Friday, July 10, 2015
East End Pizza & Deli
As I noted in a late June post, Stromboli Express recently moved from its former location on East Avenue to a site across and down the street, and has become Stromboli's Restaurant.
While I can understand that move and change, I figured the area around its former location still needed a slice joint, especially one that's open late. Despite being in a bar-heavy area, Stromboli's has always closed relatively early, even on weekends. (And I can understand that too - I don't think I'd want to deal with people coming out of bars at 2 a.m. But if you're willing to tolerate those customers, there's money to be made.)
In Stromboli's former space now comes East End Pizza & Deli. I stopped in the other day and got a slice.
At my noontime visit, they had just cheese or pepperoni slices available. I got one pepperoni slice.
My immediate reaction was a bit of shock at the price - $3.75. I can get a pretty good slice around town, or even in New York City, for well under that. So if you're charging $3.75 a slice, it had better be good.
And it was good, but not that good. I was told that they had a special, two slices & a 20 oz drink for $7,which isn't bad, but I didn't really want two slices, or a drink, or to spend $7, so I declined.
On to the slice: I was asked if I'd like it rewarmed - that should always be asked, so that's a plus - and I said yes. I've learned that in general, even when they say a pizza has just come out of the oven, it's usually a good idea to get your slice rewarmed. Mine spent maybe another minute in the oven.
This slice had a dry, crackly bottom, with some screen marks.There was a light dusting of either corn meal or semolina flour - it was very light, so I couldn't tell. I don't have a problem with that. The slice also held up to the "fold test," meaning that I could fold it and hold it out straight, without the tip flopping down.
The slice was extremely thin near the tip, i.e. the center of the pie. Some oil had seeped through, also near the tip, but as I said, the crust was mostly dry to the touch. It was considerably thicker and more breadlike near the outer edge. The cornicione was nicely formed, with some light bubbling and blistering on top.
On the negative side, the cheese was a little overdone - maybe that was the downside of having the slice rewarmed - and it didn't seem like the greatest cheese. It hadn't melted so much as separated, and I wondered if the oil separating from the cheese was the source of some of the oil on the bottom of the slice. The pock marks on the cheese indicated that the solids and liquids comprising the cheese had separated from each other.
The pepperoni was pretty good. It was thin, crisp and a little spicy.
The slice was light on the sauce. It was there, but it was lightly applied, and frankly I had a hard time identifying it on my palate. There was nothing wrong with it, as such, it was just so much in the background as to be almost undetectable.
I'll let you peruse East End's menu for yourself, but it is interesting. No wings, but they do offer sandwiches, including prime rib sandwiches, and, under the heading "comfort food," sausage rolls, mac & cheese, and grilled cheese.
As for the pizza, this was not bad, overall, but in my judgment this slice was not worth the price. Maybe their late-night customers won't mind, but during the day, I can get pizza at least as good, not far away, for less. That said, and price aside, there were things to like about this pizza, and I hope they do well.
East End Pizza & Deli, 113 East Ave.
Sun. noon - 11 p.m.
Mon. & Tue. 11 - 11
Wed. & Thu. 11 - 2 a.m.
Fri. & Sat. 11 - 2:30 a.m.