My Rosa’s Pizza Veal Parm Adventure
It would be virtually impossible for me to try every single dish at every single spot in all of Midtown (although I’ve clearly spent the past 3 1/2 years trying). So that’s why I love getting crazy recommendations… and not just places, but specific dishes as well. Normally I go for Asian food on the Monday after Thanksgiving (four days of turkey and stuffing makes me crave something sweet and sour) but for some insane reason I decided to get my lunch based on this email from Lunch’er Robert:
I know it is just outside the boundaries and it is just outside the price range… the location is 34th and 2nd and the place is called Rosa’s pizza. Order either chicken or veal parmesan platter with pasta. The servings are absurdly large and the meal tastes delicious – for chicken parm it is only $10.50 and veal is like a $1 more. Trust me when I tell you this is the best deal for chicken/veal parm in the city.
The eggplant parm is within midtown lunch price points (but you dont strike me as an eggplant eater) and is delicious. The sausage parm is also less than $10 – but I have never ordered it. I would advise against the meatball. While delicious, it does not compare to the chicken or veal. If you wanna order within the rules – then order any of the chicken or veal parm derivatives (chicken parm slice, grinder or roll) and ask for extra marinara sauce. You will not be disappointed.
Like I said, I don’t know why I chose Monday to trek out to 2nd Avenue in the rain… but a veal parm sounded mighty appetizing. And even though 34th and 2nd is pretty out there (and technically out of the ML range), I like a good adventure.
Just like Robert said, the pasta dishes are out of the ML price range at Rosa’s, but the heroes are all under $10- with the veal version clocking in at the ML friendly price of $8.95.
It’s a good size sandwich, and they really stuff it with a lot of meat. Unlike some spots that scoop their parm out of a tray, this one is made to order- so it actually took awhile (about 15 minutes) but tasted a lot fresher. Tasty sauce and breading, and the bread itself (which is the downfall of many chicken/eggplant/veal parm heroes in Midtown) was exactly what I like in a sandwich like this. Good ratio of meat to roll so that the bread doesn’t overwhelm the sandwich, and it gets taken just to the brink of sogginess without losing its integrity.
Sadly the veal was a bit tough, making it harder to eat in sandwich form (I could imagine it’d be better over pasta, eaten with a knife and fork.) It was kind of tough to bite through the meat, turning the whole sandwich into a complete mess. But it didn’t taste bad… and I could imagine the chicken or eggplant parm hero being one of the better versions in Midtown. (I actually love a good eggplant parm.)
Rosa’s is a pretty typical looking Midtown takeout pizza joint, and I don’t know if it’s worth trekking to the farthest corners of Midtown for a chewy veal parm. But if you work close to there, and are craving a decent chicken or eggplant parm hero, I would definitely check it out. Thanks to Robert for pointing the place out.
Rosa’s Pizza, 629 2nd Ave. (btw. 34+35th), 212-684-4200