The area surrounding our fair campus is no stranger to the dollar slice. But the block radius around 13th Street and 1st Avenue has taken these shenanigans to a new level, with four dollar-pizza shops now in business. Four different places where sauce, cheese, and dough come together in a fusion of deliciousness, and it only costs one hundred cents. There’s corporate monster Papa John’s, recently-converted-dollar-pizza Vinny Vincenz, most-stereotypical-name Joey Pepperoni, and St. Marks delicacy, 2 Bros. Which dollar slice is best? Which establishment deserves our hard-earned – or earned hardly – George Washington?
We got four highly-qualified NYU students to eat each slice. They commented on appearance, taste, and overall experience. As an added wrinkle, this was a blind taste test; three of the experts will guess which pizza slice belongs to which place. The slices were bought from each place at around 10pm on Tuesday night, and were consumed within 10 minutes of purchase.
So who do we have to undertake such a cheesy task? First, there’s Aaron Marks, NYU Local’s Senior Dollar Slice Correspondent. Next, Heddy Hunt, Tisch ’13, who eats “a lot of pizza drunk.” Third, we have Nadia Hoppe, CAS ’13, who “loves cheese and all things delicious.” Finally, there’s this reporter, who ate eight pieces of pizza at Hebrew School once.
As the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would say, PIZZA POWER!
Visually, it was no contest. The Two Bros slice “looks super cheesy and delicious,” or at least the “least offensive.” Vinnie’s seemed like “classic dollar slice” and “lots of sauce.” But we wondered ,“Is there any cheese?” Papa John’s looked like a microwavable pie: “puffy,” “commercial,” and sporting a “weird bubble” that just could not be explained. Finally, we wondered why Joey Pepperoni “is so red,” “shriveled, old, and revolting,” and why it looked like an old woman?
The taste test was more of the same. Two Bros received loads of praise. We all agreed the sauce is sweet and “ebullient,” the “cheese is perfect amount,” and the crust is on and poppin’. One expert said, “I want like 100 more slices.” Most importantly, the 2 Bros wasn’t that greasy, making it a “manageable drunk food.”
The consensus on the Vinnie’s slice was that it was old: “not fresh, “objectively ‘old,” “like its been around the block if you know what I mean.” They also noted not enough cheese, and crunchy crunh. We support local businesses, though.
Papa John’s has been deemed “a last resort only.” It was pretty much “only dough” with “bread and cheese on top,” somehow circumventing the idea of pizza with all of the proper ingredients. On the plus side, one expert mused, “this tastes like high school.” So Papa John’s is good for nostalgia.
Finally, Joey Pepperoni is an enigma. The pizza elements have come together, but something is just off. Aaron Marks sums it up: “what are these tastes … It’s slipping apart in my mouth, good crust and sauce but cheese is exclusively preservatives.”
Surprisingly, all three experts named each pizza place correctly. Mazel tov. The experts were also in consensus on their best and worst. Two Bros was the favorite all across the board, while Papa John’s is not even worth four quarters. This further proves that it actually makes a huge difference where you get your slice.
In conclusion, Two Bros reigns king no matter where they’re located, and you should be ashamed of yourself if you’re buying Papa John’s in NYC.
Image composite by the author.