Nabe Blogger on Grimaldi’s – “Meh”

Old Fulton Street resident/blogger Reid Rosefelt is not crazy about Grimaldi’s Pizza. He lives across the street but never goes there. He writes:

My Life as a Blog: Why is the pizza soggy at Grimaldi’s? Call me cynical, but you can move people in and out of the place faster if you don’t bother about whether the food is perfect—or even fully cooked. And as your customers are nearly all tourists, they won’t know the difference. In fact, they will rave about it. And not just tourists–many of my New Yorker friends love Grimaldi’s pizza.

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  • Claude Scales

    O liberation! O joy! All these years I’ve forced myself to keep quiet, clutching to my breast the Dislike That Dare Not Speak Its Name. Everyone praises it; I must be wrong, I thought. No more. Thank you, Reid Rosefelt!

  • Andrew

    You’re not alone, Claude, in feeling that Grimaldi’s has been on a long decline that certainly dropped below the threshold of waiting in line for — if not avoiding entirely — years ago.

  • ABC

    you have to let the pizza set after it comes out of the oven. they don’t do that at grimaldi’s, but you can do it at your table. just don’t eat it for two minutes after it lands on your table.

    I like Grimaldi’s. Esp their olives.

  • Matthew Parker

    There’s no accounting for taste. But I’m partial to Grimaldi’s. I get takeout every month. No way am I waiting in that line.

    What still baffles me is the nabe’s love for Noodle Pudding. IMHO, so overrated. But again, taste is subjective.

  • Monty

    I haven’t been to Grimaldis in a while. The number of tourists has spiked and I am lugging a stroller now which they don’t cotton to. That being said, it was my favorite pizza at the time. It’s knife and fork pizza, but it’s delicious. Noodle Pudding is quite good I think, but the overrating tends to happen with neighborhood spots because they thoroughly beat expectations. For my money, Queen on Court St is truly excellent.

  • zburch

    Queen is the best, a longtime favorite of ours for Italian. And the fried dough on Sunday? Yum! Sam’s Restaurant on Court has the best eggplant/ricotta pizza, but be prepared for crotchety service, the occasional critter and a long wait. One handmade pie comes out at a time, but boy is it tasty.

  • FFL Resident

    I live down the street, so navigating the sidewalk on weekends is always a fun endeavor. I enjoyed a little schadenfreude when I saw all the 50+ tourists dressed up in their Easter Sunday best standing on the Grimaldi’s line for the hour or so until they figured out it was closed.

    I think all the locals know that Grimaldi’s is just okay. It’s fine if you can get it to take-out when there’s no line. It’s certainly better than Front Street Pizza or that Ignazio’s place, not that that’s saying much.

    But you want controversy, try disparaging DiFara’s out in Midwood. You’d think that old guy cutting basil on the pies was these fanatics’ dad or something…

  • AEB

    Amen. And por favor fellow posters, spare us paeans to Fascati’s. Everyone’s a critic, but some of us are look at the stars….and I don’t mean as dispersed by the Times!

  • Victor

    Agree with letting the pizza settle for a bit. Their pepperoni is some of the best I’ve had in the city. And to me — Grimaldi’s take out + bottle of wine + Fulton Landing with view is one of the best meals you can ever have here in NYC. At least the good thing is that they don’t rip you off…comparatively to other pizza places in the city that charge that much just (if not more) for an individual pie.

    And Noodle Pudding — I think it’s good…but ever since I discovered Fragole all the way down Court Street, it’s now my go-to Italian place in the area.

  • fulton ferry res

    Hey FFL, people are gonna confuse us.

    I, too, enjoyed watching the folks on line on Sunday, until a few finally peered through the window and figured out that they were closed. The word made its way back, and the crowd slowly dispersed. All day long people arrived, only to stop and stare at the closed store, take a photo, and move on. Reminded me of when I went to Wall’s BBQ in Savannah GA during Christmas week, and discovered them closed.

