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  • XIMENA HIDALGO-AYALA

A LITTLE PICE OF HAPPINESS!

Desde hace medio siglo, el acogedor e informal Mamma’s Famous Pizza, ubicado sobre Broadway y la calle 86 en Manhattan, ha construido una bien ganada fama de servir la mejor pizza del Upper West Side (UWS) y ahora les cuento por qué.

When you enjoy a little masterpiece you become addicted, that’s why I’m always in the mood for pizza!

Sí, por experiencia propia es mi lugar de pizza favorita y para decir las cosas como son, es un paraíso para complacer a los golosos de todas las edades, con una selección de platillos que incluyen desde clásicas pastas italianas y exquisitos platos populares griegos, hasta una selección de delicias internacionales como quesadillas y hamburguesas.


Afirmo que es un paraíso porque, si bien el menú ofrece una respetable selección, todos los platos se pueden acomodar a los deseos de cada comensal. El personal comandado por su experimentado propietario, está siempre listo para atender a todos sus clientes en forma diligente y para complacerles sus caprichos, desde la preparación de un sencillo y aromático café, hasta una pizza gigante con diferentes ingredientes en cada mitad, o un desayuno con huevos al estilo que uno quiera, una pasta con la salsa y los ingredientes al gusto, el termino de la carne de la hamburguesa de acuerdo al antojo, todo se prepara para ofrecer satisfacción total personalizada.


Pero debemos ser prácticos! no solo que le complace al cliente en lo que desea y como lo desea, saben como preparar la comida bien y deliciosa, esa es la clave! Además saben despachar rápido y eso en Nueva York es muy importante, “aquí el tiempo vale oro”, sin embargo hay algo por lo cual es uno de mis lugares favoritos, su exquisita pizza, no solo es la de la masa más delgada que he encontrado, es la única que no me hace daño.

A good pizza is about choosing the proper ingredients but over all in using the best techniques. the way how to knead the dough, how to let it rest and rise.

Usualmente después de comer pizza tengo problemas intestinales y eso me hizo descubrir que con el tiempo he desarrollado intolerancia a la lactosa, -que está en el queso-, y al gluten de la masa, pero esta pizza jamás me hace daño y jamás me aburre, porque la preparan en diferentes variedades y como dice el refrán popular, en la variedad está el gusto!

It's unbelievable how good food provide you happiness, comfort along with nutritional benefits, pizza is not junk food it's a deliciously complete meal!


Pero en esta joyita del UWS mi favorita no es solo la pizza, el pie de espinaca, una especialidad griega exquisita cuyo nombre original es Spanakopita, preparada con la sofisticada masa de hojaldre, rellena de espinaca con queso Feta y cebolla, es una de las delicias que más me apetece en toda estación. En invierno la exquisita sopa de lentejas con cubitos de papa, -preparada como en casa-, que además es buena para mantener un buen sistema inmunológico es la reina de mi gusto.


Para un desayuno tradicional, mi preferencia es el Omelette Griego, acompañado de papas cocidas y doradas a la plancha, conocidas en Nueva York como “home made potatoes”, unas tostadas de pan integral y un buen café negro o con leche descremada, sin azúcar, a mi gusto!


Después de haber cerrado por durante dos meses Mamma’s Famous Pizza abrió y los golosos que la frecuentamos estamos felices y agradecidos!


Todo el personal está muy feliz de atender a sus clientes de este histórico y tradicional barrio de Manhattan, en el cual han vivido personajes tan reconocidos como Edgar Allan Poe, Anthony Quinn, Baby Ruth, Cynthia Nixon, por mencionar a algunos y en el cual este pequeño restaurante se ha convertido en testigo de su historia. Durante medio siglo ha visto crecer a muchos de sus clientes y ha visto los cambios y retos que el barrio ha vivido y que actualmente enfrenta.


Conversamos con Giannis, el experimentado propietario de esta joya del UWS.


Hi Giannis! we know that you aren’t the first owner of this place, ¿since when did you took over it?

- I has been in this store for the past fifteen years, since 2005, but this place has been here since 1965, I’m the third owner.

¿Do you have previous experience in this kind of business?

- Yes! my father was a baker and I grow up in a bakery, so to me this store is my baby, baking pizza and cooking Italian food is my favorite thing.


¿We know that you’re from Athens, let us know more about your family?

