说,世界上第一个按片卖Pizza的(Pizza by the Slice),是纽约小意大利的披萨店Lombardi's。厨师突发奇想,把涂满芝士和番茄酱的大圆饼,裁成片出售,掀起了一场不小的披萨革命:买不起整个披萨,也可以买一片,还不用刀叉,手一抓就能吃!

 

Holding the giant thin slice of pizza with one hand without dropping the topping, requires practice. The answer is, fold it. This technique not only allows you to enjoy your slice avoiding the mess but also doubles the amount of pizza you can eat with one bite...

Well Julia Roberts knows her way of being elegant but extra point for Mr Gosling, a  native Canadian, for harnessing the arts of eating a slice of New York-style pizza. 

吃这披萨,姿势大有讲究,又薄又大一片,一不留神就掉馅儿,所以必要捏着两头,对折起来往嘴里送。下面两张图,罗伯茨阿姨的吃法太文雅、太上东区,高司令这个加拿大人,才得到了点!

Also, thanks to the slice, legions of workers were fed, generations of nolstagia, appeased. 

多亏了这一片片披萨,喂饱了一代代穷苦劳工,亦抚慰了无数异乡人难解的乡愁。

I've passed by Lomardi's many times when I lived in New York. The hundred year old establishment is now serving mostly foreign visitors, hoarded together by travel guides written in many different languages, for a pilgram of the earliest and most authentic New York-style pizza. 

The locals who live paycheck-to-paychek don't go to Lombardi's anymore, instead they frequent the $1 or 99 cents pizza joints. The kind of place where a slice is sold at the price of a dollor or 99 cents. 

住纽约的时候,没少路过这间100多岁的Lombardi's。只不过如今店门口大排长龙的,多是来朝圣的外国观光客,看了天花乱坠的旅游书,一心来寻最古早、最正宗的纽约披萨。

指着每月支票交房租的本地朋友,常常光顾“1美元”或“99分”披萨店,店如其名,一片pizza一美元:

This sort of pizza joints is everywehre in New York and can be spotted easily: from several blocks away, you won't miss the strong smell; a shining neon-lit sign of "pizza" and "$1 per slice" never goes out; Diving in, you were quickly surrounded by hot and humid cooking fume due to poor ventilation; A very basic design of the dining room, or simply no design, few chairs, all set up for a quick bite standing on your feet. 

这种路边披萨店,闹市区里每走几步就能看见一家,隔着一条街都能闻见味儿,走近了一瞧,窗前写着Pizza字样的霓虹灯常亮不熄,掀开店门,扑面而来老大一股油濠气,装修毫不讲究,店内靠墙一溜儿搁板,再随意置几张高脚桌,立着兀自吃完,抹抹嘴巴走人。

Fresh out of the oven, the pizza was cut by a special pizza cutter into 8 pieces, served in a white, round paper plate with a napkin tucked underneath, with a sprinkle of chili flakes, it's ready to eat!

For the quality of the ingredients, it's not fair to compare a dollar joint to a beloved family-run pizzaria. But the low cost serves its own purpose and feed its customers accordingly.

The cheapest opiton is the classic ketchup and cheese, priced at 99 cents or a dollar. An addtion of Pepperoni doubles the cost. The most popular combo, $2.75 for 2 slices of pizza and a can of soda(or water), is a budget choice for lunch that make ends meet. It's 50% cheaper than 4 picks and 1 soup in Chinatown!

刚出炉的滚热披萨,手脚麻利的店员用小滚轮刀切成八瓣儿,撂起一块盛在白色圆纸盘里,底下垫一张纸巾递给你,撒上辣椒碎,准备开吃!

因为便宜,用料上不如正经披萨店那么讲究,但作果腹之用,无可厚非。

最便宜的是经典款的番茄酱芝士,加Pepperoni香肠的款,马上价格翻倍,财大气粗涨到2美元!而最受欢迎的套餐,2块7毛5,包含一罐汽水和两张经典芝士披萨,月底手头拮据时,一顿午饭就这么解决了,比Chinatown里的四菜一汤都便宜一半。

The everyday pizza is the pizza in the street, is the staple for the poor, is the New York version of Qian Li Xiang (千里香)。

If we have to talk about nutrients. Well the sitting-down-with-knife-and-fork pizzaria, even with its better quality ingredients, cannot alter the fact of high calories...truth is, pizza, just like fried chicken (and many other junkfoods), fits into all kinds of circumstances: a quick bite before class, together with friends watching TV, lonely, sad (and awkward) moments after a break-up...pizza is always there for you. 

