On this trip to New York, I wanted to make sure I got some good New York pizza. That doesn’t mean typical New York pizza, it means real New York pizza. A friend (who happens to be Italian) told me I had to check out Lombardi’s in Little Italy, as it was the first pizzeria in America. That’s a good enough reason for me!

Mrs. Bohan and I were the first real customers at the restaurnat today, right after a bunch of people on a pizza tour. We had to sit in the back room, where the two-person tables were.
I had no idea how a pizza was going to fit on this table.
In true New York fashion, they had some Yankees memorabilia. Signed photos, signed baseballs, and …a big, signed, Mickey Mantle photo! That one’s gotta be worth a nice chunk of change.
They also had a framed New York Times article about the family tree of real New York pizza and how it’s currently experiencing a revival, not too unlike the microbrew movement. All the real pizzerias can trace their lineage right back here to Lombardi’s. I was anxious to find out what made New York pizza so special, but at the same time afraid I’d never like pizza anywhere else again.
The pizza tour being there actually made it pretty easy for me to go shoot photos and learn some knowledge. The oven is coal powered and runs at around 850 degrees. The gas ovens that other places use can only get about half that hot. A guy has to shove coal through that door behind the pizza boxes now and then to keep the fire going. Like the tiles above the oven say, Lombardi’s was opened in 1905, by Italian immigrant Gennaro Lombardi. He knew of the pizza in Naples, and adapted it slightly for whatever reason to invent New York pizza with its signature thin crust. The rest is history.
Our pizza came really fast, no doubt due to that coal oven. The crust was thin as expected, obviously hand-tossed, quite toasty in some spots but not burned. It was hard but not brittle, which is nice. It was actually chewy in my mouth, which surprised me for how hard it was in my hand. The basil and romano blended perfectly with the slightly sweet sauce, fresh cheese, and pepperoni.
And the verdict? I loved it, but I can probably still stand to eat the pizza in California. Mrs. Bohan said she prefers Costco pizza. Are you kidding me?

2 thoughts on “Lombardi’s

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