Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Slice of Brooklyn Pizza Tour!

I've lived my whole life in Brooklyn, New York -- one of the five boroughs that make up New York City. Brooklyn is New York City's most populous borough, with more than 2.5 million residents, and if the borough was an independent city, it would be the 4th largest city in the United States by population!

Geographically, it occupies the westernmost part of Long Island, with the Borough of Queens as it's neighbor to the east. As you can imagine Brooklyn is a borough with a distinct history, of great cultural diversity, multiple and varied neighborhoods, and has art and culture of its own.

One of the very best ways to see Brooklyn, and experience some of the best the borough has to offer, is to take the A Slice Of Pizza Brooklyn Tour!

From the tour website:

“A Slice Of Brooklyn Pizza Tour” invites New Yorkers and tourists alike
to climb aboard the city’s only guided bus tour of Brooklyn’s BEST pizzerias.
For one low price this 4 1/2 hour foodie romp through Brooklyn includes pizza,
soft drinks and an audio-visual historical tour of Brooklyn’s famous movie
locations, landmarks and points of interest. During this 4 1/2 hour pizza tour
you’ll learn about and see some of the things that have made Brooklyn

Even though I am a lifelong resident of Brooklyn, I learned quite a bit about Brooklyn from Tony the tour guide -- it's history, famous residents and celebrities, films made in the borough, the history of Pizza from Italy to Brooklyn, and a close up view from the million dollar homes of Brooklyn Heights and Bay Ridge to the Coney Island's historic amusement park and boardwalk.
We were picked up in Manhattan and rode in a comfortable bus with large windows. Tony had some wonderful DVD presentations to view during the trip which, along with his wonderful personality, added to the enjoyment of the tour.
Here are photos of some tour highlights!
One of the most recognized bridges in the world, The Brooklyn Bridge:

Some great opportunities here to take New York City skyline photos!

The first pizza stop was Grimaldi's Pizzeria, which serves a Neapolitan style round thin crust pizza. Grimaldi’s has been voted #1 pizzeria in New York by the Zagat Survey for 5 years in a row!

Just look at these examples of culinary pizza heaven:

As we leave Grimaldi's we pass some of the pretty homes along Shore Road in Bay Ridge. Here is an unusual stone cottage:

Along the tour, Tony pointed out from the bus, locations from movies filmed in Brooklyn such as “Saturday Night Fever”, “The French Connection”,“Scent of a Woman”, "Requiem For A Dream”, “Annie Hall” and many more. We saw the Brooklyn Army Terminal where Elvis shipped off to Germany in 1958. We learned about George Washington’s Battle of Brooklyn in 1776 and saw the Verrazano Narrows Bridge -- one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. We saw Keyspan Park - home of the Brooklyn Cyclones and baseball’s return to Brooklyn and Trump Village - the development where The Donald’s dad, Fred, first made his fortune!
Our next pizza stop is LandB Spumoni Gardens, specializing in authentic Sicilian style thick crust pizza.

According to the Zagat Survey:

"Brooklyn landmarks' don’t get much more authentic than
this Bensonhurst pizzeria/ice cream parlor where traditionalists order a 'corner
square' of the Sicilian pie topped off by some 'delicious homemade

Just look at these examples of "Mamma mia" pizza goodness:

Now, totally sated, and in love with the samples of the two best pizzas Brooklyn has to offer, the tour continues to the very colorful and historical Coney Island area of Brooklyn, where the boardwalk travels along the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean , and the famous first Nathan's hot dog was served, and rides from the famous amusements parks can be viewed. Since the amusement park has not opened for the season, as yet, most of this area is still quiet, but the summer brings lots of activity, and Tony usually gives the tour an opportunity to take a ride on the Cyclone roller coaster if they are brave enough!


As the bus brings us back to Manhattan, Tony entertains us with many Brooklyn anecdotes, including a surprising list of famous people who were born in Brooklyn and their achievements.

If you come to New York City and want to visit Brooklyn, take A Slice of Brooklyn Pizza Tour! You won't be disappointed! But don't only take my word for this video of NBC's The Today Show when they went on the tour:

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Junie Moon said...

