This past summer, I interned in New York City. I would write a cliché blog of how beautiful the Statue of Liberty is or how mesmerizing all the lights at Times Square are, but to be honest, the most captivating part of the Big Apple was the food.
My first introduction to the big city cuisine was Joe's Pizza at Union Square. Now, before you start thumbing your nose and looking down upon my somewhat basic definition of a good pizza, understand that I come from a place where Donato's cardboard combination of cheese and bread would be considered a coveted pie. Joe's offered the perfect ratio of sauce to crust, and donned a beautiful golden coating of deliciously melted cheese on top. After that first bite, my life changed forever. I wish I could say I had enough self control to restrict my visits to Joe's, but once a weekend, I would find myself in line, dollar bills in hand, ready to for some more cheesy goodness.
There were other close contestants that came close to delivering the same satisfaction that first bite of Joe's did, namely Artichoke Pizza and L&B Spumoni Gardens, but in the end there was nothing that could compare.
Another bewildering pizza discovery came when I noticed the NY natives folding their pizza and walking down the street with it. In the Midwest, pizza is a social activity. I grew up in classrooms that boasted end of the year pizza parties, and the thought of grabbing a dollar slice outside of a college campus was unheard of.
During my summer in New York City, I tried to never repeat a restaurant in hopes of always discovering a new taste. Once, on my way to work, I overheard a tour guide tell his group that it would take the average person 54 years to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at every restaurant in NYC, not counting any restaurants what would open during that time span. I only had three months, so I had to make them count. However, there's one special place I'd be wiling to make an exception for. Thank you, Joe's Pizza.