Friday Random 10: Pizza Edition

Pax Arcana

Wired editor Joe Brown lives in San Francisco but was born and raised in Brooklyn. He says the best pizza in San Francisco costs $482.79, which includes a $378.80 round-trip flight to NYC and a bunch of aluminum foil in which to wrap the pizza for the return trip.

While declarations of local food supremacy are often silly, loutish, or impossible to confirm, Brown says the preeminence of NYC pizza can be scientifically proven.

The difference is in the water. At least one food scientist tells Brown he could make the same pizza with the same exact ingredients — in the same type of oven — in NYC or San Francisco, but they would still taste different because of the unique chemical nature of the water in the two places:

Water binds the dough’s few ingredients. Nearly every chemical reaction that produces flavor occurs in water, says Chris Loss, a food scientist with the Culinary Institute of America. “So, naturally, the minerals and chemicals in it will affect every aspect of the way something tastes.”

Celebrity chef Mario Batali tells Brown that at least one of his restaurants uses a chemically enhanced water compound meant to recreate the water found in Italy.

As for the water in Boston, it makes excellent seafood, very good ice cream, and surprisingly good bagels (in spots, anyway). I’ll bite my tongue about Boston pizza, which is often preferable to eating it (Mike’s and Pizzeria Regina are decent, though).

The songs:

Believing is Art — Spoon
XR2 — M.I.A.
John Wayne Gacy, Jr. — Sufjan Stevens
Gatekeeper — Feist
The Weight of Lies — The Avett Brothers
Song for Today — Pete and the Pirates
I Want to Know — Okkervil River
My Family’s Role in the World Revolution — Beirut
Race for the Prize — The Flaming Lips
Bandwitch — Broken Social Scene

Bonus Video:

Ghost — Neutral Milk Hotel: Live, 1998

The Rules: The Friday Random 10 is exactly that — random. We open up our iTunes, set the thing on shuffle, and listen to 10 songs. We are not permitted to skip any out of embarrassment or fear of redundancy. Commenters are encouraged to post their own.

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38 Comments

Filed under music

38 responses to “Friday Random 10: Pizza Edition

  1. Perry Ellis

    Have you tried City Slickers’ pies? They are freakin’ delicious (take that with a grain of salt; Perry Ellis is not a big pizza fan and especially detests the allegedly superior NTC version and its sloppy, greasy, soggy doughness. The CS ‘za is a crispy-crust tour-de-force.)

    1 – Fallout, Blowoff
    2 – Wrong ‘Em Boyo, the Clash
    3 – No Woman No Cry, Bob Marley & the Wailers
    4 – You Make Loving Fun, Fleetwood Mac
    5 – Dank/Manuel, Drive-By Truckers
    6 – Blown Away, Pixies
    7 – Dry Lightning, Bruce Springsteen
    8 – Clocks, Coldplay
    9 – Metropolitan Glide, Tom Waits
    10- Caught Between, Screaming Trees

  2. Colin

    1. Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, “Cry Freedom” (live)
    2. John Mayer, “My Stupid Mouth”
    3. Jimmy Buffett, “One Particular Harbor” (live)
    4. Audioslave, “Doesn’t Remind Me” (live)
    5. Led Zeppelin, “Immigrant Song”
    6. Nickel Creek, “Smoothie Song”
    7. Army of Anyone, “Leave It”
    8. Nirvana, “Been A Son”
    9. The Clash, “Should I Stay or Should I Go”
    10. The Bravery, “Believe”

  3. 1. I’m Walkin’ – Fats Domino
    2. Kiko & the Lavender Moon – Los Lobos
    3. Misunderstood – Common
    4. Fingers of Steel – Sebastien Tellier
    5. (Don’t Worry) If There’s a Hell Below, We’re All Going to Go – Curtis Mayfield
    6. Comfort You – Van Morrison
    7. Ballad Of A Crystal Man – Donovan
    8. Eleanor Rigby – El Chicano
    9. Highway 61 Revisited – Karen O & The Million Dollar Bashers
    10. Your Precious Love – Marvin Gaye

    Wasn’t happy with the finish, so I skipped around till Wading in the Velvet Sea by Phish, havent heard that song in a few months.

  4. Chris

    Boston pizza? What about Emma’s in Kendall Square? Cracker-thin crust, gourmet toppings – truly delicious!

  5. Perry Ellis

    Hey, Emma’s is good. Don’t tell me you’d rank Mike’s over Emma’s. Say it ain’t so, Pax.

  6. What I mean is, there is some decent pizza in Boston, including Upper Crust and Emma’s and Regina (and even Mike’s) and places like that. But I’d still take 90% of the sidewalk slices in Manhattan (and especially Joe and Pat’s on Staten Island) over anything in Boston. It’s just a fact of life that New York has the best pizza in the world. Nothing to be ashamed of up here, though it’s harder to find.

  7. fallen angel

    sweet i love “ghost”

  8. Chris

    Pax, I’ll accept “decent” – I’m personally offended when people don’t express at least a mild enjoyment for Emma’s (I adore the place – I prefer my pizza to be thin-crusted with fancy toppings, but that’s just me. Plus, they’re always playing classy indie rock…)

    1. Tremendous Brunettes, Mike Doughty
    2. Great Lake Swimmers, Great Lake Swimmers
    3. Cabin Fever, Casey Dienel
    4. Slowed Down Trip to Hell, The Builders and the Butchers
    5. Conquest, Tapes ‘n Tapes
    6. Morning Bell, Radiohead (from I Might Be Wrong live recording)
    7. Cousin Chris, The Fiery Furnaces
    8. Quetate Luna, Devandra Banhart
    9. Broken Beads, The New Pornographers
    10. The Flag, Barenaked Ladies

  9. fatherscott

    I loathe the NYC focus of this country. Do they really need to do everything better there? Relax. Pizza is delicious almost anywhere.