Oh my, I am so hungry now. Tonight I'm going to a baseball game and now will have to decide between the traditional hot dog fare or pizza. At this point, pizza is winning--your fault entirely (that's okay as I love pizza).

I loved this tour you shared and your pictures are so fun. I have heard of Nathan's hot dogs but haven't ever had one.

lorraine@italianfoodies said...

Oh yum, this is def a tour I would love!! The pics are fab and I think the first pizza place is my kinda place:)

Lisa's RetroStyle said...

Gosh Pat you make me wish I lived in Brooklyn. I never really gave it much thought before...but you make it seem so fun! The department of tourism should hire you!!

Rosie's Whimsy said...

How fun!! You would probably be so bored in my necks of the woods....literally. I could give you the "under the rock" tour! LOL!

Thanks for all the interesting "slices" of your life!

((hugs)) Rosie

Ms Dragonfly said...

i lOve pizza, i want that pizza!

Rue said...

Oh Pat!! You were right, I should have eaten before I read this LOL That's a Margarita pizza isn't it?? Oh Lord, I wish I could eat that right now! :)

Have you ever been to Patsy's? Great Italian food and Mr. Sinatra himself said it was his very favorite.

I'm going to go eat my dinner now and pretend it's that pizza LOL

Thank you for the house support my friend :)

Have a great night.

Rhondi said...

Hi Pat
Thanks for the tour. That pizza looks good. I've never been to Brokklyn, just drove by on our way to Boston to visit our son. I always thought it would be a great place to grow up in.

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Sounds like a wonderful tour! And the pizza looked great! You take wonderful photos...Thanks for taking me along with you..


Anonymous said...

Well, this was so much fun. I am so glad I found your blog. You have shown me places and events I've never experienced. It is always fantastic.

Susie Q said...

Okay, now you are just torturing me!!
This is something I would enjoy so much. We are huge pizza lovers and wild NYC lovers.Love Brooklyn..after all, Mr. Dennehy once lived there. *laugh*
Some of the best pizza in the world. it is after 11:30 and I sitting here starving for pizza!


Louise said...

I live just up the road from Brighton Beach! Great to get some perspective of Brooklyn, I had no idea. The Pizza Tour, not much good if you are on a diet! I love pizza (especially with a thick crust), although J doesn't as he dislikes cheese, and is not a great lover of tomato puree either, so I hardly ever get to eat it! I'd love to know some of those famous people born in Brooklyn, if you can remember what the guide said? x

Gina said...

Looks like a must do! Which pizza did you like the best? I could gobble down a slice of the thin crust one right now! Thanks for sharing :O)

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Hi Pat!
Oh yes! The Pizza Tour is now on my NYC list of things to do! That was fabulous! I really love to go on your tours. I feel like I'm there and always learn something. I can almost smell the pizza cookin'! FUGGITABOTIT!
Hugs, Sherry said...

what a great idea! I could go right now... and it's only 9am.

Rui Caetano said...

I love your blog!

Lina said...

YUM!!! I grew up in brooklyn, lived there for 22 years (don't anymore) and have never been to Spumoni Gardens, lol...have to try it one day!

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog! Love it (from a fellow Brooklynite). Isn't fun to do tourist things in your own city? My husband is a brit and the first time his family came to visit we did the circle line tour around the whole island. i had the BEST time and never learned more about the 5 boroughs. I still bust out facts that I learned that day with friends - it's very impressive.

Good idea w/ the pizza tour. This is something I'll prob. do on my own as I've been slowly making my way for years to all the known and unknown establishments. But the one thing I do love about pizza is that it changes from place to place but the basics are the most imp. thing to get right : sauce, crust and cheese. mmmmmm pizza.

amy @ we are never full

Vee said...

So often I think that I should do the local "stuff." And, as a result, I have enjoyed learning more about my own locale. I think your taking the tour was a great idea because you share it all so well! ;D

My favorite pizza is a thin crust, what about yours? Your Italian dh's?

Just A Girl said...