A slice of pizza fixes everything. If not, take two. 

日常生活里的pizza店都是路边摊,是解决温饱的口粮,是纽约人的千里香

至于营养么,就算高级一点的店用料健康些,热量上也八九不离十。很多人吃披萨,和炸鸡一样,就是为了一口爽:朋友聚会,失恋一个人,上课来不及随便搭一口,它总在那里,等你去吃。

没有什么是一顿Pizza解决不了的。

My street pizza experiences usually involve alcohol. The midnight view of 14th street and 1st Ave, or Alphabet City at 2 o'clock in the morning, with a group of drunk colleauges and friends, we swang into one of those 24 hour pizza joint, giggling and gulping down a slice or two. The next day, all details were gone, and hungover was spared. 

我的路边披萨店记忆,大多和酒有关。半夜的14街1大道,两点钟的字母城(Alphabet City),连同一群喝得醉醺醺的同事朋友,鱼贯晃进灯光刺眼的24小时披萨店,傻笑着囫囵下肚;翌日醒来,细节烟消云散,只记得吃过宵夜,免去宿醉苦恼。

Another type of the pizzarias that locals frequent has not much to do with the New York-style. The famed Roberta's in Bushwick, Brooklyn was a pioneer in local artisanal pizza, exploring the edge of baking techniques as well as creative flavors. The normal wait is between 2 to 3 hours. For a cool, breezy summer night, it's not bad to spend few hours talking to friends in the yard, waiting to be seated - it's part of the experience anyway. 

还有一种本地人常去的店,和纽约披萨这种风格就没多大关系了。布鲁克林Bushwick那间声名远扬的Roberta's,算是纽约本土创新派,馅料奇葩,动辄排上两三个小时队,天热的时候在院子里喝个啤酒等个位,也算是体验生活。

Back to Manhattan, I've never been to Lombardi's. Not a big fan of the acclaimed Rubirosa, I‘d go for Emporio instead for its wood oven Naepolitan pizza and delicious handmade pasta; if you consider yourself qutie edgy and a trend-setter, try Denny Meyer's Marta, 9'' single pizza filled with artichokes and prosciutto, topped with a poarched egg, I cannot think of anything better than this for a hangover cure. 

小意大利和Nolita,路过那么多次Lombardi's却一次都没进去过,广受好评的Rubirosa,吃过无感,倒是名不见经传的Emporio,有出色的木炭火炉那不勒斯披萨和美味的手工意面;如果你属意新派又时髦的披萨,不如试试Marta,但严格来说,也无法被归类为传统的纽约披萨,9寸的单人披萨打一个蛋,作为Brunch醒酒,简直无懈可击。

After relocating to Shanghai, I've missed a good bagel, I've searched vigorously for the best Hummus, but I have NEVER had the crave for New York-style pizza. 

I never considered it special. 

The pizza in New York is like a background music that never stops humming, a caring perosn who always gets to be the back-up or the rebound, so caring and so very common. 

But it is this pizza, that made me blurt out things like "oh fuck" and couldnt stop thinking about the crispy and crunchy crust hours later...

If you miss New York, maybe it's time for a slice of pizza. 

吃来吃去,吃到最后,记忆都模糊。回上海之后,馋过Bagel,疯狂寻过Hummus,却一次都没想过纽约的披萨

也许是因为,我从来没把纽约的披萨放在心上

纽约的披萨,是这座城市从未停歇的背景音乐,像一个永远不会离开的“备胎”,庸庸碌碌,无甚特殊,使劲看几眼都记不住长相。

却也正是这样一张披萨,一口咬在嘴里,不由得失声讲出“啊,这就是纽约的味道”,继而回忆汹涌,让我大半夜的对着电脑掏心掏肺。😂 

如果你也怀念纽约,不如我们一起去吃披萨?


 

 J o e ' s   P i z z a  

In the pizza power map of New York, stands the 40 year old, family-run pizzaria Joe's Pizza, representing Greenwhich Village. Till this date, it has been handed down three generations and opened up three locations in New York. 

