COURIER LIFE, OCT. 30-NOV. 5, 2020 31
OUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO THE BOROUGH OF KINGS
Havin’ a slice day
A joyful pizza challenge chews through 2020 blues
BY ALEX MITCHELL
Not even a pandemic could stop New
York’s fi fth annual “5 Boro Pizza Challenge”
– an amazing race held Oct. 24
which demonstrates how effi cient the
city’s public transit system can be in
the most tasteful of ways.
Although some ingredients of the
challenge had to be virtualized for the
2020 running, its objective remained
clear as day: travel to and eat (at least)
one slice in each of the fi ve boroughs,
using only public transit, walking, or
cycling throughout the journey.
The fi ve designated pizzerias,
which were disclosed as the urban odyssey
got underway at 11 am Saturday
morning, spanned racers from Sam’s
Pizza in the Bronx’s Riverdale neighborhood
to L’Industrie in Williamsburg,
Brooklyn, along with Pier 76 on
the Staten Island waterfront in Saint
George, sLICe in Astoria, Queens, and
NY Pizza Suprema, next to Madison
Square Square Garden in Midtown.
The ability to effi ciently navigate
New York’s subways, waterways, and
streets is more so the true challenge
on the day as opposed to one’s swiftness
with a slice – although being able
to chow quickly does come in handy.
This reporter’s plan of attack was a
Sam’s Pizza, Bronx, 11:30 am
Nothing starts your weekend like
morning pizza in the Bronx.
This walk-up stand at 232 W. 231st
St. embodies all the characteristics of
a classic NYC slice, achieving an ideal,
middle ground ratio of cheese-to-sauce
as well as doughiness-to-crispiness
while still maintaining a unique and
fl avorful accent.
Then it was off to Midtown.
NY Pizza Suprema, Manhattan,
Different from Sam’s, this slice emphasized
sauce along with a sharper,
more accentuated cheese with a Romano
fl avor and a nice crispy crust
that stuck out above all else. The shop
at 413 Eighth Ave. also offered some
great Italian tunes, such as “Volare”
by Dean Martin, that was a welcome
back to indoor dining, even if it was
only for a few minutes.
Next, there was a ferry to be caught
en route to Staten Island from Manhattan’s
As the free, Staten Island Ferry
runs half-hourly on weekends, catching
the 2 pm to St. George was a makeor
break moment on the adventure.
I quickly dashed to Herald Square to
pick up a southbound R or W to Whitehall
Street only to wait eight crucial
minutes for the next available train.
That R train got me downtown at
1:56 pm and onboard the ferry just as
doors were being closed. Never have I
believed more that one can will the impossible
while commuting throughout
New York City.
Pier 76, Staten Island, 2:45 pm
This pizza summated the argument
that it is sinful to exclude Staten Island
from the city’s top-ranking slices and
Saucey with a surplus of fresh
cheese and a crispy, thin-crust, recently
reopened Pier 76 of 76 Bay St.
has the kind of pizza that perks up the
taste buds and one’s mood.
While there, two other competitors,
Megan Schmidt and Bo
Raynolds of Inwood were
also scarfi ng down their
third slices of the race.
They opted to cycle throughout
the journey while decked in
5 Boro Pizza Challenge attire, also
starting in the Bronx and moving
downward to Manhattan and Staten
Another ferry ride brought me
back to Manhattan by 4 pm, and
soon I was off on the J train from
Broad Street toward Williamsburg.
After enjoying a scenic
view over the Williamsburg
Bridge on a J train, it was
time to depart on Marcy
Avenue march northbound
some blocks towards 254 S Second
St. for slice four.
L’Industrie, Brooklyn 4:50
In the interest of time, I took my
Margherita slice on the go since the
fi nal leg of my journey required a
good stretch of walking along with
three subway rides to Astoria.
The basil loaded slice had a
darkened and crispy crust with
a slimming amount of cheese
that traveled well towards
the Metropolitan Avenue G
Now in the fi nal stretch,
it was my goal to clock-in before
sundown — one which was at the
mercy of the New York City Subway
Continued on page 32
PIZZA DAY ACTION: The fi fth annual 5 Boro Pizza Challenge drew New Yorkers
out of solitude for a slice (or fi ve) on Saturday, Oct. 24. Photos by Alex Mitchell