Our Experience At The 2nd Annual New York Pizza Festival

festivalBetter late than never… The Michael W Travels family attended the 2nd Annual New York Pizza Festival in Bronx’s Little Italy on October 5th. (I’ve been a bit tardy on getting my post together.)

Last year, we attended the 1st NY Pizza Festival and had a great time. It was a no-brainer that we’d return again this year.

To change things up, we headed to the festival on the first day of the two day event. Due to this we didn’t have any recommendations to go by when choosing which slices to try.

We purchased two 6 slice cards from Living Social for $26.25 each. Buying the cards at the festival would’ve cost $35. The offer brought our cost down to $4.37 per slice. However, we did a little better, though not as good as last year.

While we weren’t offered slice cards from other pizza fans like last year, we were given around 3-4 slices for free!

Pizza is offered from shops around the US as well as some in Italy. This year, one booth was even had Argentinian style pizza!

Here are some highlights from the 2nd annual NY Pizza Festival:

Our favorite slice…We didn’t expect it but our clear-cut favorite slice of this year’s fest was from Metro Pizza. (Last year they were our co-favorite.) Their 5 Day Rise Sicilian Pizza was offered plain or with pepperoni.

After a short wait, I grabbed a plain slice but we really wanted to try the pepperoni. I don’t recall if it wasn’t ready or I just picked up the wrong slice but the friendly guys running the booth handed us a pepperoni too, when I realized the error.

The slice is thick but it’s so airy and light. The sauce was delicious and the pepperoni was tasty and crunchy. One of these days I need to check out their shop in Las Vegas.

Before leaving the fest, we got two more slices to take home.

I wasn’t surprised to run into…Soon after grabbing our slices from Metro, we ran into Scott Wiener from Scott’s Pizza Tours and the Thrillist video series Really Dough.

We couldn’t attend his excellent Slice Out Hunger event the week before so it was nice to catch up at the festival.

Lucas got swag from his favorite pizzeria from the 5 Boro Pizza Challenge.As we moved along, Lucas immediately spotted Pugsley Pizza, his favorite slice from the 5 Boro Pizza Challenge. We said a quick hello and then Lucas was handed a super cool Pugsley hat! After taking a photo, Lucas was given a Large NY Slice. There isn’t much to say here, Pugsley serves an excellent, class NY slice. (Lucky for me, Lucas doesn’t mind sharing so I had a few bites.)

We had an awesome slice from Naples, Italy.Vincenzo Capuano served an outstanding Margherita slice.

This would be one of other other favorites due to the pillowy crust. It was hard to share this one because it was so good, but small. We also loved the cheese on the slice. If we had more tickets and the slices didn’t sell out, we would’ve gotten another later on.

Best fusion slice goes to…Brooklyn Pizza Crew offered pizza from a couple of pizzaiolos. I was excited to finally give Last Dragon Pizza a try.

Nicole from Last Dragon was there making Chicken Tandori Masala Pizza.

This slice was really unique and different. The chicken tandori masala was delicious, not spicy). I would’ve been happy eating a plate of the chicken by itself, add it to pizza and you have one of the most unique fusion slices.

Last Dragon Pizza is available for pickup only or it can be shipped. I’ve been meaning to place an order and get over to Rockaway for a couple of years now. One of these days..It was also nice to run into Serhan from Boston Pizza (he also does Detroit style pizza pop-ups) and meet Nicole from Last Dragon in person.

Argentinian pizza in the US is better than in Argentina…Brooklyn Pizza Crew also had Papa making Traditional Argentinian Pizza.We were in Argentina over Spring Break and tried pizza there in a couple of classic shops. We enjoyed it and respect the culture of this style, but IMO it doesn’t compare to NY pizza. I first ordered a plain slice which was thick, squishy and enjoyable. The slice wasn’t as cheesy as it was in Argentina. This is a good thing. It was also a bit oily in a good way.

While chatting with Nicole from Last Dragon, I ended up talking with Papa about pizza and Argentina. He then pulled a piping hot Fugazzeta Pizza out of the oven.
The Fugazzeta has the same crust minus the sauce. It’s also topped with a ridiculous amount of onions. Kim and I really enjoyed this slice.

I’m hoping that Papa does an Argentinian style pizza pop-up soon!

Find out about the important question I asked NYC’s Mayor de Blasio at the festival.

The sleeper slice…Harry’s Pizzeria from Miami was serving a Short Rib Pizza.

The slice was topped with fontina, gruyere, carmelized onion, braised short rib and arugula.

I wish I removed the arugula for the photo so you could see the short rib but that and the carmelized onions were the stars of this slice. The short rib was tender and the carmelized onion were so soft and sweet. These two items alone would be a great dish. We also liked how the crust had a touch of salt.

We saw a pizza master at work…Gino Sorbillo is one of the top pizzaiolos and possibly the most famous in Naples. He opened a shop in NY a couple of years back which we really enjoyed.

While on line for a slice, I enjoyed watching Sorbillo at work, stretching doughs. I would’ve liked to have said hello in-person but a few minutes before we ordered he wandered off.

As for the pizza, a Carbonara with pancetta, tomato, egg, mozzarella bufala and black pepper was offered. I only took a bite and then wrapped the rest of it to take home.

Bonus…We walked around the area after the festival ended. Theo slept through a good portion of it and Lucas was getting hungry. He requested that we head back to Pugsley Pizza for one last slice so we obliged!

Final Thoughts:

The New York Pizza Festival was an equally fun and tasty event as it was the year before. We arrived early and it wasn’t as busy as I expected which was not a bad thing! However, it seemed to lack some of the excitement.

Regardless, we really enjoyed the event and look forward to going again next year!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *