After making my pilgrimage to the Neapolitan pizza mecca in Phoenix known as Pizzeria Bianco, I decided I would see if I could find a decent New York style slice in this beautiful mountainous state that carries the seldom-used nickname of the “Italy of America.” Well, my first attempt was a family-referral, and it turned out that their favorite local pizza joint wasn’t all that bad. Yo Pauly’s New York Pizza Co. makes a decent slice courtesy of some East Coast folks who left home for the Italy of the west.
Tucked away inside a strip center in swanky Scottsdale, a city with about as much wealth as cactus, we moseyed over to Pauly’s place mid-afternoon for a slice snack. In case you haven’t caught on yet, their name comes from the Rocky film and “yo, Paulie” is how the fighter used to call his girlfriend’s brother. It did take me a minute to recall that film was set in Philadelphia, not New York. Whatever, at least the Italian connection is there.
The joint was empty at this off hour, and the nice folks running things gifted us with some free tasty garlic knots while we waited for some slices. Mine was of course a PC (plain cheese), and we got two slices for $5.95.
OK, this wasn’t the greatest NY slice I’ve ever had, but it sure wasn’t bad for being 2,500 miles from Pizza Center, USA. Its bad marks came from being smaller and greasier than expected. On the plus side, it had a great char and a good crisp, but slightly pale-tasting, crust. It wasn’t overloaded with cheese and tomato sauce, and had just enough to get the job done. I found the cheese to be a little fluffy which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, just a little different.
So, in the end, this is a good tasty slice that will make you homesick for the Big Apple. If I lived here, I’d eat it often. And, oh yeah, the garlic knots rocked!
PIZZA SNOB RATING ***1/2 Working on a Good Thing
Yo Pauly’s Pizza Co.
8880 E. Via Linda
Scottsdale, AZ 85258