Friday, October 30, 2015

Review: Tommy's Pizza, Bronx (Throggs Neck) NY

Update, October 2015: Tommy Lobue was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Throggs Neck Merchants Association.
, October 2015: Award presented to Tommy LoBue at the
Throgs Neck Merchant's Association Annual Dinner & Dance

Visiting a friend at lunchtime on a Wednesday in the Throgs Neck section of the Bronx, we headed out to Tosca (full review HERE), a lovely full-service Italian restaurant with a great bar, friendly staff, and a brick oven dating back to 1922. 
Large pie barely fits in the box! Click any pic to enlage

After lunch, my pal Ken returned to his nearby office, and I prepared to set out for my drive home to Pennsylvania.  Aware of my pizza passion, Ken suggested that we cross the street to Tommy's, a hole-in-the-wall old-school pizza shop. Ken endorsed the pie there and suggested that I buy one "cold" to take home and re-heat.

We entered around 2pm. Tommy was behind the counter, and about three locals sat at the counter (there is a small dining room in the rear, also. Ken announced my fondness for great pizza, and each patron volunteered a unanimous endorsement of Tommy's as "best pizza in the Bronx."  Now, generally you can't put much stock in the locals' opinions, because most folks love the pizza place that is closest to home. But somehow these Throggs Neckers had more credence.
Tommy and Ken

Tommy had a handful of full-size plain pies cooked, just waiting to be re-heated and sold as slices. This made the perfect take-home pie, because it would not be steaming in the box. The huge pie was just $11, and we were shortly on our way. Tommy was quite congenial, but he won't likely ever see this review because he's "off the grid" regarding the Internet.
Some artistic flourishes in the rear dining room

When I got home, I noticed that this huge pie barely fit into the box. I re-heated four slices for our dinner. I added some pepperoni to two slices, and bit of fresh garlic to the other two. I made sure to leave some surface area mostly unadulterated so that I could sample a slice in a way as close as possible to the re-heat it would have received in Tommy's gas oven. As a final touch, I added fresh basil, post-bake.

This was deja vu pizza. Thin and crisp crust, yet not crackerlike - it had a distinctly delightful al dente airy interior. The sauce and cheese were perfectly complementary, and all the elements were in harmony. This pie was balanced in taste and texture. The deja vu part was once again finding an expertly rendered New York Slice, much as I had found at New Park Pizza (review HERE) in Howard Beach just a day earlier.
Under the hood

Thin and crisp, yet light and chewy

Here's a terrific quote from NYC Food Guy:

Tommy’s likely gets overlooked because of more hyped places in the neighborhood such as Tosca and Patricia’s, but there is always a heavy stream of locals popping in for a slice. Tommy’s is not a life-changing pizza experience, but it tastes the way pizza should, something that’s not as easy to find in New York as it once was.

I'm in complete agreement. My pal Ken knows Tommy well, as did the customers we saw that day. I would too if I lived nearby. Every neighborhood deserves a real pizza joint like this, with a guy like Tommy who eschews the mass-sourced supplies and who makes his own dough.  Bravo!

Tommy's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

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