A dollar slice isn’t hard to come by in this city. A good dollar slice is a different story altogether.
The best dollar slice in the city has arrived, and it’s at Percy’s — a cozy pizzeria at 190 Bleecker St., in Greenwich Village.
I haven’t had Percy’s yet, though it seems inevitable that I will at some point. It seems like the most common response to the burgeoning dollar-slice pizza craze is, “Hey, that’s a pretty good slice of pizza for a dollar,” or “wow, you know this really isn’t that bad.”
And it’s true: Most of the dollar (or 99-cent) pizza I’ve tried really isn’t that bad. Better than most national chain pizzas, though that isn’t saying much. Plus most of the places are open late, found in convenient locations, and serve the pizza hot and fast. And, of course, you can’t beat the value. It’s a near-meal or a very solid late-night drunken snack for a single dollar.
So the trend is welcome as long as it doesn’t have any affect on the real, non-dollar pizza places the city is famous for. True story: I skipped dinner one night while Christmas shopping and realized I was famished just as I was walking past the 99-cent pizza place in my neighborhood. I stopped in for a slice and ate it on my walk home, thinking all the things I always think about how it’s just not that bad and it’s such a good deal for 99 cents.
But I was still hungry when I finished, so I ducked into a regular-old three-dollar-slice pizzeria and got a second slice there. And then… oh, right: Pizza’s not supposed to be not that bad. Pizza — good pizza — is f@#$ing amazing. Every single aspect of the more expensive slice blew away its 99-cent counterpart: The sauce was tastier, the cheese stretchier and less rubbery, the crust crispier and more flavorful.
There are a hell of a lot of hungry people in this city and most of them rightfully want pizza. So ideally the local economy can support both the 99-cent slice places and the traditional pizzerias, since they both offer something valuable. They offer very different things, like Taco Bell and actual Mexican restaurants or McDonald’s and anyplace that serves burgers that isn’t McDonald’s. And though perhaps in the case of the pizzas the distinction is a little more subtle, there should be room on our streets and in our stomachs for both styles.