Checking Out The Claims Of Famous Ben’s Pizza Superiority
In recent months I’ve seen multiple posts about Famous Ben’s Pizza on Spring St. (at Thompson) and their Palermo slice. It looked like a delicious brick of carbs, perhaps made not such a gut bomb by its absence of cheese. Then there was a post last week by Ben Leventhal basically calling the slices at Artichoke Basille’s overpriced crap (my words, not his) s0 I opted to head up to Soho for a taste of Famous Ben’s. What I found was a good pizza experience slightly soured by tourists.
What I was not expecting when I stepped into Ben’s during prime lunch time was to have to maneuver around a herd of tourists who just didn’t understand the concept of order your pizza, pay, then step to the side. No, instead they just stood in front of the counter. Anyway, just be forewarned that apparently this place has made it into the tourist guides and plan accordingly.
The Palermo at Ben’s is a sfincione slice that has been written about a million times, and is a delight. If you’re a vegetarian, steer clear because that brown topping involves chopped up anchovy along with bread crumbs, onion and some grated cheese (which I learned by reading this). I felt pretty guilty about my decision to order this slice AND a plain regular slice, but figured I needed to try both in the name of research. I’d have to say, though, that the square marinara slice also looked pretty tasty. The sfincione slice is pretty oily, but I would definitely eat this again.
Above you see the plain slice from Ben’s. I know there are a lot of personal preferences involved when it comes to slices and this one didn’t really meet mine due to the thick layer of cheese that was oozing grease. I wish the sauce was better or applied with a heavier hand to beat down all that greasy cheese, but alas, it was not. Also, the crust was a tad on the pale side despite spending a couple of minutes in the oven so you may want to specify well done if that’s a problem for you.
At $6.25 for the pair of slices, I can’t really complain much for what I got, but I would definitely stick with the square ones if I were to return, which I’m pretty sure I will.
Famous Ben’s Pizza, 177 Spring St. (at Thompson), (212) 966-4494