    As for the food, I can’t comment on whether it has gone downhill since the Patsy’s days because I didn’t have my first Grimaldi’s pie until 2001. But I always order and pick up, and when the pizza is soggy I just heat it some more in the oven. I think it is also a function of which toppings you have. I agree with FFL that Front St pizza is bad; their sauce may be good for chicken parmagiana, but it doesn’t belong in pizza. And Ignazio’s is fine if you like to bathe in oregano. Lucali in Carroll Gardens is a nice alternative to Grimaldi’s.

  • tb

    I love to watch the people waiting in line for the Ice Cream place. Come on people. It’s not that great. lol.

  • WillowtownCop

    I like Grimaldi’s. I won’t stand in line so I haven’t been in awhile. There used to be a bar next door that would let you sit outside and order takeout from Grimaldi’s if you bought a drink.

    The best Italian anywhere near here is Frankies 457.

  • AEB

    WC (sorry, but…), where exactly IS Frankies 457? Thanks.

  • Matthew Parker

    457 Court St.

  • nabeguy

    Funny that people mention soggy pizza from Grimaldi’s. I stopped going there years ago, before the lines were out the door, for the opposite reason; I always found their pies worthy of the discus event at the Olympics. Overcooked with charred bottoms, almost as if they had cooked it directly on the coals.

  • lifer

    re: Frankies 457- 3 meatballs with pinenuts and raisins for 10$? I guess thats kind of Italian. Its all subjective. In that neck of the woods I’m partial to Red Rose or Sam’s.

  • NYClady

    I’m not a pizza lover, so I’m not a big fan of Grimaldi’s, but I’ll certainly take it over that inedible stuff they sell at Fascati’s. As for Noodle Pudding, I think the food is excellent. The problem with NP is the acoustics. Has anyone else noticed that it’s almost impossible to have a conversation with someone in that restaurant? I usually find myself drawn to quieter, more comfortable places.

  • Arch Stanton

    When you want the best try Totonno’s Pizza on Neptune Ave and W16th out in Coney Island…

  • Bartmann

    I ate at Grimaldi’s twice, the first time when I moved to the heights in 2006, and perhaps a couple of months later. Both times I went there was practically no line. Although I liked (not LOVED) the pizza, like most New Yorkers I would never wait an hours for Pizza. I prefer to go up and down Court Street and eat at the many other fine Pizzarias. And of course I tried the ice cream at between Barge Music and the River Cafe. And it was less than good.

    The problem with both places is that the hype and long waits are inversely proportional to the quality of the food.


  • Billy Reno

    For good, NY-style pizza in SOJO, Reginella’s is SHOCKINGLY good! Way better than My Little Pizzeria!

  • aliG

    I really like Franny’s pizza on Flatbush. I used to like Noodle Pudding years ago but the portions have been getting smaller while the prices have been going higher.
    Queen is just about the nastiest Italian food I’ve ever had in my life. I don’t know what the hype is all about.
    And don’t even get me started on the crappy ice-cream on the Landing. I actually tell people waiting in line that it’s the worst stuff ever.

  • rocco

    I’ve just moved to the Heights but have been coming to visit for 2 years now so you can go on and say I don’t know what I’m talking about, being neither a true New Yorker nor a Brooklynite but Grimaldi’s is the absolute best thing I’ve ever eaten. Better than cake. Fiscati? Meh.

  • redbaron

    re: NYClady–I agree about the acoustics at NP. There’s a silver lining, though: We recently found the din to be a blessing in disguise when we brought our then 2-month-old for dinner and the folks at the next table over said they couldn’t even hear her screaming!

  • Andrew Porter

    I walked by Grimaldi’s earlier this week, en route to the BBP Pier 1, and the line extended all the way down the block.

    If your Grimaldi’s pizza isn’t cooked to your satisfaction, you can take it over and plop it down on one of those stainless steel bubbles in the children’s playground.