A Tale of Two Tony's... of Bushwick
Tony's of Bushwick landed on the radar while compiling The Pizza Cowboy's "New York City: Pizza Master List." If you don't know what that is, it's an attempt to compile all the “best” places cited by local and national publications into a master list of critics’ picks for destination pies. There are more than 300 (some very dubious). It's only a few months outdated and already there are new places like Norm's, F&F, and Manero's that I'm sure will make it soon).
Anyway, there are actually two Tony's separated by a few blocks. One's Tony's of Bushwick (443 Knickerbocker), which opened in 1975 by the Knickerbocker Ave M. The other (336 Knickerbocker) by Dekalb, est. 1969, is called The Original Tony's Pizza. The Original is the one that made the list, but I accidentally stumbled into Tony's of Bushwick.
Ma-rone. Is there a Ray's nearby to get more confused at?
You’ll hear conflicting reports about which is better. Regardless, Tony's of Bushwick is the kind of place you end up just wishing you hadn't visited. It's a neighborhood stalwart doing its thing for the people who need it, but they have a fridge behind the counter filled with pre-made pies.
That's like pre-shucking oysters. Sure, it gets busy, but is that what the customer thinks they're paying for? it also presages problems with the bake, but hey, what do I know?
The reheat came very hot, significantly sauced (with canned flavor) and about the same amount of cheese. It bent, there wasn't a gum line but there was little rise to the flat, inch-wide cornicione. And it was heavy. The cornicione has the look of stretched dough, like when you made your own flour-water "clay" as a kid and it dried. The dough didn't transform via the bake. The slice was... lifeless.