Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Where I get my cheese and sauce on... (Motorino Pizza)


Sorry Philadelphia, you do plenty of things well... cheesesteaks, burgers, shit - even Korean food served from trucks! Shamefully, Philadelphia sucks the big one when it comes to good pizza (not the stuff that tastes good after drinking, since, let's be honest... it all tastes good after drinking). If you disagree with that statement, buy me a slice and prove me wrong, I'm not gonna waste more money on that endeavor. Basically I'm slice abstinent when I'm at Penn. That's months at a time! For shame. I just have no desire to eat shitty pizza when I have better options at hand. As a result, I get super excited every time I go back to NYC, where even the most mediocre pizza is better than the nonsense I can get from Allegro's. The last time I visited, I got mah cheese and sauce on at Motorino Pizza... home to what many consider the most sexual pizza pies in Manhattan. Oh lordy.

Like the bootleg lighting btw? I don't know why they can't turn on some damn lights inside. Maybe it's a "village" thing. Maybe harsh lighting hurts the delicate eyes of hipsters everywhere, and they have to accommodate for their local client base, but either way, I was super sad I had to make do with a candle.

Motorino's pizza menu

And then I had to change my pants. There's lots of opinions on Motorino's pies, but the general consensus is that 1. they're good and 2. they're probably one of the best in the city. I tend to agree with both those assessments. Although the one comment I will add is that it's a bit too rich for my tastes. I mean... $16 for a pie the size of a dinner plate? It'd take at LEAST three to constitute a full meal. I'm not made of money! I like my pizza cheap and greasy! I will make an exception occasionally for exceptional pizza though, and this stuff is the shit. You know how you know it's good? Because the pies all have funny names that I can't really pronounce. That's the mark of quality - truth.

Final tally of the damage... margherita, soppressata piccante, brussels sprouts & pancetta, and cremini & spicy sausage. That's right... four pies, because there's no point in eating if I'm not eating a lot. In any case, the order was split between five people... so it's not exactly me being a fat bastard all by myself. In reality, I didn't even get to have that much pizza...

The margherita was pretty erotic to be honest. It's nothing complex, just plain good crust... thin, chewy, and beautifully charred, supporting a sea of amazing cheese, sauce that was perfectly sweet yet tart, and pungent basil. The flavors blend together magically. If there's a comparable experience... it'd be similar to the first time you taste pizza - regardless of how shitty it was - it just tastes... right.

Brussels sprouts and pancetta

Brussels sprouts and pancetta... what is there to say about this pie? It's vegetables and what's basically flavored bacon. It basically rapes your mouth with flavors in ways you're not even sure you like (but I promise you will). Same great crust, slightly more in your face with the saltiness, it's really like a pizza combined with bacon salad on top. That sounds good to you too right?

The other two pies were good too... maybe too good. I never actually got a chance at photos before they were violated indecently by other people. I did like the spicy sausage (although it wasn't very spicy) and the soppressata (kind of like the pancetta sans the healthy part). Since they're all built on the same familiar formula, there's not much downside to any of them. I like Motorino. Sure I could buy 75 McNuggets for the same price, but I don't think it'd bring me the same sort of pleasure as rubbing mozzarella laced basil all over my face.


Robyn said...

75 McNuggets is definitely not as rewarding.


susan said...

how do you feel about California Pizza Kitchen? better or worse?

Danny said...

well played... haha, most sexual and raped?! i need to dial up my SEO game and catch up!

esther said...

hey, you do what you gotta do for some good lighting. =P are u and danny competing to see who gets more traffic? hahaha.

Patrick said...

I hate restaurants with low lighting. its incredibly annoying but you really know when youre a dork when you get REALLY excited when you go to a restaurant and there is decent to good lighting.

Funny thing is that's probably the first thing i notice when i go to restaurant these days. so sad. sigh #notwinning

Kevin said...

Agreed about the state of pizza in Philly, or at least in the vicinity of the Penn campus. I think I can count on one hand the number of times I ate pizza from Allegro's, and those were only when it was free.

Oh, and Motorino is definitely all about the lunch prix fixe. $12 for a pizza and salad = bangin' deal.

Nicholas said...

Robyn - MOTORINO 4 EVER would've been a better title for this post. Creativity fail on my part.

susan - no comparison. Haha, I hope you're joking... haha... right? :(

Danny - you seem to be doing fine on your SEO game JUSTIN BIEBER.

esther - nah, I think Danny would win that game regardless of what keywords I used in my posts haha.

Patrick - dude I do the same thing. Sometimes I won't eat at places for dinner just because I want ambient light. Seems ridiculous to my dining partners. Hrm, seems I need more food blogger friends.

Kevin - werd. It's not that I hate Allegro's pizza... I actually do like it. It's just not what I think of when someone says "great pizza." It's passable "drunk pizza." I didn't know about the Motorino prix fixe actually...

donuts4dinner said...

Uh, that janky lighting looks pretty awesome to me. I usually end up blowing my photos way out if I try to use a candle. But seriously, I don't understand any restaurant that doesn't have a spotlight over every table. (God bless wd-50.) It's mindblowing to come home from a quadruple-digit-priced meal at some of these places and realize all of your pictures are crap.

Anyway, just found you via Twitter and think I like you. Guess I'm gonna, like, follow you. Not in stalker way.

La Fille Atomique said...

Check out La Rosa at Broad and Snyder in South Philly. It'll turn you into a believer.

Nicholas said...

Rodzilla - I would wish thousands of years of pain on you if you were serious about that Papa John's comment.

donuts4dinner - thanks for the non-stalking following! I can understand mood lighting and whatnot, but I absolutely love it when restaurants blow out the lights. It makes my job that much easier.

La Fille Atomique - fair enough, I'll put that on my list to try, but if it's anything less than fantastic... PHILLY PIZZA IS DEAD TO ME.

DSJ said...

I still stand by my view that the soggy crust in the center of an $18 pizza makes it a good but not great pizza. You can knife and fork it, but then that's not really pizza now is it? WHAT SAY YOU NUGGET BOY?!

Robert said...

I think Rodzilla was just lamenting the fact that if you live anywhere besides a few select cities, most of the pizza you'll eat in your lifetime is gonna be Papa Johns or Dominos or Pizza Hut or maybe even Donatos if you're lucky.

And that is really really sad.

Nicholas said...

DSJ - hush up you. You must've gotten a dud, my pizza crust was good throughout the entirety of the pie.

Robert - perhaps, I guess I am spoiled to have grown up in NJ (where Italian pizzerias are plentiful) and went to college in NYC (where pizzerias in general are plentiful). I don't even know what Donatos is.

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