Jack and I went to New York on Monday together with our family friend Colleen. I looked up things to do with teens in NYC since Jack and I have done most of the biggies and I stumbled upon Scott's Pizza tours. Pizza is Jack's favorite food so I went for it.
The tour started in Little Italy, a three block area in NYC right next to Chinatown and Greenwich Village. At first I was disappointed that our tour guide wasn't the famous "Scott" himself...
But I got over that within the first two minutes of meeting our passionate, spirited and quirky pizza tour guide.
Right off the bat she asked the kids what their pizza profiles were...Colleen had a quizzical look and claimed that she had never thought about that before...Jack spouted out..."Thin crust, very little sauce, and LOTS of cheese." And our quirky tour guide responded, "Well Jack. Have I got the pie for YOU!" And we were off...
We learned many obscure factoids about pizza, its origins and its ingredients. Pizza originated in Naples, Italy and the very first pizzeria in the United States was opened in 1905 in Little Italy in NYC...
And we were going to go there, but first we had to investigate the ingredients. We went to the oldest Italian cheese store in the United States, Alleva, where fresh mozzarella is made every day.
Evidently mozzarella is made by separating the curd and whey from milk. Mozzarella that is fresh doesn't keep very long and has to be used within two days. That's why most pizza is not made with fresh mozzarella.
I cannot wait to go back to this deli...There was one amazing cheese after another and the place smelled like heaven.
The kids tasted the fresh mozzarella...it had no salt or additional flavors...it was just the curd.
Let's just say that they really didn't like it at all...
But Colleen is too polite to make gagging noises.
We tasted our first slice of the three on the tour at Lombardi's...the very first pizzeria in the United States.
It was delicious and their secret ingredient is fresh mozzarella, uncooked crushed tomatoes and...the oven.
The oven is very hot (like a few thousand degrees F) and the pizza baker has to wear gloves and goggles and continuously rotate the pizza with his paddle to allow the crust to bake evenly. It only takes 2.5 minutes for a pizza to cook.
The result is a pizza crust that is so thin (about 1/8") and crisp that it doesn't interfere with the tomato and cheese flavors at all. Delicious.
Next we had a typical New York style street slice at Joe's and then Jack's favorite was served up at John's Pizzeria in Greenwich Village.
Thin crust, lots of cheese and a little bit of sauce...And the sauce was on top of the cheese.
After the tour, we headed to Dylan's Candy Bar. Jack wants to go there every trip to NYC. So I ask, "Jack. Why is it you like Dylan's so much? I think it's just a lot of overpriced candy...."
And he said, "Mom. I'm a kid. It's a candy shop. What's not to like?"
Jack loves extremely sour candy and one of his favorite brands is Warheads. They're a little hard to find but Dylan's has a whole wall full of Warheads so Jack feels the need to replenish his supply when he goes there.
You don't get much sweeter than Colleen and she bought her two brothers each a box of candy. Those two boxes cost $8.71...like I said...overpriced.
But with floor to ceiling candy...and a candy stairway. They just love it so I think I'll stop fighting it.
Next we headed to Central Park to cool off. It was 95 degrees F in the city and I think the temperature must have dropped 10 degrees when we got to the park. All those huge century-old trees provide the best shade.
I think Jack could spend all day climbing on the big rocks in Central Park. He loves that place. Next time we go for the day we're going to spend the entire day there. I don't think we've ever seen the whole thing...it's so big...643 acres.
The other thing Jack has to do when he goes to New York is eat a pretzel from a street vendor...completely covered in salt. That's the way he likes it.
We ended the day window shopping on 5th Ave before getting back on the bus. Phew.
When I got back home, it was so nice to read all of your comments about my Sendai block. Thank you.
I'm putting together Japanese fabric packs for sale to benefit Sendai and hope to post them soon. It's the first time I'll be listing something on Etsy so I'm trying to figure that out. All money will be sent to Japan to help the earthquake victims.
Oh...and I almost forgot...
For all you Harry Potter fans...I thought you might enjoy seeing the movie billboard in Times Square for the final movie...
Jack's going at midnight tomorrow with my sister for opening night. How about you?