When you move away from the New York Metro Area, one of the first things you need to do is adjust your culinary expectations. It’s not that every area in the US outside of New York City doesn’t have great food – all regions absolutely do. It’s just that the staples, your normal go-to’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner, well, those are going to be different.
Bagels? Good luck finding any decent ones outside of New York. I’ve always been told “It’s in the water” and I’m just going to have to believe it because I really haven’t found any good bagels outside the area. Sure – there are boiled, baked pieces of dough that I’ll occasionally buy and put a schmear of cream cheese on. But is it a bagel? If you’ve had real NYC bagels, I think you’ll agree with me that it’s not.
Pizza? Well, there’s actually decent pizza most everywhere – IF and only IF you are capable of and willing to adjust your expectations and definition of pizza. You’re not going to find that thin, delicious, foldable slice that you can get at pretty much any pizza joint in the NYC area. But if you look long enough and hard enough, try as many places as you can stand that tout “New York Style” pizza and eat some really shitty slices, you will eventually find your substitute.
Mine is Hot Mama’s Pizza in Capitol Hill. It’s not New York pizza, but as I’ve already gone over – no pizza outside of that metro area is. And since I’m about 3,000 miles away from the source, Hot Mama’s Pizza is a perfectly fine replacement.
They’ve got the right idea – pizza sold by the slice and almost foldable, with a wide array to choose from. Standards like pepperoni, Hawaiian and even a combo with sausage, pepperoni, peppers, onion and mushrooms. On the exotic side, they’ve got a pesto pie as well as a tasty Greek with banana peppers, feta, tomato and olives.
Drunk or sober this pizza will hit the spot. Delicious, respectable slices that, while they won’t necessarily remind you of back East – will indeed leave you full, satisfied and only cost you about $7 for 2 slices. It may not be authentic New York pizza but it will be an authentic Seattle, Capitol Hill experience as you get your slices from a tattooed, pierced hipster with ironic hair and then eat your pizza at one of Hot Mama’s communal counters.
Hot Mama’s Pizza is located in Capitol Hill at 700 E Pine St, Seattle, WA 98122. They are open Mon-Wed 11am – 12am, Thurs 11am – 2am, Fri & Sat 11am – 2:30am and Sundays 12pm – 12am. http://www.hot-mamaspizza.com/