The Empire Pizza & Pub staff assembles a mix and match of 23 ingredients—including barbecue sauce and genoa salami—atop 13 New York-style pizzas. Their efforts helped earn the eatery a Best Pizza nod in 2011 by Metromix. They name their specialty pies after notable places in New York, such as Soho’s white pizza with tomatoes, basil, and parmesan and the Jackson Heights slathered in barbecue sauce and sprinkled with chicken, green pepper, and onion. By preparing the pies, subs, and salads for carry-out, delivery, or serving them at the restaurant as late as 3 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday (11 p.m. other days) and as early as 835 B.C.E., the staff accommodates diners of many tastes and schedules.
The arena in which the team’s servers operate features exposed-brick walls lining the narrow layout. A bar at the back pairs libations with pizzas, while vintage lights illuminate the copper ceiling.
Dough spins and jumps off chefs' fingertips before being topped with tomato sauce and fresh basil to become margherita pizzas or accumulating salami, black olives, and tomatoes to become a meaty Siciliana pie. Italian-born chef Lorenzo Iacopelli curates a menu of classic pizzas, pastas, and sandwiches, all served in a casual dining room with Italian memorabilia and checkered tablecloths.
The quick-handed dough doyens at Blackjack Pizza build a menu of high-quality pies made with fresh, natural ingredients. Large 14-inch hand-tossed crusts come free of high-fructose corn syrup and are made instead with soybean oil, which contains neither cholesterol nor villainous trans fat. The marinara sauce sings with a choir of fresh-packed tomatoes. Select a pair of toppings from the rainbow of chopped veggies, such as red onion, green chilies, and indigo olives, or elect to decorate with natural meaty morsels, such as pepperoni, ham, or common domestic fowl. An order of mozzarella-topped CheeseBread accompanies this handsome pizza pie, as does a two-liter bottle of soda for toasting whoever went to pick it up.
For decades, the dedicated pizza purveyors behind Magpies have woven together appealing pies that burst at their dough-seams with ingredients made fresh on-site every day. The expansive menu presents an appetizing array of options. Specialty pies—such as the Godfather, which manages a tightly knit family of mozzarella, swiss, cheddar, and romano cheeses and a meaty gang of Italian sausage, Canadian bacon, and capicola ($2.99 slice, $14.99 12", $17.99 14", and $20.99 16")—carry out quick, efficient digestive hits. Culinary constructioneers, meanwhile, can design their own doughy disc ($2.99 per slice, $10.99 12", $12.99 14", $14.99 16"). Starting with a foundation of New York–style regular, wheat, or crispy-sourdough crust, add a decorative daub of fresh sauce such as house red, tomato pesto, or barbecue sauce. From there, add on cheeses, veggies, and meats (extra ingredients cost $0.50 per slice, $1.49 each for 12", $1.79 each for 14", and $1.99 each for 16")—or indulge your mad scientist by piling together anchovies, fresh cilantro, pineapple, piñon nuts, and feta cheese and then bringing it to life during an electrical storm.
Silver Mine Subs swiftly serves cold and hot sandwiches, using a no grilling or frying approach that puts the spotlight on the fresh, crisp ingredients. Browse the menu in search of the Steam Engine, a warm hoagie stuffed with meatballs, marinara sauce, and provolone (5", $4.39), or the turkey-and-avocado-packed Caribou (8", $5.79). Those who like a culinary challenge can take on the Mother Lode, with layers of roast beef, turkey, ham, and salami, packing a more flavorful punch than a chocolate-dipped boxing glove (5", $5.49). Complement subs with a piping-hot cup of broccoli-cheese soup ($2.99) or a garden salad sprinkled with fat-free ranch dressing ($4.79) to round meals and fill bellies.