After 40 some years thriving in Greenwhich and the neighbourhood beyond, the first big step outside New York, was an outpost in Shanghai, thousands miles away from its original location. 

纽约Pizza版图里,营业四十载的家族式披萨店Joe's Pizza,是格林威治村(Greenwhich Village)一面屹立不倒的大旗,如今已经传到了第三代。

四十年后,家族终于在第三代传人的手里,开始了海外扩张。第一站,就是上海。

Joe's Pizza Shanghai (btw, if you take the "pizza" out it's the name of a famous Shanghainese restaurant in New York, 鹿鸣春), this authentic franchise from New York took over a location on Wujiang Road near N. Maoming Road. Sitting on top of 3 metro lines, embracing a number of office builidngs nearby, the business had a strong and steady start. 

Funnything, the neighbour next door happens to be Subway, the American chain sandwich store around for more than 10 years. 

上海的这家店,算是正宗纽约舶来市口极好,就在吴江路茂名北路路口,坐镇三条地铁之上,再加上周边的写字楼,绝对不担心披萨卖不动;与同样来自美国的连锁三明治快餐Subway做邻居,也是很巧。

There is a brick wall filled with photographs, this kinda trick worked well with long established institution aka lao zi hao (老字号) regardless, greatly enhancing the authenticity of the place. And it sells. They even put up two LED screens on top of the cashier, playing a video on repeat mode for a better introduction of the pizza and the family story behind. 

The short video was about how the family's younger generation brought the old pizzaria to Williamsburg. Well I have to say now I missed it a little. 

生意也是很会做,照片墙这种传统营销手段,中西老字号都爱用,也极具说服力。营业台上吊两块电视,配了字幕滚动播放宣传片。

片子不长,讲的是小哥把老店开去了自己住的布鲁克林威廉斯堡的故事,看完还挺感动。

哦对了,当天小哥也在店里哒。

Extra point for this location: foreigners making pizza! This is quite normal in the expat dominated concession area, but as for Wujiang Road, admit it, this is exotic. 

Peeping through the wrought iron window that reminds a little of downtown Manhattan, a few local Shanghainese stopped with a curious look on their face, staring at a few young foreign lads busy preparing pizza dough. 

最有趣的,莫过于有几个外国人在做披萨。这样的光景,在常住人口一半外国人的法租界并不鲜见,放在这个人来人往的市井街口,却平添了一丝异域风情。

纽约风十足的铁格子窗外,时有路过的上海市民,好奇望一望这几个外国人,一本正经地捣鼓这种他们耳熟能详的外国大饼。

Menu was simple and straightforward. A slice was priced at 22 to 35 kuai, about the same level as in New York. Apart from the normal soda and water, they've got 3 flavors of Goose Island on top as the brewery happens to be around the corner. 

I tried the classic, the pepperoni and the spinach snowwhite (strongly recommended by one expat staff who speaks perfect Chinese. )

菜单简单粗暴,一片Pizza的价格22至35不等,基本和纽约持平。酒水方面,因为Goose Island的精酿啤酒吧就在附近,还特别提供鹅岛三种口味的精酿。

要了经典款、Pepperoni 以及一个中文讲很好(也很帅)的老外大哥力推的菠菜Ricotta白雪

Classic and Pepperoni were crispy as imagined and charred a little on the edge. The crust is rather hard and try. My dining buddy gave each no more than a bite and left a comment: "fillings not enough, and it's a bit too dry. "

On the other side, sat me eating this pizza like I couldn't stop it...

At first bite, I knew this is it. 

Long time no eat. 

“Oh fuck...”

Excuse my language. The crust is a bit too dry, and it's quite chewy. You should have known better to ask for an extra cheese (or topping). But this is exactly what I've had before, 2 o'clock in the morning, somewhere in east village, or lower east side...

Besides, the bright white lights hanging above your head, the view of the guys busy making pizzas in the open kitchen, and the sound of an old American pop song hovering over...a specific combination of flavor, texture, light and smell brought me down my memory lane, flashes of old days, in an utterly unexpected way. 

In this slice of New York-style pizza I've never crave, lives the city and my past. 

经典款和香肠款,焦边诱人,饼底捏起来很硬,友人各咬了一口就撂下了,理由是“馅儿不够多,饼底太干。”

与之相对的,是一口接一口吃到停不下来的我。

咬下去第一口,心里就咯噔了一下。

随着酥脆干爽的饼底和芝士,在口中慢慢化开的,就是那种久违的、属于凌晨纽约的夜宵气息。

“Oh fuck...”

