Updated: Aug 17
My favorite pizza slice is $1 no tax, no change, and no hassle from 2 Bros (a few blocks
over from Madison Square Garden in NYC). When I am in the city I embrace the streets walking while devouring a large dripping cheese slice. It is cliche to describe my love for this simple greasy slice of pizza, but I won’t deny it either. Two weeks ago as September was coming to an end I tried the pizza from The Commons at CCC or “The Coms” as I’ve been told it is referred. I wasn’t expecting much of anything, I was only hungry and curious. I won’t write much on the flavor, but it was nothing to complain about either. There was no wait and the plate was arranged in a pleasing and efficient manner. I enjoyed the meal for what it was and then I moved on searching for more.
My students advised next that I attempt Aniello’s on Market Street in Corning. I frequently walk the strip of sidewalk across the bridges into town. Waiting for the bus residents consider the aroma stretching across a block from the depot to the back door of Aniello’s pizzeria. I decided, yes I could give it a try. The restaurant is often crowded with families and children, and the efficiency of speed is slow compared to the pizza waiting for me already warm on campus at college. Did I assume that with time, would follow greatness? I was unfortunately disappointed. After all the hype on the best slice in Corning, I was given a rather small slice with crust turned and burned at the end. It wasn’t bad pizza in any regard, but the scent was more appealing than the taste and I was left underwhelmed.
Next, I was told, “go to Rico’s for a true New York experience”. Rico’s, towards the end of Market Street, was opened in the eighties by three brothers and their father. I had a moment of high hopes thinking about the three brother's connection to the NYC experience I remembered dreamingly. In comparison to Aniello’s, I truly enjoyed the atmosphere and decor of Rico’s. Rico’s was laid back, it was darker in tones and lighting, which I appreciated. I was told they had a better soda selection and the students in town would visit Rico’s for soda followed by Aniello’s for a slice of pizza. Since I am not completely familiar yet with the town I thought the walk would be far from the high school reviewers, but perhaps worthwhile. After sitting down at Rico’s the pizza arrived nicely timed (in comparison to the wait at Aniello’s). The slice was warm, small and the crust was more traditional to the NY style - I enjoyed the slice, however, I couldn’t imagine walking down the street embracing it (as it would not last longer than a minute).
Last on my list was Atlas Pizza (unless you, dear reader have another suggestion). I was
curious about the name and the location, as it seemed rather close to Aniello’s. How could they compete with proximity and the former’s raving reviews? When I walked into Atlas, I felt
immediately at ease. Without the ambiance of loitering families and crying children, Atlas and I connected from the first hello of the waitress. Sitting at a high table upstairs I ordered my slice followed by the cheerful bartender walking off and singing an upbeat tune while chatting with her customers at the bar. Before the pizza arrived I was at home. While I waited, I briefly wished I had English papers to grade in my bookbag. Compared to local coffee shops and my office Atlas has a truly sincere vibe that I imagine would coincide with research analysis. As I thought about this, the waitress came by smiling with my slice placing it before me. It wasn’t 2 Bros, it wasn’t Aniello’s, campus food at CCC, or Rico’s - it was Atlas pizza and it had its own identity and flavor. It wasn’t just the cheese or the rise of the crust, it was the personality and down-to-earth acceptance that I had been hoping for. And for that, I end my review, Atlas I will return again and for those readers who question me - enjoy searching!