Angry Rant from a New Yorker, What I ate in Vancouver, Part IV

you would think this might be good pizza, but you would be wrong

you would think this might be good pizza, but you would be wrong

By Ben Adler

My cousin claimed that there was such a thing as good pizza in Vancouver — made by an ex-patriot New Yorker, of course. So we went to Nat’s New York Pizzeria. I think “Nat’s pathetic, slightly offensive, imitation of a New York pizzeria” would have been a more appropriate name.

First of all, as you can see below, they had a nasty mockery of pizza that is popular among yokels known as “Hawaiian.” This crap has ham and pineapple on it. It is not acceptable pizza in New York.

This is not pizza

This is not pizza

Second of all, the regular pizza was not that good. It wasn’t that bad — better than the crappy places that cater to tourists in Midtown, worse than most elsewhere in the City. But as you can see in the first photo it had too much insufficiently crispy crust at the end. The pesto and artichoke slice I tried was decent. But the food did not compensate for the ersatz “New York” style decorations with themes such as “Ground Zero.”

If I lived in Vancouver I would probably eat pizza there because I would not have any better options. But that doesn’t make it worthy of the name.


9 responses to “Angry Rant from a New Yorker, What I ate in Vancouver, Part IV

  1. Verplanck colvin

    Based on your other pizza-related thread, I think the only reason you ate a slice in Vancouver was so you could whine about it. Next time, do us all a favor and refuse any kind of pizza that doesn’t come from a 10-mile radius from where you live.

  2. “I think the only reason you ate a slice in Vancouver was so you could whine about it.”

    I think the only reason he left New York was so he could whine about it.

  3. Midwest Product

    …made by an ex-patriot New Yorker


  4. Hi Ben,

    I dinged you last week for dumping on dim sum. I’ll try and make up for it this week by agreeing with you. The only way you could *start* to get New York style pizza on the west coast would be with wheat imported from the east coast. For starters the stuff they grow out here, popular in the rest of the world and ideal for pasta, just doesn’t have the right kinds or ratios of glutens and starches for good thin crust. So you can’t just follow an east-coast recipe — it comes out too soft — and then if you try mucking around with it to get it thinner and crisper it stops tasting right.

    By the way, people out here, even transplanted east-coasters, try to call their soft circular buns “bagels. Even assuming they knew what they were doing in the first place it would be the same problem: wrong wheat.

    We’ve got *awesome* choices of smoked salmon to put on them though.


  5. Midwest Product

    @figleaf: is this phenomenon a result of the particular variety of wheat that’s grown on West Coast farms, or is it the soil that it’s growing in?

  6. I don’t know who is telling you to go to all of the worst resturaunts in town, but they need to stop it.

    There are plenty of pizza by the slice places in Vancouver that don’t suck, but you went to the that did, because it had New York in the name, presumably.

    I’ve had pizza in New York and all over America, and Vancouver, and the only thing that makes a New York pizza joint any different is that the staff and customers are rude and pushy.

    But Nat’s does suck. Try Flying Wedge or Raven Pizza for good west coast pizza.

  7. Thanks figleaf. That was an interesting explanation about the crust. Softness was indeed the problem and it otherwise tasted like they approached it the right way, so I think you’re right on.

    Bagels, in fact, are my next post and this will help me write it. You are certainly right about the quality smoked salmon on the West Coast. Also quality beef jerky, as I will soon be writing.

  8. Is there anything more overrated than New York pizza? The photo you use at the top doesn’t, as you suggest, look good. It looks like New York pizza–doughy, with minimal sauce and a dried out, bready taste. I don’t hate pizza made that way, but to act like any pizza outside of New York is objectively worse is, in fact, objectively idiotic.

    I for one would rather eat the pizza here, for example, than the stuff at John’s on Bleecker any day of the week:

  9. i can without a doubt i would rather eat a rusty nail at that place again.

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