Saluggi's front door

There is some debate as to where and when pizza originated.  Many of those debates will include New York City with varying levels of importance.  Regardless, it’s undeniable that New York City has some of the best pizzerias around.  If you ask some friends who have been to or know New York where to get a good slice of pizza, Artichoke or Grimaldi’s will probably be somewhere toward the top of their list.  There are so many great pizzerias in New York, it’s easy to go with what’s well known and famous. However, I’m going to ask that you try something off the beaten path that will leave you wondering how such deliciousness had been absent from your life.

The inside of Saluggi's decked out with Halloween decorations

Saluggi’s has an unassuming storefront in Tribeca.  When you walk in, you will probably find that they aren’t super full.  You may worry for a moment that this crazy west-coast-born blogger has no idea what he is talking about.  This place is not that packed–certainly not like those famous places all of your friends kept telling you to try–how could it be so good?  You just have to trust me.

Saluggi’s serves appetizers, sandwiches, salads, and pastas, but what they are most famous for is their brick-oven pizzas and calzones.  They make their own fresh mozzarella cheese that they use generously on every pizza.  After eating their fresh mozzarella you will probably wonder how to make fresh mozzarella to make up for the poor substitutes you find elsewhere.  They even make a vegan pizza with daiya vegan cheese, red sauce, and basil.  Their toppings have been nothing but fresh and each pie seems to be made with tender love and care.  The pizza crust is perfectly toasted and crunches ever so slightly with each bite.  To top it off, they are reasonably priced with large pizzas (8 filling slices) ranging from $19-25.  They also sell small pizzas and pizzas by the slice if your heart so desires, but I find it difficult to resist ordering the large every time I go. Continue reading


Pagan Restaurant

Pagan RestaurantI lived in San Francisco for three years before moving to New York.  I am back in the Bay Area this summer interning for a legal non-profit in Oakland.  Being back, I have been reminded of how great the Asian food is here.  Don’t get me wrong.  New York has some great food, but there are things that San Francisco does better.

One of those things is Burmese food.  My introduction with Burmese food was at a restaurant called Burma Superstar on Clement St. in the Inner Richmond district of San Francisco.  Burma Superstar is a reason for downtown dwellers to venture out “to the Avenues” for an evening meal.  As a result, you may have to wait over an hour to be seated.  I don’t know about you, but if I can get something just as good (maybe even better in some ways), I’ll go for the place without a wait.

Enter Pagan.  Pagan opened a few years ago on the corner of 33rd Avenue and Clement Street in the Outer Richmond.  It’s the last in a short series of restaurants and boutiques near the entrance to the Legion of Honor before Clement becomes entirely residential.  They have both a Burmese menu and a Thai menu.  Story has it that the owners, Burmese, stopped off in Thailand before making their way to the United States.  I’ve gone only for the Burmese.  When they first opened, the restaurant struggled with service, which prompted me to stay away for a while after a handful of visits.  I recently went back because my sister insisted on having Burmese while visiting, and neither of us wanted to wait at Burma Superstar.

Continue reading