You go to Joe's for one thing, the best slice of cheese pizza in the City. That is it. Do not adulterate it with other toppings. Enjoy a straight cheese slice, that epitomizes EXACTLY what a great slice of pizza should be like.
The dough-It will be thrown by hand in front of you, as the non-stop pie baking process goes on in plain view. The dough is stretched out at least twice the diameter of the pie it will be, before being allowed to contract a bit to be put on the pizza paddle.
The sauce-Light as a feather, applied sparingly in a thin spiral around the dough. It is gently spiced, without the cloying sweetness found in too many pizza sauces, that alone can ruin a pie. It is more like a thin brushing, than a layer of heavy tomato sauce.
The cheese-Generous, but not overly heavy, amount of top quality mozzarella. Just the right amount to compliment the thin dough and light sauce. This is the secret to great pizza. Everything in exactly the right proportions.
Cooking-Into the super-hot oven it goes. Bubbles will be popped, the pizza will be spun once or twice to ensure completely even cooking. The bottom will be checked, to make sure that the first hints of the slightest black char have appeared, and then this bubbling disc of food porn will be placed on a metal pizza pan, and promptly sliced into eight pieces.
It is rare that you get a slice more than ten minutes old in Joe's, and most of the time, it is coming straight out of the oven. When you bite into the slice, you will understand how perfectly balanced the ingredients are. The bottom of the crust will be crispy and crackly, but still glutinous and stretchy right above, and we are talking about a crust that is thinner than about ten sheets of plain paper. A true test for how good a slice like this is, is to be able to hold the slice straight out, while just holding the edge of the crust, without the slice sagging at all. No sag here.
The thin layer of sauce and proper amount of cheese have bonded together into the ideal topping for the ideal crust. As one friend once said, "it's crazy. No matter how great the first bite tastes, somehow it keeps getting better with every bite." That is the truth. You may well find yourself lining up again [and sometimes again after that] to get just one more slice.
HINT: Joe's is open late, very late, so if you are craving late night food, and don't want something too heavy, this is your place. Most weeknights past 3:00 am, and weekends past 4:00 am, sometimes still there until almost 5:00 am.
HINT: And this is the truth. When I am in New York, I will buy one or two extra pies, take them back to my mother's house, freeze them, wrapping the individual slices in saran and then aluminum foil, and bring them home in a cooler. I can then reconstitute them using a covered frying pan on a stove top, for about five minutes, and have the joy of eating Joe's at home, when I am a thousand miles away.
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