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89th And Broke

I'm a young professional living in Astoria (formerly of Williamsburg, the UES and Murray Hill - I move a lot!). I'm always looking for something fun to do or the best place to grab a drink and dinner at an affordable price around the city. Have a suggestion? Email me at Laura AT 89thandbroke DOT com.

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Am I Licking Charcoals?

Fridays when I grew up meant pizza.  So a few Fridays back, we decided to head to Veloce for some pies.

It was around 9 p.m. when we showed up and tables were scarce, but the host said he could squeeze us in.  He made a big deal of putting our table of 4 in ahead of other reservations, so we gave him a little bit of a tip.  As we sat at these elevated picnic tables, we knew we had to keep drinking from Happy Hour, so we went with the cheapest bottles of wine at $32 a bottle.

We just decided to go with two pies for dinner and the waiter advised two pies were enough for the 4 of us if we weren’t starving.  Coming from some appetizers at City Crab, we weren’t too too hungry, so we went with the two pies, one being a margherita and a sopressata picante (also known as pepperoni).  We dug into the pies, with three of us grabbing from the pepperoni, but I decided to dig first into the margherita.  Everyone started raving about how great their piece was and I couldn’t understand it.  Were my taste buds off?  This pizza tasted terrible.

And then I realized, the entire bottom of my piece was black.

Charcoal black.

I might as well have been licking charcoals that were cooled off.  I honestly can’t even tell you how the sauce tasted because this burnt taste was so overpowering.  Everyone thought I was out of my mind and then Eddie realized a part of his piece was burnt, and admitted too that it was all he could taste.

I moved on to the pepperoni piece, checking the bottoms first to make sure I wasn’t getting another burnt piece.  Not sure if it was this type of pie, or the fact that I could actually taste it, but the sauce was delicious and had a great spicy flavor.  The crust was also fabulous – and I did enjoy that the pizza was cooked in a square pan since it made me think of mom’s (aww love youuuu, Joanne).

The bartender sent over some complimentary limoncello as we wrapped up our meal, which I thought was a nice gesture.  While I wasn’t a fan of the pizza, especially since it was so highly recommended from every review site, I did think it was a great atmosphere and the wait staff was very attentive.  I understand the kitchen might have had an off-night, but if pizza is your specialty, don’t serve burnt pizza.  Since half our pizza was black on the bottom and the other half was perfect, Veloce, you may want to check your oven.

The Basics
Name: Veloce Pizzeria
Location: 103 First Ave between 6th and 7th St
Who to bring: Friends, Date
Price: $$ Pizzas under $20.
Overall: Check your pizza.  If it’s burnt, send it back. 3 stars.

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