CVIndependent

Tue01212020

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

What: The New York supreme pizza

Where: Palermo’s New York Pizza, 400 S. El Cielo Road, No. C, Palm Springs

How much: $24.99 for the extra large (16-inch), as shown

Contact: 760-416-1138; www.palermosnypizza.com

Why: The delicious, pliable, strong thin crust.

As deadline approaches for the print edition of this fine newspaper, I usually order a huge pizza. It’s not the healthiest thing, but it’s convenient and time-saving: Whenever I get hungry, I can grab a slice or two out of the fridge and chow down as I work.

I have my usual go-to pizza places, but this month, I decided to try somewhere different: Palermo’s New York Pizza. I have seen people rave about the place on the social-media sites, but I’d never been there before. So as deadline approached, I went online to the Palermo’s website and ordered what seemed like the logical pie, given the pizzeria’s full name—the New York supreme pizza.

Well, now I have what will become another usual go-to pizza place.

There was nothing on top of this huge pizza that made it stand out: The ample toppings were all good, and the sauce was decent, but nothing made me jump up and down. What did have me (figuratively) hopping was what was on the other side of the pizza—the crust.

Much is made of the strong pliability of good thin-crust New York pizza: The crust should be sturdy enough to support all of the yumminess on top, yet flexible enough for on-the-go folding and devouring. However, the crust at many so-called “New York-style” pizza places fails on at least one of these criteria.

Palermo’s pizza does not: It passes the two-prong test with flying colors. It’s delicious, too—elevating the pizza from “pretty good” to “I think I want to order another one.”

Published in The Indy Endorsement

What: The pizza Italia

Where: Spaghetteria Pasta and Pizza, 611 S. Palm Canyon Drive, No. 13, Palm Springs

How much: $20.95 for a medium, as shown

Contact: 760-322-7647; www.facebook.com/Spaghetteria-184803948227261

Why: A bevy of tasty ingredients.

I was in the mood for pizza.

It had been a long work day—including a meeting with a friend/colleague who had extolled the virtues of the thin-crust pizza at Spaghetteria, the longtime family-owned restaurant in Palm Springs. Therefore, I put two (my hankering for pizza) and two (my friend’s recommendation) together, and called up Spaghetteria for a to-go order.

Spaghetteria offers a variety of reasonably priced pies, but the one that caught my eye was the pizza Italia, thanks to the menu description: “everything on it.” When I called in my order, I asked for some clarification. “It has all of the ingredients we offer, except for pineapple and anchovies,” the woman replied.

It turns out that not everything else offered, toppings-wise, was on the pizza; I did not see any broccoli, spinach or chicken, which are also available on Spaghetteria pizzas. However, this is not a complaint, as there were ingredients aplenty: The pizza came with mushrooms, onions, black olives, artichoke hearts, sausage, ham and pepperoni, all with mozzarella on top—and it would have had green peppers on it had I not declined ’em.

After I picked up my pizza and brought it home, I could not wait to dive in—and my friend’s recommendation rang true: This was a great pizza. The crust was tasty and had a fine texture, while all of the many ingredients were excellent. Other than the inadvertent inclusion of some inedible onion-skin pieces, I had nary a complaint.

Spaghetteria offers all sorts of other Italian fare, including, yes, spaghetti, and I look forward to trying other things there.

“From Florence with love,” it says on the menu. This makes sense: It was clear that my delicious pizza was indeed made with love.

Published in The Indy Endorsement

What: The capricciosa pizza

Where: Piero’s PizzaVino, 73722 El Paseo No. 1, Palm Desert

How much: $15.90 lunch; $18.50 dinner; $8.90 happy hour

Contact: 760-568-2525; www.ppizzavino.com

Why: Amazing quality and a low price.

It’s often said that pizza is like sex: Even when it’s bad, it’s good.

Well, I strongly disagree. I’ve had some baaaad pizza before that was in no way good. (As for bad sex … well, that’s a discussion for a different column.) After enjoying the capricciosa pizza at Piero’s PizzaVino, I disagree even more: This pizza is so excellent that it makes almost all other pizza worse by comparison.

The folks at Piero’s PizzaVino take their pizza seriously: The menu and placemats emphasize that all the pizzas here are baked at 800-900 degrees for 60-90 seconds or so in the imported “Marra” Neapolitan wood-burning oven. Furthermore, the pizza-makers use only San Marzano tomatoes grown near Naples, Italy; they use only Doppio Zero flour, which has a higher protein content than most flours; and they use only house-made Fior di Latte mozzarella cheese.

Combine all of this with excellent toppings on the capricciosa pizza—ham, mushrooms, artichokes and kalamata olives (the menu incorrectly says black olives), in addition to tomato sauce and mozzarella—and … wow. I would have stood and applauded the pizza right there in Piero’s bar area if that would not have caused a scene.

Why was I dining in the bar area, you ask? Well, Piero’s offers “happy hour” there all day, every day—from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.—and the deals are pretty amazing: The pizza pictured here cost just $8.90. Yeah, it’s a little smaller than the regular-menu pizzas, but it’s certainly large enough to satisfy any hungry diner. Add a glass of nice house wine ($5) to that pizza, and you really have something: one of the best meals per dollar you’ll find anywhere in the valley—on ritzy El Paso, no less. Who’da thunk it?

Published in The Indy Endorsement