是啊,也许这饼底太干、太硬,馅料也放得不够慷慨,但这的的确确,就是纽约披萨才有的味道。

加之头顶明晃晃的灯光,开放式厨房里忙碌的身影,耳畔萦绕的美国老歌,特定的味道、口感、光线、气味触发一连串回忆,脑中闪过无数片段与光影,令人措手不及。

这块我根本没有怀念过的pizza里,竟藏着一整个纽约。

I would not recommend the snowwhite unless you season it with an extra sprinkle of chili flakes. And the crust was too soft as a result of an overload of ricotta. 

To pick a key factor among all things matter. Crust is everything. Chewy, cripsy, and DRY, together they make the perfect New York pizza as far as I am concerned. The amount of water added, the way you toss your dough, looks simple but takes years of practice. I noticed one of the cooks was possibly Mexican, obviously brought here by the owner straight from New York. 

The best pizza masters in New York is not Italian, they are Mexican. 

We met at the door when I was leaving and I told him:

"I love the pizza, it's exactly the same as I had in New York. "

菠菜并不推荐,整体调味过淡,烤菠菜没有香气,Ricotta Cheese太水,导致整个饼底都快塌了。

这其中,饼底当然是关键柔韧、酥脆、有嚼劲(以及,干……),是深埋记忆里最道地的纽约披萨。放多少水,面团怎样摔(Toss)到位,看似简单,却也要多年功夫。厨房里有一位墨西哥裔模样的光头小哥,眼神发亮,皮肤黝黑,一看就是店主从纽约带过来的厨子。

要知道,纽约最好的披萨师傅,绝对不是意大利人,是墨西哥人。

离开的时候,他来推门,我告诉他:

“这披萨,和我在纽约吃过的,一模一样。”


  H o m e s l i c e  

I got to know this place through a chef friend, a much trustworthy source of new restaurant openings. 

"I know 25 kuai sounds expensive but the toppings were generous, and they got the seasoning right. "

And 25 is actually quite cheap, consider it's Shanghai. I bumped into Beef & Liberty's Uwe Opocensky(who currrently takes care of a series of resturants across Hong Kong and Shanghai, such as Beef & Liberty), a self-claimed pizza lover, obviously loved what he just had. 

知道这家Homeslice,是通过一位我笃信的厨师友人。

25块可能有点贵,但料特别足,真的值得一试。”

探店的当晚,在餐厅里遇到了采访过的Beef & Liberty新任总厨Uwe Opocensky,对此地的Pizza,自诩Pizza党的他,亦是举双手推荐。

Compared to Joe's, this place is SWAG. The designer decoratd the wall with New York Metro Lines and the entrance was modeled after the Astor Place metro station. 

Even the opening poster adpoted the same style of a service change notification :D

比起Joe's,这家店的装修可时髦多了。设计师选用了按颜色标注的纽约地铁线路图作为装修灵感,店门仿造纽约Astor Place地铁站外形,仔细看看,还真有那么点意思~ (插句题外话,很多人是按颜色来记的,黄线、橙线、蓝线等,我是按字母记的,NQR、BDFM、ACE……估计这里面也有很多思维习惯的差异吧~)

连海报都是模仿纽约地铁里的维修告示 :D

Being a New York-style pizzaria, the owner is a British restaurateur known for Fulton place and Pop-up restaurant project Yangjingbang. As opposed to the prime location of Joe's, Found 158 (大同坊) is much less known to any local foodie (or anyone lives in Shanghai). But the mention of JZ club might change your view, and Homeslice is gearing up a partnership with Sherpa's at the end of Febuary. Stay tuned and rejoice!

虽然是家纽约风格的披萨店,但老板却来自英国,在上海也算是小有名气的餐饮业者。相较南京西路的繁华路段,慧公馆旁的大同坊下沉式广场,恐怕要差了几个段位,这家店基本上就是要靠自己了。老板准备与Sherpa's一类的外卖服务进行合作,也寄希望于对面早先开张的JZ爵士俱乐部,能够提升这一地段的人气。

Price is 10% cheaper than Joe's in general. A drinking list consists of a number of Italian apertif cocktails such as Negroni、Aperol Spritz and Americano priced at 40 kaui on average, plus a loft spce much more comfortable, with an additoin of decent salad, I'd be happy to hang out here with friends. 

