When it comes to food I ain't cheap. The $45 white truffle burger at Burger & Barrel? No problem. Sushi omakase for one with Master Yasuda for $200? Bring it. Dinner for two at Per Se for $1,300? Worth every penny. So, why am I attracted to the dollar slice pizza at the viral 2 Bros. Pizza chain born on St. Mark's Place?
The crust does not have that perfect char of John's of Bleecker. The cheese is aged orange-oily Wisconsin mozzarella, not Di Fara's proprietary blend of fresh mozzarella di bufala and sharp Grana Padano. The sauce is watery out of a jar, not the sweet San Marzano favored by South Brooklyn Pizza on First Avenue (my current favorite pizza at $4 for a plain, thin, though celestial, slice). But a slice at 2 Bros. Pizza is only $1! That's two slices for $2, three slices for $3... well, you do the math.
Historically, it is well documented that a slice of New York City pizza is supposed to cost exactly the same as a subway token (for those of you who remember subway tokens). So the minimum a slice should currently cost is $2.50, going up to $2.75 as soon as the next MTA fare hike kicks in. But I do remember subway tokens when they were less than a buck. I mean, what can you get in New York City for a 'dollah' that brings as much pleasure as a slice, even a mediocre slice, of good 'ole New York City pizza? Maybe five pork 'n chive fried dumplings in Chinatown, okay. But with the proliferation of 2 Bros. Pizzas, not to mention all of the $0.99 generic slice places opening in an attempt to cash in on the 2 Bros. bandwagon, you can obtain instant gratification all over the city for a mere buck! In 2011 that's practically free.
So yes, maybe 2 Bros. Pizza doesn't compare to the latest Vera Pizza Napoletana restaurants opening all over the city which claim to have genuine authentic Italian imported ingredients (and generally charge on average $15 for an individual Margherita pie). But for two George Washingtons I can double-fold two slices on top of each other à la John Travolta in the opening shot of Staying Alive. Fugeddaboutit! 2 Bros. Pizza provides a bit of nostalgia while remaining quintessentially New Yawk. Now if they'd only lower that damn subway fare.