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Artichoke Basille’s
≡ Menu

Artichoke Basille’s

Artichoke Basille'sI came here on the way back from looking at apartments in Williamsburg (not happening!) and needed something before I got in line for the Lost Finale at Professor Thom’s. I’d always heard about this place as awesome. Ridiculous. “Did you get the Artichoke slice??” No, I didn’t. I felt like I was missing out. Everyone talks about pizza in NYC, and when you hear about slices on the island, this is always one of the names that comes up. I got off the train at first ave, saw the sign, and entered food blog mode.

There was a line about three people deep. I took the top picture at the height of the line, and took some more shots because you can only have so many pictures of pizza.

They use a conventional oven here. Strike one. Here’s the obligatory upskirt.

cooking pizza

Since you only get one thing here, it’s useless to review anything else. What are you going to get when you go to Katz’s? The Pastrami Sandwich. What do you get at Artichoke? You get the spinach and artichoke slice.

Three reasons why no one calls it Artichoke Basille’s:

1. The sign just says “Artichoke”
2. The name is too long
3. People don’t know if it’s Ba-SEAL’S or Ba-SILLY’S

Peering through the pane glass, this guy looked tasty.

whole pizza

It looked tastier going in than it did coming out, though. The artichokes that were standing up strong on the pizza before kinda laid down and mixed themselves into the dip covering the pizza. I say dip because that’s what it is: spinach-artichoke dip on a pizza.

close-up

I’m going to call this strike two. They have the opportunity to innovate here and don’t. If you like spinach-artichoke dip, you’re in luck – you’ll probably be happy with this pizza. If you love awesome food, come to NYC, and someone says “You’ve gotta try the Artichoke Slice!” and you get psyched up for it, you’re going to be shortchanged on your big apple pizza experience.

Critics go places three or four times a week to judge quality and consistency. I go to a place once because I’m on a budget and there are eleventy bajillion restaurants in the city. Either this is how it always is or it’s an anomaly:

raw pizza

Completely raw. Strike three.

Not only this, but here wasn’t enough cheese on the pizza to keep the dip from sliding around and off the pizza, and the crust was a bit stiff. I was there on an early afternoon on Sunday, so I could blame the hangover crew, but you figure, if you order something that makes one thing and one thing only, you better do it right.

I wasn’t feeling Artichoke and I don’t recommend you bother with it if you’re in NYC. If you’re not in NYC, and you’d like to recreate this, here’s the recipe:

artichoke

Artichoke Basilles – site
328 E 14th Street
New York, NY 10003
(212) 228-2004

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Anne June 8, 2010, 6:36 pm

    It’s a heavy slice to be sure — a novelty I guess. Though each time I’ve had it — it was cooked, so I vote for accident. But next time (and you should at some pt go again — was one of my fav. spots when I was in NYC) try the sicilian or margarita. they’re delish.

    • Hagan June 8, 2010, 6:38 pm

      I am sure I’ll be in that area after last call very soon, but I don’t know … I’ll have to have a bite of someone else’s slice ;-P

  • evan June 8, 2010, 10:23 pm

    thank you for this post, Hagan. i despise Artichoke and the mediocre, over-hyped slices it stands for; glad to know i’m not alone in my disapproval.

    • Hagan June 9, 2010, 5:00 pm

      Yeah man, I didn’t understand it either. Motorino is three blocks away (not the same price point, but better pizza) What other slices are there in the area that are any good?

  • Jeremy June 8, 2010, 11:19 pm

    Haven’t been here (wasn’t really high on my list though), but I love this review. I might try it to see how it is, but my feeling is that isn’t going to be that great. This slice is probably getting hyped by hipsters only because it has spinach and artichoke together, “oooooooohhhhhh!”

    But hey, I won’t say anything until I’ve tried it.

    • Hagan June 9, 2010, 12:57 pm

      I believed the hipster hype, too, my friend. Everyone keeps telling me to go back there and try other slices … There is so much great food to experience in NYC! I don’t know if I’ll be back.

  • Raquel June 9, 2010, 12:41 pm

    I LOL’ed at your recipe at the bottom.

    I’ve never been but if you’re going to be famous for your artichoke pizza and go as far as name the place Artichoke’s, well then there better be some damn artichoke chunks at least!

    • Hagan June 9, 2010, 12:55 pm

      Thanks for the comment! I saw that you are a Wa-Za convert as well …

  • City Mitten June 9, 2010, 12:54 pm

    Ok, I love Artichoke and I do like the Artichoke slice and Artichoke dip in general. But the margarita slice is really the best. That recipe is disgusting.

  • JoseSPiano June 10, 2010, 12:02 am

    As City Mitten mentioned, the margarita slice is actually pretty good, as is the “square pie”. -The Crab slice just puzzles me since it’s surimi (fake crab meat). However, I do miss the “early days” when they used to serve meatballs – on their own or in a sub – and broccoli raab(!) subs. -They would be served on rolls made from the pizza crust. The broccoli raab made a very rare re-appearance last summer, and I’m hoping it comes back again this summer, if even just for a day or weekend. I also wish the offerings at their sister Led Zeppole lived up to all the hype. However, the “This Way” and “That Way” at This Little Piggy are quite satisfying.

    • Hagan June 10, 2010, 7:54 am

      I was going to get a Zeppole but they were out! WTF. I will have to check out TLP

  • SunmiScoopst June 10, 2010, 1:04 pm

    I’ve heard a lot about this place and the artichoke pizza, with all mixed reviews. But I have not tried it yet! I am going to try it one of these days, and see how it goes for me. Thanks for the review!
    http://www.scoop.st
    -Sunmi