Monthly Archives: June 2013

Don Pepi’s Pizzeria- Penn Station NY, NY

 

peanutpimpmamaI know I know! You’re thinking to yourself, “This girl is writing about pizza again? She must be off her chain!” As the Jersey-Girl that I am (and ex-ballerina wannabe) my career and former art form have led me to commute in and out of NY Penn Station since the ripe old age of 12. I used to take dance lessons on the Upper West Side at STEPS and Broadway Dance Center. Now at 31 you can say that I’ve had a lot of opportunities to stop at Don Pepi’s for a slice. Consistent they’ve been for 19 years. I would be their best judge.

One of my earliest memories of this place: A kid noticed a true New York-style cockroach crawling up the wall near the register and started to lose it. Myself being the Wisenheimer that I was said, “Ssshhhh don’t say anything. It’s what makes the sauce so good!” I was less squeamish back then. Now the sight of “urban pets” make my skin crawl. Ironic enough I’m capable of seeing them from a mile away, all shapes, colors and sizes. A secret skill… You can’t hide from me!

The Experience:

Most likely you’re walking into this establishment and there is a line wrapping around the corner without a place to spare at their standing bar or the very few tables located at the back. You get hassled down the line so be prepared with a plan and cash or card ready to go! There’s no time for slow-pokes at Don Pepi’s. A slice of plain pie runs you $3.00. (Not too shabby) You can have a lot of fun dressing it with their mini bar of shaker-toppings located just to the right of the register including: Salt, Garlic Powder, Pepper, Oregano, Crushed Red Pepper and Parmesan Cheese… Go Cray! (Don’t forget to grab a napkin.)

In my opinion, the plain slice is not only the best way to judge any pizzeria but the most special slice here. They also make a mean White Pie which requires a bottle of water to wash down. The others may look amazing but I always walk away from the counter thinking, “I wish I just got the plain.” If you get a chance to pop in, take note of the sound the crust makes when you take your first bite. The light crunch as your teeth sink into the shallow soft and saucy base with cheese you have to fight from coming off all in one go. Mmmm!

I’m not sure what their secret is since Don Pepi’s is tiny and they are bangin’ out pies left and right on premises. It’s clear that the ingredients are good quality and they sell so fast you hardly ever get a slice with congealed nonsense happening. They have a cult following for anyone that commutes on NJ Transit or the LIRR. For those who aren’t familiar you can find them next to the Crispy Cream Donut Kiosk off of the 7th Avenue Entrance.

Best three bucks you’ll ever spend.

~PeanutPimpMama

2 Penn Plz
New York, NY 10121
Neighborhood: Midtown West

(212) 967-4385

Questions, Comments, Concerns please email to: PeanutPimpMama@aol.com

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Estiatorio Milos- Midtown West-New York, NY

peanutpimpmama

Lo and behold a lunch special in Midtown Manhattan that is not only affordable but incredibly delicious and in a chic atmosphere! Named after the Greek Island Milos, Estiatorio Milos is located at 125 West 55th Street between 7th Avenue and Avenue of the Americas. You can’t miss this bustling eatery gleaming with it’s pristine white interior, high cielings and modern reflective storefront. There’s just something about all of that white that makes you want to kick back, slap on your shades and pretend you are vacationing on the Mediterranean.

Kind of like that…

The Food:

So what happens when you dine on the sunshiny terrace (Sidewalk…We can pretend) of Estiatorio Milos? First you are greeted with a heaping basket of fresh bread and some of the purest extra virgin olive oil in existence. It is so pure that the fruitiness, floral bouquet and buttery finish leave you wanting to douse it all over your life. After dunking my crusty “féta”, I made sure to pour some extra oil on my tomato salad pictured above. While the serving size was relatively small, the tomatoes were supple and my knife slid through each piece like sliced butter left standing at room temperature. With just a touch of feta cheese and kalamata olives, it was a clean and refreshing start to my three course meal.

Ooh la la! The second course was chosen out of a very tempting selection of various seafood entrees. Fear not as there were at least one or two meat dishes for the ravenous types. It’s clear that it is easy to dine on the healthy side at Milos and a sure reason it is a local favorite among corporate hanchos trying to “woo” their clientelle. I imagine that “lunching” everyday could potentially add on to more than just your business accounts. For some reason I expected this dish to come to the table in a pan with a lot more cheese involved. However the light and fluffy cous cous was a nice surprise. “You win some, you lose some.”

Last but not least, you can’t leave without some dessert to cleanse the palate! While the server verbally listed the desserts, I kind of heard “blah blah blah” until she said “Greek Yogurt with Honey.” For the four dollar up-charge you really can’t go wrong! There’s something that feels oddly nutritious about 500 calories of yogurt with thick sappy honey on top. It really was superb. In the mood for something lighter? Try the raspberry sorbet or the fruit plate. Everything that comes out of their kitchen includes top of the line produce. The raspberry sorbet was refreshing and the fruit plate is truly a work of art. I imagine they have a little man in the kitchen propped up on a stool inspecting every berry with a magnifying glass…

After re-visiting Estiatorio Milos (for after-work drinks) I came to the realization that lunch gives you the most bang for your buck. Call me crazy, I just cannot justify spending 23 dollars for hummus and 30 dollars on zuchini chips and tzaziki sauce. While they do offer a full bar, the cocktail list is lacking and reflecting their OTT love for maraschino cherry juice. Strange right? While the picture above does not do them justice, I did get to watch them shake up some mean dirty martinis. Ice chips anyone?

Final thoughts by PPM: Go for lunch ($25.00 prix-fixe) and stick with wine! If you’re heading out after work, make sure to reserve a table. Their adorable hostesses are less than efficient when it comes to FOH management.

Milos Website 

(212)-245-7400

Questions, Comments, Concerns please email to: PeanutPimpMama@aol.com

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~PeanutPimpMama

 

PS. I may have found a new place to add to my Bucket List!