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First look at Grimaldi’s in Houston

The same week Robb Walsh was in Brooklyn trying the pie at the original Grimaldi’s, I stopped by the newly opened location of the Grimaldi’s chain in Sugarland. My pizza didn’t look quite as awesome as the one Robb’s picture, but it was every bit as good as the location in Dallas I tried on my Ike induced hurrication.

The cheese and toppings are definitely of higher quality than Russo’s ( my more recent visit in January was my last) and the crust has a much better chew, perhaps as a result of the process our waiter called “reverse oxmosis” that brings the water used for the pizza dough as close to Brooklyn quality as possible.

The only possible problem with Grimaldi’s is the layer of slightly gummy dough beneath the toppings, which may be a side effect of the crust being just a little thicker than it should be. I actually like the texture, but not everyone is a fan. Better stay on the safe side and order your pizza with only one meat topping if you want to avoid liquid runoff from vegetables that adds to the gooey mess. 

Last time I was in NYC I couldn’t resist  trying Angelo’s Pizza on West 57th Street, which was about 8 blocks from my hotel. To my surprise I found that I prefer Grimaldi’s, chain restaurant guilt not withstanding. 

Angelo’s is considered to be one of the best coal fired pizzerias in NY and the pizza I had there was good, but the crust lacked the character of the pies served at Grimaldi’s. The terrible caprese salad didn’t help things either (in all fairness, salads at Grimaldi’s are equally bad).

I’ve never had the pizza at the original Grimaldi’s (we’ll have to wait for Robb to find out how the chain compares to the real thing), but this is definitely the best way to get your hands on NY style pizza without buying a plane ticket.

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