Patsy's Pizza in East Harlem celebrated their 75th anniversary this week. If you've been living under a rock for the past week, let me fill you in...the original Patsy's Pizza opened in 1933 and today they rolled back their prices to the 1933 prices. That means a 12 oz steak grilled to your liking and served with pasta marinara or vegetables and potatoes for 90 cents. Fried calamari for 45 cents. Fettuccine Alfredo for 70 cents and a whole pizza, yes a whole pizza for 60 cents. 60 wee copper Lincolns. Were Blondie and I psyched? Oh, you betcha...
From what we read on Slice and Gothamist, Patsy's was supposedly offering this deal from 11am until 10pm. Blondie and I met up after work and made our trek uptown. We got there a little bit after 7:00pm and could see the crowd outside of Patsy's from a couple blocks away. Still, it didn't look as bad as we were expecting after reading the report on Eater, so we soldiered on. When we got to Patsy's we noticed that 1) there was an usually large amount of cops in front of the door, 2) the line seemed to be stretching out of the takeout Patsy's pizzeria where they were selling pies and slices at full price, and 3) oh yeah, the signs: Seating from noon until 7:00pm. It was 7:13. Patsy's was closed to new customers. No 60 cent pies for us. Sniffle.
Since we are never up in the neighborhood--heck, I live in Brooklyn; Rock Center is uptown for me--we decided to get in line for slices. While Blondie and I were wondering aloud what the deal was with the time difference we overheard a couple people in line with us say that they also thought the promotion was supposed to be until 10pm. One person who lived in the neighborhood said that there had even been signs up earlier that said until 10pm, though it was their understanding that there was a limited amount of food allocated for the promotion when they were out of food, they were out of food. I was expecting a long wait, and knew that it was possible that we wouldn't get our pizza, and that didn't make it any less of a bummer that they ended things early.
That said, I have to give Patsy's owners' credit. Sure this was a PR draw, but also an anniversary celebration and good will gesture to their customers. They didn't have to offer food at such rock bottom prices and for all the people who gave up and bought slices, I still seriously doubt that they made money today. That said, I wish that they had gotten the word out better about their promotion's time frame. Or been more explicit that there were limited quantities.
The slices that we had, $1.75 each (the equivalent of almost 3 pizzas), were good. The crust was super thin (apparently they bake the pies in a 1000 degree oven for just 2 minutes), but a bit floppy for my liking. Enjoyable, I certainly wouldn't turn it down (especially if it was 60 cents a pie!), but with the wealth of excellent pizza in my life I doubt that I'll be making any special trips uptown for another slice soon.
Any Patsy's aficionados out there? How do you think this Patsy's rates against the other branches in the city?
287 First Avenue, between 117th and 118th streets
New York, NY 10035