- My father was born in Athens Greece in a town called Pereus. We had a small bakery shop, where we prepared bread, spinach pie, greek cookies and all that stuff with my mother, my brother and my sister. Since I was a little boy I remember that I used to put the bread away and try to help my father doing the dough…but you need be strong, everything was hand made and when I was little I wasn’t strong enough, but I grew up helping in the business as well my siblings.

So when you emigrate to New York ?did you start your own food business?

- In 1986 I emigrated to the United States but I was first in the dry cleaning business, then I started in the restaurant business and then I went in to the pizzerias. The food business is not easy, specially because the rent is very expensive, so when the previous owner, -also from Greece-, sold this business, nobody wanted to take over this place and the landlord asked me and also offered to me a good deal, but the rent is extremely expensive. I’m paying 1,450 dollars per square foot.

¿Which one is the most popular dish?

- The pizza and the Italian dishes, specially the chicken parmigiana with spaghetti, pasta Alfredo, parmigiana, the hamburgers, the Philly cheese steak sandwich, also the salads, and very popular are the breakfast’s dishes.

¿Can you tell me why this pizza doesn’t hurt my digestive system?

- We prepare the dough here, every morning, and we sell everything, so everyday we serve fresh pizza, the dough is prepared by experienced people. We usually sell 3.000 slices every day. The flour is normal flour of good quality, I used gluten flour, thats what everybody like it, I tried the whole wheat flour but nobody liked, people like gluten, which is something natural, is part of the flour and make it easy to handle and to eat, but we prepared it here, every day, so we don’t need to use anything to keep it fresh.


The problem with other pizzas, specially from big companies, is because they use preservatives so the dough stay a longer time in the refrigerator and my pizza is made in daily basis. That is the difference between a franchise pizza and the one that we make it here, the secret is the freshness, we prepare everything here, including the spinach pie, a very popular Greek dish but hard to prepared.


How about Greek dishes, aside of spinach pie, -which is my favorite along with Greek salad-, which one is the most popular Greek dish?

- The gyro! the original one, prepared with lamb mixed with beef and spices, comes with fresh tomato, lettuce, onions and the authentic “tzanziki” sauce, made with greek yogurt, dill, garlic and cucumbers.

Authentic Greek gyro served at Mamma's Favorite Pizza

You’re famous also for serving all day breakfast dishes, ¿which one is the most famous among them?

- I must say the Westerner Omelet, which is prepared with eggs, onions, green peppers and ham, served with home fries, but if someone prefer french fries is OK and also a choice of toast with option of white, wheat or rye bread.


So, if I have a craving of two eggs any style at 4pm or 7pm ¿can you prepare it for me?

- Yes! we prepare it how you want during our operations hours, before we used to open 24 hours, many years, now we’re open from 10am to 9pm.then we decided to close at midnight, now under the new regulations we’re open until 9PM.


We’re open, we follow all the safety stands and we’re 100% ready for delivery, as usual, ten to fifteen blocks away.

Experienced hands prepared the best pizza in the UWS as well a variety of Italian & Greek dishes, among a selection of international famous “golosinas” like hamburgers and quesadillas.

They have few varieties of omelettes including a low cholesterol version using egg whites only. That is very important for everyone who wants to keep the shape, so they have healthy options for any of is menu’s categories, including pancakes, a huge variety of sandwiches, heroes, wraps and quesadillas. Over a dozen signature Italian pastas and Lasagna.

They have a complete variety of nine signature hamburgers and all of them are prepared in the grill, and there are few options for cheese, also chicken, turkey and veggie burger. One of the earliest descriptions of (minced meat) in the United States was in 1884, in the Boston Evening Journal, but the term “hamburger” appeared in New York City in a printed menu in 1834.

Half roasted chicken, served with your choice of rice & beans, french fries, salad with variety of dressing options or not dressing at all.

All at very convenient prices, good quality and freshness, an incredible flavor and served by an always friendly staff, visiting this placea makes you feel confortable and welcomed.


Everything is prepared using traditional cooking techniques, a quick snack or an elaborated dish, recreate the authentic Mediterranean flavors, bringing to your mouth and life a little piece of happiness!


MAMMA’S FAMOUS PIZZA

2345 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

Abierto de 10AM a 9PM los 7 días de la semana

Para ordenar y para entrega a domicilio, comuníquese al

212 362 - 8612


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