It was a sign! Plain & Simple...
Sandy, Emma and I started our evening at the Beautiful Anytime of Year Bronx Botanical Gardens to see the annual Holiday Train Show.
The plan was to see the show at the NYBG, get over to Arthur Avenue for some pizza and then head home.
Not so plain and simple for me when it comes to Arthur Avenue.
NYBG Christmas Tree
What is the Annual Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx?
This show features model trains traveling around the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory among the 140 or so replicas of New York City landmark buildings. Other notable landmark structures from around the world are also on display.
The truly amazing thing about this show is that these replicas are created by using only plants and trees.
What happened next was kismet, or in plain English...destiny.
On September 30th, 2013 @ www.phoodographsandfinds.com, we serendipitously stumbled onto a slice of pizza at Ivana's on Arthur Avenue and wanted to come back for more. However, when we arrived, it was closed. Since there are really no shortage of pizza restaurants in the area, we drove around the block to see if there was a spot that looked like it was for us. Sandy said let's try the one on the corner...Full Moon Pizzeria. That's right, Full Moon...remember? And check out the real moon in the upper left hand corner of the pic.
Lucky for us Gerardo was running the counter.
The reason I say lucky is because this is the kind of fellow who knows how to treat his customers.
I had Sandy and Emma in the car (where we decided to eat)...and needed to prepare these large Full Moon slices of pizza in such a way that they would be the right size for everyone. You know; like mama, papa, and baby bear size slices.
Gerardo was gracious and accommodating as he sliced the slices how I asked, with a smile, into all different percentage sizes.
There was a fellow eating pizza at another table who was having a good time taking all of this in and marveling at what we had going on. We owe it to this unnamed fellow for taking the pictures that Gerardo was again gracious enough to be part of once I let him know I wanted them to write this story.
Bottom line: This pizza was extraordinary.
Again, it's hard to explain what is the best, since it's sooooo subjective. There was something very different about the pizza at Full Moon. It was a thin crust as are many artisanal pizza crusts, and it had a very distinctive and unique flavor that was familiar to me. I realized what it was regarding the crust while returning for one more slice before we left. It was either cornmeal or semolina on the bottom that the pizza pie is prepared with.
I use cornmeal when I make my pizza in order to make sure the pizza slides off the paddle easily. What I found over the years is that it also adds a nice flavor...and...as Gerardo so eloquently put it when I asked him about it, "it adds a nice crunch".
The texture and flavor of the cheese and pizza/tomato sauce on their pie was distinctive as well, however more aligned with the traditional taste of pizza and not the artisanal style. One more thing I loved...and have never seen anywhere else, is the way they
serve their red pepper flakes. They're ground in such a way that there are no large visible seeds or flakes to speak of. They are simply ground into a finer consistency. Fabulous!
As a result, the only thing I can say is that it's a slice of pizza that stands alone and cannot really be compared to others. Now that's exciting!
You simply have to taste it for yourself...and I guarantee you will be glad you made the time to go.
If the timing is right, maybe you'll get to meet Gerardo, who just happened to be the son of Stan, proprietor and owner of The Full Moon Pizzeria on Arthur Avenue (technically 600 E. 187th Street) in the beautiful Bronx , New York, USA!
On the way out of Bronx's Little Italy , Sandy, Emma and Gramps had an urge for dessert. I'm thinking for Sandy and me...Cannoli...and Tri-Color cookies for Emma. Next stop simply because it was there...and so was a parking space...Egidio Pastry Shop....Celebrating 100 years in business. Can you imagine...100 years?!
Upon entering Egidio's, I was nicely greeted by Perla and proprietor and owner Maria Lucciola...otherwise known to her friends and family as "Carmela".
Everything looked sooo good, however there was no way to try everything. Simply put, I went with plan A.
Cannoli and Tri-Color cookies.Check these out!