32 Spring St
(between Mott St & Mulberry St)
New York, NY 10012
Lombardi’s Pizza was never on my list of MUST-TRY-ASAP restaurants, mainly because it’s kind of in the Soho-ish area and is known to be very touristy. I’m not a tourist, I’m a New Yorker! I’ve been living here for almost 8 months now! Okay fine, maybe I’m not a New Yorker… but ever notice how people pretend they are after they’ve only been here a couple months? So many people here are just in transition. ANYWAY. Tourist traps are no fun. Therefore Lombardi’s Pizza is probably no fun. Probably.
You walk into the restaurant and you see tons of old photos and memorabilia hung on the walls, almost like a Hard Rock Cafe. You’re brought to the back room where all the other tourists are being served. You see camera flashes everywhere as people take pictures of their food, of themselves, of themselves with the food, and of you! – because they’re just that friendly. Clearly not from New York. You finally sit down and order. You pick their original tomato base at $20.50 (large) and toppings at $3 each. You sit and mentally prepare yourself for mediocre pizza. You can’t be disappointed if your expectations are low, right?
Pizza comes, yay! And I’m not sure if it was because I had set my expectations fairly low, but I thought this pizza was darn good. Crust is crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside (unlike those cracker-like pizzas they serve at Otto). Ingredients tasted fresh and the mozzarella was sparse, just the way I like it. I know some people may have preferred more cheese. Sauce was decent. From what I remember, it was slightly on the sweeter side, and the runnier side.
I ended the meal very satisfied but decided I probably wouldn’t come back unless I was craving pizza and just happened to be in the area. Luzzo’s pizza still wins in my book (have yet to blog about my favorite pizza joint!) because the sauce is more robust and less runny, the menu is more interesting (my favorite pizza is the Campana – fresh/better mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and basil… YUM), and the decor/environment of the place is much more interesting and much less nauseating. More on this place soon, I promise!
Wait, one more thing. The crust at Luzzo’s is OUT OF THIS WORLD. Not ONLY does it pack in a good crunch on the outside and is heavenly soft on the inside… something else about the flavor makes me wish I could just buy the crust in a bakery and eat it just by itself. Okay, definitely more on this another time.