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Patsy’s Pizzeria
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Patsy’s Pizzeria

I lived up on 116th and Lex during 93 Plates and then on 111th and Lenox for three months, but I never got over to Patsy’s when I was there. It was on the way to Patsy’s one night that I saw the Papaya King and stopped by instead.

Patsy’s pizza and the other Patsy’s Pizza are two different places. You’ll know which because It’s a lot easier to discern between the Patsy’s and the Ray’s out there; this one is the original, the rest just have the name Patsy’s and serve pizza.

I was talking to someone about social media marketing yesterday trying to explain the intangible aspects of it, and we started talking about goodwill. It’s an accounting term pretty much only used when some company or part of company is being bought or sold. Here’s the wiki description:

An ongoing business has some “prudent value” beyond its assets, such as the reputation the firm enjoyed with its clients. A buyer may “overpay” because he sees potential synergy with his own business. The accounting sense of goodwill followed as a possible explanation of why a firm sells for more than the value of its current assets.

In summary; goodwill is the value of the brand or the value of the synergy perceived by the purchasing company. Unless negotiations culminate in a purchase, goodwill is never recognized.

One example of the synergy price play could be the Apple purchase of Liquidmetal.

You might not have known how much of a dork I was. Now you know.

The sale of the name “Patsy’s” has led to a decline in the balance sheet goodwill of the real Patsy’s pizza up in Harlem. That sale could lead to its future absorption into the now more commercially recognizable Patsy’s franchises – it’s the most obvious buyer if the shop was put up for sale. Conceivably, it would be worth no more to any other buyer, and they could stop being the fake Patsy’s. I’d bet there was a “Don’t sell to the other Patsy’s” clause in the previous contract, but you never know.

I’ve never been to the fake Patsy’s, but I’ve been the NYU one it about a hundred times. It always looks like a really nice place to eat pizza. Patsy’s in Harlem isn’t very pleasantly decorated aside from the huge pictures of Frankie Blue Eyes, but it’s austere and looks like a place that people who know good food hang out.

We got the Pepperoni and Garlic pizza. I was trying to recreate my beautiful pie I had at Di Fara to no avail. The middle was a bit wet, and the crust was charred a bit too heavily for me (as you can see by the upskirt below), but it was a pretty good pie. I won’t put it in my top ten pies ever, but it’s certainly in the lifetime top 40. Maybe that isn’t such a ringing endorsement as I could probably only name my top 20.

My dad loved the pizza. I don’t think it was his favorite of the weekend, but it was a big winner over his wood oven favorite, Ricetta’s. I always loved going to Ricetta’s as a teenager – it was the best pizza in Maine at the time. I’m sure it’s better now, but I’d bet pies in Maine have followed the old “a rising tide raises all boats” adage.

Speaking of Maine pizza and pies that don’t fall under the exemplary pizza category, there’s this place that’s open until after the bars close called Bill’s Pizza. It’s not the worst pizza on earth, but it certainly is the worst pizza in Portland. They charge $4.00 a slice, the place is always packed, and I fucking hate it. I hate it more that someone hasn’t purchased another space in the area, made a better pie, charged a reasonable amount, and put them out of business. Is anyone scared of this shitty pizza? Please, Maine entrepreneurs, throw down a few hundred K and put Bill’s out of their misery.

Patsy’s didn’t give us bread. We asked for bread, and they were going to give us the shitty bread because “We only have so many loaves, and we want to save them for the people eating dinner.” I could have sworn we were having dinner, but I digress. We didn’t need the bread – we were going to get my favorite taco in NYC right after this, but since there was bread there, and it looked good, we had some.

The bread was the best part. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. We had it with butter and olive oil; amazing with both. I always take pictures of the bread, and I’ve only spotlighted a few, but this one was notable. Make sure they give you bread when you’re up here, no matter what you order.

Worth a trip to Harlem for pizza? Sure, as long as you get the taco or you’re a true pizza fanatic. Seriously, though – a pizza by any other name just isn’t the same. Just ask Ray.

Patsy’s Pizza
2287 1st Ave
New York, NY 10035
(212) 534-9783

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