Hi Pat,
It sounds like you're having one adventure after the other. Season tickets...oh, I envy you! I used to live in San Diego and tried to attend plays as often as possible. It just makes for such a special night and memory. Here in Orange County I've done none of that. I can see now that I'm going to have to poke and prod my husband to do more things.
The pizza tour was great and all the pizza looks wonderful.Thanks for the tous.
Thanks for praying for my friends too!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Thanks for the comments! To answer some questions:

We love both types of pizza! The square L&B Spumoni Gardens pizza is amazing, even though it doesn't look so great in the picture. There is something addictive about their sauce and the fact that they put the cheese under the sauce which makes it melt down into the bread. Grimaldi's round is amazing though, too, as it uses fresh mozzarella cheese and fresh basil and the coal fire makes the crust so crisp. Hard to decide -- I guess we'll have to go back and eat some more :-)

Some famous Brooklynites?
singers Barry Manilow.Barbra Streisand, actresses Mary Tyler Moore,Barbara Stanwyck,Lauren Bacall,author Henry Miller, poet Marrianne Moore,astronomer Carl Sagan,comedians Adam Sandler,Joan Rivers,Jerry Seinfeld,Danny Kaye,children's author Maurice Sendak,opera singers Beverly Sills and Richard Tucker,basketball star Michael Jordan,composer George Gershwin ..,so many more!

In Brooklyn, when asked the question "How ya doin?" the proper answer is "Fuhgeddaboudit!"
We once went to a retirement party and that was the total extent of the conversation for the first half hour! So funny ... and yes, I catch myself saying it too! :-)

PAT said...

I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate these posts about Brooklyn, NYC, all of it and then some!

We had pizza for supper tonight. It's just not the same!

Thanks so much!

Beth Leintz said...

Thanks for a fun tour. The next time this midwest girl gets to NYC, the Slice of Brooklyn Pizza tour is going to be a must do!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Oh Pat I really enjoyed this post and looking at all the great pictures.The pizza tour is such a great idea, I would definately do that, how fun!!

Mrs. B said...

Pat, you are always doing the coolest things! This tour looks like something my hubby and I would really enjoy, so when we finally make it to New York I will definately remember this! Pizza, homemade spumoni, and amazing sights! What more could you want? You took some great photos!

Louise said...

Thanks Pat for naming some famous Brooklynytes! It is nice to put a face to a particular area of the States. Your 'fuhgeddaboudit' comment made me smile, I can just hear Joan Rivers saying it now! x

smilnsigh said...

Sounds like a great time!


Anonymous said...

Oh my! I love pizza and could eat it every day! I absolutely loved your tour. Great post.

Tess Kincaid said...

You had such a clear, gorgeous day for your tour! Man, I could eat a slice of that pizza right now...Yum-o!

Tara said...


As usual, I love your post! As do my parents--they remember riding the parachute ride you have pictured at Coney ISland when they were great grandfather worked on the Brooklyn Bridge...I had a relative (long ago) who was working on the Verrazano bridge, fell off and perished in the waters mother lived for a time in Bay Ridge and when it was time for my wedding gown, of course we went to Kleinfelds! So enjoy your informative posts, it makes our family chat and chat! My college English professor was Barbra Streisand's HS guidance counselor and when she said she wanted to go to Broadway to sing (she had never been in a HS show at all) he did everything he could to discourage her! He even said, "What did I know??"


Brenda Jean Hyde said...

Oh my gosh, I wish I had been there with you. I LOVE pizza. Beyond the pizza, that stone cottage is amazing. Can you imagine owning that. It's wonderful.

steviewren said...

Pat you make a pretty good tour guide yourself. Thanks for taking me along.

Do those two pizzas taste anything alike or are they completely different? They both look equally yummy.

Unknown said...

absolutely fantastic pictures! i shall day :)

tks for sharing, i love the bridge picture and isnt it fun to learn to many things about everyone

happy week ahead :)

Rue said...

Good morning Pat :)

Nope, no birds in the blue birdhouse yet. They don't seem to use that one until the beginning of summer. I have a whole lot of activity in the backyard birdhouses now though. I love the sounds of them all day :)

I hope you have a wonderful Monday.

Sue said...

Hi Pat....I love your hometown tours!! so glad you re-posted a link to this next stop...Jacque Torres...

Debbiedoos said...

I can't wait!!~ Wonderful pics too Pat.