All I wanted to do was get a few slices of pizza on my way through Manhattan from the airport. But, the traffic gods had their way, and it was one of the most miserable trips I have ever made through the City. The east side was so congested, you would have thought that the President, Pope and the Queen were all at the UN!
I struggled on and eventually started heading south on Second Avenue to my predetermined destination. Even though I was getting desperate with closing time approaching, seeing the sign for a Mike’s Pizza on the corner of 24th Street made me pull over and park. Add my first name to the word “pizza” and I will check you out.
I parked on Second Avenue in one of those spots that you’re never comfortable about whether you are legal or not. Taking the chance, I made my way into Mike’s, a small and somewhat-worn typical pizza joint. Surprisingly at this late hour, the tables were about half full, and there was a line at the counter where Mike’s wares were on display. I queued up to order my slice in a hurry having the parked car on my mind. My patience soon started to wear thin as a young Manhattan Millennial struggled with how to pay for their slice with their debit card.
After taking a seat and relaxing a bit, I was summoned back to the counter to claim my PC (“plain cheese”) slice ($2.75). Just one look at this one and I knew what I’d be getting in to. It’s a look I’ve seen way too many times, and foretold a slice that would be mediocre at best. There was no razzle-dazzle to it, and it’s dull orangey-white pale look was disappointingly staring me in the face.
Despite giving it a good toast in the oven, while it was hot on the top and somewhat crisp on the bottom, it was not heated evenly throughout. The cheese was slipping off a crust that was slightly thicker than necessary. Overall, it was oily, the cheese tasted lackluster and dull, and the tomato sauce was unwelcomingly sweet. This was just an average quick-constructed NY slice with a few flaws and just nothing special about it. Probably better than you’d find in Iowa, but not what you’d expect from New York City.
Mike’s been making pizza since 1974 probably keeping the neighborhood from having to call Dominos. But, it’s just not a place to seek out in a city with so much fabulous pizza to offer.
PIZZA SNOB RATING ***Better Than Dominos
415 2nd Avenue (corner of 24th Street)
New York, NY 10010 212-532-5196