We've seen a few people swinging by to get a whole pie and I'm pretty sure people will do take-outs when delivery service is in place.

Ah, and the drinks were good. 

Pizza价格方面,比之前的Joe's便宜约10%。而包括葡萄酒和几款经典意大利开胃鸡尾酒(Negroni、Spritz、Americano)的、均价在40元左右的实惠酒单,加之相对更舒适的环境与氛围,只要再来一盆好吃的沙拉,我其实还挺愿意在这家店里待上一会儿的。

用餐过程中,也不时有老外推门来买整只Pizza;不过因为只有一位厨师(Joe's有两位),Pizza的制作时间会稍长。

对了,酒不错喝。

 

The pizza master Rock is a local Chinese. I found it very impressive when I learned he gained his skill self-taught.

面相清奇、眉心有一点痣的厨师Rock来自中国,做起Pizza来却绝对不含糊。摔拉捶打,很是地道,而且听说他竟是自学成才,也是让人不得不佩服。

I tried also 3 different flavors: White,Meat,and Sausage; The White pizza, with a mixed topping of Mozzarella, Ricotta and Parmesan, was full of flavor and delightful. The owner made an effort to ensure only quality ingredients was used, including making their own sausages. 

As for the crust, it's a tie between the two institutions for level of chewiness. The crust here is a little thinner than Joe's, and greasier (not neccessarily a bad thing. ) The presence of a little more oil made it easier to chew and digest. As for toppings and seasoning, Homeslice is undoubtedly the winner. (My friend, Catherine, was obviously in favor of homeslice as she devoured a whole slice. )

同样选了三款披萨,White,Meat,Sausage,白底Pizza(White)尤其惊艳,除了常规的水牛芝士,还加入了Ricotta乳清芝士和提香的帕玛森芝士,滋味丰富且浓郁。厨师表示,他们尝试自己做大部分的原材料,包括香肠。

饼底而言,这两家在韧劲上不相上下,Homeslice比Joe's更薄,也更油一些,入口不干,一人吃下一整片,也不会觉得咬肌锻炼过头。😂  馅料方面,调味更重,用料也更丰富,这都是有目共睹的。

同行的友人上海女郎,显然非常偏爱这一家。差不多每一款都吃掉了一小半,剩下扔给我

我也很爱他家的干辣椒罐子,非常可爱!

I am definitely not the first one who pitted Joe's against Homeslice. In a town like Shanghai, people loved such games. 

Here comes my little survey. Among my friends who have dined at both places, those who have never lived or even been to New York all picked homeslice as the winner (fillings, quality, overall. ) Whilethe ones who spent some days in New York (including myself) found it difficult to resist the thought of going back to Joe's for another slice, even though it's on the rough side. 

We have to come to this conclusion, most of the times, eating is all about personal choice. For a slice of pizza, I believe Homeslice is better. However, I couldn't help but gave in as I recognized the most important ingredient in Joe's pizza. 

That ingredient is called New York. 

其实本来还想再吃一块蘑菇味,结果朋友终于受不了油濠气(Pizza店无可避免的最大问题),拽着我跑路了。

最近上海的其他媒体,似乎也很热衷将Joe's和Homeslice放在一起做对比。

我做了个小问卷,找了几个两家都去吃过的朋友,问问他们对这两家店的看法。其中没有在纽约生活过的朋友,大多认为Homeslice更加正点(馅料足、用料上乘、整体更香),但凡纽约生活过的人而言,更容易对Joe's念念不忘,虽然它给人的整体感觉,有点糙。

必须承认,大部分时候,吃东西也是一件主观的事情。在很多情况下,其实并不存在绝对的孰优孰劣。口味上,我也同意Homeslice更胜一筹,但身体却也很诚实地告诉我,Joe's的披萨里,有一味不可取代的佐料,叫“纽约”。

NAPA SHANGHAI : What Kind of Restaurant Is Worth a Second Try?

NAPA SHANGHAI : What Kind of Restaurant Is Worth a Second Try?

An Incomplete Guide to Roasted Chicken in Shanghai

An Incomplete Guide to Roasted Chicken in Shanghai