Saluggi’s

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

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Alla Bolognese

A shot of espresso at Bar Romano in Piazza Maggiore in Bologna

This past June, I spent two weeks studying international commercial arbitration at the University of Bologna.  It was an excellent opportunity to go back to Europe (as you probably saw in my post on Madrid) and eat some amazing Italian food.

Bologna is famous for its handmade pasta, in particular, its stuffed pasta.  It is said that in Bologna, they eat “la grassa.”  It literally means fat or rich.  In other words, they eat very well.  The pasta itself is made using only fresh eggs and type 0 flour (vs. 00 flour), which in other regions is often used for pizza preparation.  They mix the eggs together in a “fountain” of flour, slowly incorporate the flour, set the dough aside for about half an hour, and then carefully roll it out into sheets before cutting it.  I bought a book by Sorelle Simili, two elderly Italian women well known in the art of handmade pasta in Emilia Romagna (the larger region of which Bologna is a part), in the hopes of perfecting the technique this summer.  Unfortunately, I have yet to find time for it!  I still have about a month of summer left, though.  Whatever I learn from the experience, I will recount here.

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Bocadillos in Madrid

A sign outside a "cafeteria" in Madrid advertises their selection of bocadillos

I studied abroad in Madrid for a year during undergrad, and while my student budget did not allow me to try as many restaurants as I would have liked, I was still able to sample a variety of Spanish food.  A recent class in Bologna this summer gave me the opportunity to go stop off in Madrid and return to old favorite eateries.

Bocadillos are inexpensive sandwiches served on baguette-style bread and are often eaten during the day.  The meat or whatever they use inside the bocadillo is usually very simple such as sliced ham, anchovies, salt, and/or cheese with little to no sauce inside.  You can, of course, request a side of “mayonesa” (mayonnaise) if your heart desires but may find little else with which to lather up your “pan.”

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