What do you do when your best pizza place starts expanding—remain loyal or find another?
What did customers, who went to the first MacDonald’s, do as it expanded? As the burgers uniqueness diminished, were they even aware?
Joe’s, in the West Village, has about four locations now, and reports from LA say there are Joe’s out there that seem similar.
I’ve witnessed the expansion game before, in the 70s and 80s, with the ‘Ray’s Pizza’ syndrome. There was a Ray’s in the Village that was good, and suddenly there was a Ray’s everywhere, and then there were Original Ray’s everywhere. It was an insolvable joke, so I stopped going to Ray’s altogether. There’s still an Original Rays.
There was one Vinnie’s (my best) that closed ten years ago and still gets mentioned on Yelp, there is one DiFara, one Sal & Carmine’s (check out the articles), and four Joe’s. But Joe’s Carmine Street slices are still good so I recommend trying them, for now.
The ‘original’ on Carmine Street qualifies as a real pizza joint: no tables, no chairs, no bathroom, no credit, open ’til 4am and a really long fucking line.
The thing is that Joe’s has had a good reputation for a long time, so it gets the benefit of my doubt, for now.
From Joe’s, if you cross Sixth Avenue, you’ll be at Minetta Playground — the “Cage” — famous home of Manhattan’s aggressive, show-offy big-man street basketball games.