|The classic Neapolitan pie at Grimaldi's|
A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours, a four hour eating and entertainment extravaganza. The tour, led by the hilarious and energetic Marc, also a Brooklynite started in Manhattan and took us all around Brooklyn, with stops at these iconic pizza places.
Rolling - or not - on the bus
|The interior of Grimaldi's|
|Where the magic happens: the coal ovens at Grimaldi's|
There are other famous pizza parlors in Brooklyn and I've been to most of those, but these legendary establishments have been stuffing pie holes (mouths) for generations and offer competing variations on pizza. And they both usually have long lines; with the pizza tour, you waltz right in and get seated right away.
Best pizza in Brooklyn?
Vegetarian friendlyTo taste the pure essence of pizza, the slices you get on the tour have no extra toppings, so vegetarians are at ease. If you are gluten free or vegan, well, this tour is not for you.
Starting out in DUMBO
|Great views in DUMBO|
|Unusual Brooklyn house in Bay Ridge|
My favorite clip had to be form Annie Hall, my top movie of all time; as we drove by the Verrazano Bridge, March played the scene where Diane Keaton drives Woody Allen on the same road, in her tiny VW Beetle.
Movies filmed in Brooklyn
We took a circuitous route from DUMBO to Bensonhurst, wending our way through Red Hook, Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights so could see more movie locations. Here was where John Travolta ('before he was creepy,' March said) strutting under the elevated tracks in Saturday Night Fever, there was the housing project where someone was shot in the French Connection.
|Inside L & B Spumoni Gardens|
On to Sicilian pizzaAfter about an hour, we arrived at L & B Spumoni Gardens. This is a combination sit down restaurant and ice ream (spumoni) parlor, and those who had room after two slices of Sicilian pizza could buy an ice cream (beer and wine were also extra; we got soda or water included with our pizzas).
Sicilian pizza is like deep dish; a thick crust, square slices and a cooked tomato sauce. At Spumoni, the sauce is ladled on after the cheese, to keep the cheese in place. This is knife and fork pizza, and totally different from what we had at Grimaldi's. It is also quite tasty.
|Sicilian pizza at L & B; cheese under the sauce|
Brooklyn history lessonI learned that Bay Ridge was formerly known as Yellow Hook, until a yellow fever epidemic made the name unpalatable, blue street signs means the street was renamed for someone famous, and that Marc considered Coney Island the alcoholic grandfather of Disney World. Although my grandfather was a teetotaler, I can never go to Coney Island again without thinking of this.
|Closed for winter in Coney Island - but there's plenty of parking!|
Would I eat at these places again? Fuhgeddaboudit!
Note: I received a free and a fully belly tour for the purposes of this review. I was not otherwise compensated.