Trader Joe's in Paramus: let's see what they got
Going all the way: 3 times

The Amish Market, NYC: Pizza

The Amish Market is a bit of a mini-chain of upscale gourmet food markets in Manhattan.   They've got a great selection of produce, cheeses, olives, desserts, breads, meats, fish, and practically everything else you'd ever need.  They also have a fair amount of prepared foods and nice hot/cold buffet-style selections.

The standout to my mind is the brick oven pizza.  It's really quite good.   


Cell phone photo doesn't do it justice

While I give the Amish Market props for having a brick oven, it took me a while to get over the fact that it's gas-fired.  After you have the pizza, you'll probably get over it as well.  And if that doesn't convince you, read what Wood Stone, the manufacturer of their oven, has to say about wood-fired vs. gas-fired.

The guy who runs the pizza operation at the E. 45th street store knows his craft.  And he's got a passion for food.  It doesn't take much to get him talking about the super-hot hot peppers he had the other day, or what the next day's special will be, (the other day he proudly showed me the meat for the braciola that he had marinating for the next day's (non-pizza) special - "You gotta cook this for four hours" he told me), or what he ate for dinner last night:  braciola, as it turned out.  You gotta love it when you see inspiration like that.

Yeah that pizza.  His dough is fantastic.  Chewy, crispy, elastic.  The Margherita is a study in simplicity and perfection.  He covers his dough with just the perfect amount of tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella, and cooks it in the oven until the crust is just blistering.  A smattering of torn fresh basil finishes the pizza off.  There's a range of toppings to choose from, and all of the ingredients that I've had seem top-notch.  Artichoke hearts on a margherita is a normal order for me.

At about 7 dollars, I find the pizza quite a bargain.  Where else can you get a meal for 7 dollars in midtown, especially considering the quality here?  You can't, for the most part. 

In addition to the pizza, do consider one of their daily special sandwiches (made with that same fantastic dough instead of crappy bread).  These things are heated up in the oven, and usually come with some meat, cheese, maybe some olive paste and/or pesto, some greens.  You get the idea.  Another great value for the quality.

So save a few extra nickels over the next few weeks and go get yourself a pizza (or a sandwich) at The Amish Market.

The Amish Market : 240 E. 45th : New York, NY : 212.370.1761 (and other locations)