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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Las Vegas Pizza

Sorry for the delay in posts, but I have been in Las Vegas, a crazy circus of a place.  It just so happened that I stayed in the New York, New York Casino.  So I thought I'd explore the N.Y. pizza options.  I am sure there are hundreds of places serving pizza on the strip, and probably another hundred off the strip and I'm sure, similar to L.A., they are mostly bad.  Of course I don't know this for sure, I only ate at 2 places.  So I can barely speak for New York New York casino, let alone all of Las Vegas.

The first night we dabbled in gambling, just betting a 5 chip here and there, trying the feel out our luck.  After casino hopping all night, we realized it was 10pm and we hadn't eaten dinner, so we went back to our hotel to see what we could find.  Pizza was the natural option; it is quick, easy, and satisfying.  We walked the fake streets of NY to find a slice.  At the fake corner of Hudson and Greenwich was a walk-in, grab-a-slice place, called Sirrico's Pizza.
Most food in Vegas, unless you can swing a free breakfast or a hot dog, is expensive.  The price for a slice of cheese was outrageous, pushing $4.  Over $4 for any kind of topping.  The large cheese was a much better deal, $15 for maybe an 18 inch.  I guess they figure most people are coming in for a slice, like us who were desperate and hungry and when we heard it was going to be 25 minutes for a large, we accepted the rip off.  I got a cheese slice, a sausage slice, and a water for 12 dollars.  Good thing I just won 20 bucks on the slots...  I didn't, that was sarcasm.  
Here is a picture of the pepperoni, sausage and Sicilian.
This pizza was what you might expect:  thick, doughy, and greasy.  Lots of sauce and lots of cheese, with a nice soggy bottom.  It was filling and in a gross way, satisfying.   There was a slight crunch to the outer edge but the rest was just soft bread.  The slices were a good size and and pretty thick so I guess $4.50 a slice could have been worse.  My friend got the sicilian slice, which wasn't really much thicker than the regular, and it was cold.  So while I imagine most people will be satisfied with this meal and may even really like it if they are from say Ohio, it wasn't very good.  It certainly wasn't a good representation of New York pizza.  I hope nobody goes there thinking it is.  

So the next day came along before I was ready to sleep.  We finally got to bed around 8 in the morning and woke up in the same day.  I had been eyeing an Italian restaurant that looked a little fancy and boasted  their great wood fired pizza, called Il Fornaio.  So we went.  They served personal sized 12 inch pizzas for 13 dollars.  We got 2 cheese pizzas.          
It came out looking alright but not as fancy as I expected.  Pretty typical pizza actually.  They couldn't even get a hold of fresh basil leaves.  In fact, the whole pizza looked generic and processed.  Like it was too perfect.  Places like this that make personal sized pizzas usually get creative and put some character into their pizzas.  This looked like something from a chain.  Though it was much better than a chain, it wasn't amazing.  The cheese was pretty basic and surprisingly had a lot of oil on top.  The menu said they import their cheese from Italy.  This is the wrong ingredient to import, the cheese should be made fresh.  The sauce was really good.  It was light and sweet and tasted like fresh tomatoes and it really gave great flavor to the pizza overall.  The crust was a little disappointing.  It was thin but didn't really have a good doughy center and it got too cracker-like and brittle at the edge.  The bottom didn't get too crispy either.      
It wasn't a terrible pizza, better in my opinion than Sirrico's.  Though they kind of represented slightly different styles.  Il Fornaio though boasts genuine Italian food and it's all dressed up fancy with high prices, so you'd expect more.  Sirrico's of course sits in a whole fake town trying to be like New York.  So I guess thats just the Vegas way.  There was another place called America that was kind of a diner, they had food from all over America including pizza.  Based on their breakfast I can't see their pizza being that great, so I skipped it.  Of course there is genuinely good food here and probably good pizza somewhere too.  But the New York of Vegas unfortunately is not known for their pizza.

New York, New York Casino - Las Vegas, NV
Sirrico's Pizza  Il Fornaio
  Price: $$$                          Price: $$
   Overall:                             Overall:

                                                Sirrico's on Urbanspoon                   Il Fornaio (New York - New York) on Urbanspoon

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