Maffei’s Grandma Slice: An interesting departure from the norm

Date November 16, 2007

Ed Levine called Maffei Pizza’s Grandma Slice the best in Manhattan. I can’t back that up but I can say it was unlike any Grandma I’ve ever had before.

2 slices ($4.50)

I’m aware that Mr. Levine gave Maffei it’s illustrious title almost a year ago and a lot can change for a slice joint in that time. However, the Grandma Slice I encountered was not nearly as thin and crispy as the usual fare. The dough was, well, doughy, and reminded me of fresh baked Italian breadsticks, dotted with oregano and tastier wherever some burnt cheese formed.

The slice wasn’t overly greasy, an effect I’ve experienced many times with thinner slices which incorporate a garlicky, olive oil base on crispy crust dotted with dollops of marinara. At Maffei, the marinara is replaced with spare pieces of chopped tomato dressed in a tiny bit of sauce. Every bite that contained tomato and cheese was delicious, but I was unimpressed with the tomato-less bites.

I added a little garlic powder, some more oregano, and a healthy shake of red pepper flakes and was pleased with the upgrade. Then my friend Mark Lewis, chicken & turkey club expert, passed me the Parmesan, and things took a turn for the best. The wisps of generic grated parm melted into the top layer of cheese and tomato and definitely enhanced the experience.

I had two slices and the corner was definitely better:


But in all seriousness, when is a corner slice, Grandma or Sicilian, not the best option.

The Review: Tasty slice, a break from the norm. Definitely worth a stop in if you’re in the neighborhood, not worth the trip if you’re traveling far just for this slice.

The Verdict: 3 out of 5 on the NYC Eats’ Slice Scale.

Plan for success: 1) Extra Parmesan cheese. 2) Unless it’s fresh (and you never put a fresh slice back in the oven), ask for it to be cooked well done, otherwise it tastes like undercooked breadsticks with a shortage of sauce.

Worth another try: I say absolutely, and it’s mainly in reverence of Mr. Levine, who despite misleading me into thinking Market Table’s burger came with bacon and Gorgonzola, knows his stuff. (Check out NYC Eats’ Market Table review here.)

Also, the rest of their slices were huge. There was an eggplant and ricotta slice that I thought was one of those big stuffed ones, turns out it was just a regular slice around 2 inches tall, all fried eggplant and cheese. Another intriguing slice was a Mexican chicken slice with shredded chicken, red peppers, and onions. Lastly, the cheeseburger slice looked pretty serious, with a healthy layer of ground beef and whole slices of melted American on top. That’s not really my thing but it looked legit. They also have a prepared food buffet next to the pizza counter which serves pre-cooked Fried Calamari (weak, nothing fried is good cold), oversauced Lasagna, and other Italian standards. From the look of it, I’d avoid that area.

Maffei Pizza
688 6th Ave, New York 10010
At 22nd St
Phone: 212-929-0949

3 Responses to “Maffei’s Grandma Slice: An interesting departure from the norm”

  1. Bleecker Street Pizza: Excellent Nonna Maria & Grandma Slices « NYC Food Guy said:

    […] is a model of pizza perfection. It strikes a perfect balance between cheese and sauce, something Maffei, one of the Ed Levine’s top Grandma slices, […]

  2. Good. Food. Stories. » Ask Casey: Chicago deep-dish in New York? said:

    […] (686 Sixth Ave. at 22nd St., 212-929-0949) has the best grandma slice in the city, according to Ed Levine (a man who knows —he wrote an entire book on the subject, […]

  3. jessica maffei said:

    Mi chiamo Jessica Maffei, ho 39 anni, sono nata in Inghilterra ma vivo a Pavia!
    Voi siete italiani?

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