  10. fatherscott

    Eleanor, The Low Millions
    Maybe I’m Right, Pete Yorn
    Sunday Dress, Augustana
    Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secured, Arctic Monkeys
    I Walk the Line, Johnny Cash
    Take Me to the Riot, Stars
    Old Man, Neil Young
    Bad, U2
    The National Side, Romantica
    For Emma, Bon Iver

  11. Perry Ellis

    Other things NYC does better:
    * Perforate unarmed groomsmen
    * Cost way too much
    * Host highest per capita rate of crazy people screaming “Shut up! You were never in the Navy!”
    * Smell bad
    * Employ Liza Minella to write and sing jingles
    * Make crappy, soggy, sloppy pizza that inspires inexplicable devotion from Jerseyites

  12. Perry Ellis

    That should have read “bridegrooms” not “groomsmen.” Although the groomsmen got shot too, so I guess that counts.

  13. Chris

    Whoo hoo, fatherscott, you got a good set this time around; Romantica and Bon Iver, nice.

  14. Many things in New York absolutely suck and are quite definitely trumped by the related things in Boston. That’s why I live here. I like it here better. The fish is better. The people are better. The weather is better. The accent is better. The humor is better. The cost of living is better. The smell is better.

    But the pizza, which neither the cheese-averse Perry Ellis or the Maine-reared Father Scott seem qualified to judge, is better in New York. This is not blind loyalty. This is experience.

    I have lived with both kinds for at least a decade each.

    The pizza in New York is better.

  15. By the way, if I were from North Carolina, I would also be lamenting the lack of quality barbecue joints in Boston (outside of Perry Ellis’ backyard, obviously). I’m not. I’m from New Jersey of New Yorker parents.

  16. As to the good Padre’s point about pizza being delicious almost anywhere, here are two places where pizza inarguably sucks:

    – Vermont

    – Norway

    But for whatever reason the honey mustard and cheddar cheese in Vermont is spectacular. Norway has good, um, moldy cheese I guess.

  17. fatherscott

    I really got under your skin there Pax.

    NYC very well might have the best pizza on earth. That’s fine. I just get sick of everyone saying it has the best everything. It gets old. I get it. NYC residents love NYC. That’s cool. Other places are cool too.

  18. Perry Ellis

    Other places where the pizza sucks:
    * Ireland
    * Any airport anywhere
    * China (try the General Gao’s Chix instead)
    * Mike’s
    * NYC

  19. By the same token, I can’t stand how everything around here is so reflexively anti-New York.

    It’s like the Yankees are still all up under everyone’s psyches still. Boston, you are the undisputed champs now and the Yankees are a $200 million mediocrity. Now can we acknowledge that their pizza fucking rules?

    Perry, there is a no name pizza place in the Port Authority train station that is among the best pizza on earth. Besides, you should be proud of that, what with your dago pedigree and all…

  20. Perry Ellis

    It’s not just the Yankees. New York sucks, that’s all. And I am cheese averse (though becoming less so), but still can’t see the appeal behind a piping-hot mass of sodden, limp, undercooked dough dripping with amber grease. It’s gross whether it’s made in the Port Authority building, Boston or Naples.

    As for my dago pedigree, my Irish side begs to object but is too drunk and my French side is busy not bathing while the German in me plots to invade it. My Italian side is too busy losing wars to respond.

  21. fatherscott

    You sound self-destructive, Perry.

    I don’t think New York sucks, and people around here probably are unnecessarily hateful of it.

  22. Dude, Perry, if you got soggy pizza in New York you went to the wrong place. And the amber grease you refer to is like liquid gold if the cheese is real buffalo mozzarella — like at Joe and Pat’s.

  23. Is this a comment record yet?

  24. Perry Ellis

    It’s genetic.

  25. Perry Ellis

    Let’s

  26. Perry Ellis

    record

  27. Perry Ellis

    comments

  28. WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…

  29. …OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…

  30. …HHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. fatherscott

    This is embarrassing.

  32. Birch

    New York City baffles me. Generally, I do not like it. It’s not because I happen to be a fan of the local nine. It’s not because I’m supposed to not like it as a New Englander. …I love cities that have the ability to have a center-of-the-universe feel, such as NY, London, Tokyo. And I like the endless list of eclectic nook n’cranny hangouts that NY offers. But what bothers me is that the city gives me a sense of doom. The people don’t give me a good vibe, and it looks like shit. It doesn’t even look like the place has any intention of taking a shower anytime soon. The attitude is “we’re fucking NY, who the hell are you?”

    Many foreigners I’ve met went to NY first when they came to the states. Whether they liked it or not, I can’t help feel apologetic to them…

    The time I do enjoy there is simply when I’m visiting friends, and that’s just because I’m in their company and they know the fun spots to hit.

    Speaking of NY pizza…has anyone been to the “NY pizza” shop in back bay? I think it’s on Columbus? Any good? I’m curious…

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