According to my mother, I became hopelessly addicted to pizza at 8 years old. While most kids spent their time thinking about toys or the oddities of the opposite sex, I was hellbent on thoughts of pizza. I was a pre-pubescent freak, for sure.
Then again, it is the second most popular food next to the almighty hamburger. Americans consume about 350 slices of pizza per second. You read that correctly: per second. (Further probing might reveal that I'm responsible for half of that consumption, but let's keep that to ourselves for now.)
New York Pizza and Deli, a 10-year-old pizza property in Euless, beckoned me with its promise of authenticity. Though, if the pizza is good, I care little about its origin.
My expectations? A little high.
Customers can order single slices ($1.89) or whole pies ($7.99-$19.99). Toppings choices include Canadian bacon, hamburger, jalapeños, meatball, mushrooms, olives, onions, pepperoni, pineapple, red peppers, sausage, tomatoes and, yes, anchovies (25 to 75 cents per topping). Portions are almost overwhelming, and just two slices are enough for one person. Mix and match toppings to your pizza heart's content, like Canadian bacon with tomatoes; pepperoni with seasoned sausage; or a meat-lover's dream: hamburger and meatball.
Toppings are fresh and substantial: half-dollar-size pieces of bacon, blocks of tomatoes and chunks of sausage, all on soft and slightly crunchy dough. For something truly astonishing, try a slice with everything.
The sandwiches, like the veggie cold sub ($6.49) and Philly cheese steak ($6.99), are just as grandiose but not as satisfying.
Like the pizza toppings, sandwich ingredients are fresh. But even creamy avocado couldn't save the veggie sub's flavor from being a total downer. Pizza's a tough act to follow.
On the other hand, the Philly cheese steak's peppery meat, crunchy onions and green pepper mix was enough to silence a serious stomach grumble.
For something lighter, try the Greek salad (medium, $2.99), fresh from the deli. Juicy cucumbers, onions, tomatoes and peppers sprinkled with feta cheese are ice cold and perfectly crunchy. Even on an already wintery day, the Greek salad is a refreshing option.
Skip the chef salad ($6.99) -- you'll simply pick the meat off the greens. But alongside it sits a basil-infused dressing unique to New York Pizza and Deli. It's got a candied flavor that will surprise your taste buds, triggering receptors, dilating pupils and indicating the presence of something new and zestfully memorable.
But the awesomeness doesn't end with dressing. Enter the stromboli ($6.99): a giant dough pocket stuffed with cheese, pepperoni and thinly sliced seasoned sausage. It's not overly saucy, but juicy -- coating the inside of your mouth with each bite. The dough is soft and under control, no toppings are allowed to escape before meeting a chewy demise.
My best advice is to eat the stromboli first or risk trying to block that pesky stomach signal that tells your brain that you're full to capacity.
My expectations? Met.