19 Old Fulton St.
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201

The anticipation was killing me. I was sitting in the back of a cab on the way to Grimaldi’s, about to taste the “best pizza in Brooklyn” and I didn’t want to wait any longer. Upon exiting the cab though, I realized my wait had just begun. The line extended down the sidewalk for a good one-hundred feet. As we claimed a spot at the end of the line, smells of pizza dough and tomato sauce teased my appetite, and various merits showcased in the pizzeria’s window convinced me this would be a supernatural pizza experience.

An hour later, my family and I were ushered inside by a man wearing a shirt saying, “I’ll show you a pizza you can’t refuse.” By this point, I was ready to see it. In fact, I was ready to see multiple of them. To feed my father, step-mother, brother and I, we settled on one cheese pizza, one pepperoni, and one with mushrooms and onions. If we waited outside any longer, we probably would have ordered a fourth.

As we questioned how three pizzas would fit on one small table hardly big enough, we took in the inside ambiance. Outside there is a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline, and if you gazed up you could admire the underside of the Brooklyn bridge. Within the pizzeria, obnoxious Italian music blasted so much so that our dinner conversation strained. In addition, our table was constantly bumped or leaned on by the over-crowded tables of tourists that came to investigate whether Grimaldi’s reputation was warranted.

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At long last, the pizza arrived– looking and smelling fantastic. There were fresh ingredients, irregular mozzarella chunks, fresh basil leaves and a nicely charred crust. Looks mean nothing though, at least in the world of pizza, and after an initial bite, my taste buds experienced a flavor of disappointment. The pizza proved to be bland, doughy, and the crust was unexpectedly flimsy. The beauty of a coal brick oven is to produce crispy crust. The charcoaled flavor was certainly present, but the crust was not supportive and had to be held with two hands so the toppings wouldn’t fall off as the dough drooped. Although many people may love Grimaldi’s, my entire table could list a pizza they enjoyed better. The crust was not the only flaw, but overall, the pizza lacked a dynamic flavor. “Usually I can’t stop,” my dad said, as he stared at a table of scattered leftover slices that none of us could (nor wanted) to continue eating.

The best thing about this pizza would have to be the freshness. What you see is what you get. The pizza dough is pressed, the sauce poured, and the mozzarella torn and layered right in front of you. There is also an absence of grease, which is an additional plus. But overall, don’t allow yourself to be brainwashed. This pizza is overrated and under cooked. Grimaldi’s may gloat they make a pizza you can’t refuse, but I suggest you take my advice and refuse the line and the mediocrity.

Jamie Miles


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