As you can see, we had every right in the world to be skeptical of the Vinny Vella's Pizza fliers strewn across our apartment building hallway. Yes, that's a gun and a cross hanging from his neck in the caricature drawing!
But just like I had the vision to see a place I could call home out of a color block walled den of filth, porn, and Gilmore Girls screen savers (if I've never told you the story of the first time we saw our apartment, remind me the next time we meet) – I could, despite what seemed like the obvious, consider the preposterous idea that this would actually be good pizza and (unlike Fornino that totally abides by the silly “no delivery past McCarren” policy) one that we could have delivered to our front door.
Vinnie Vella is indeed a shining example of the phrase no reward without risk. The pizza is more than good. Friends have even declared that the Grandma's Favorite, which has fresh mozzarella and chopped up garlic, is the best pizza they've ever tasted! Yes, ever! And they weren't even that drunk. It's really remarkable, and you may not believe me, but the Grandma's crust is nice and thin without ever being crunchy (I can't stand crunchy bottom pizza – it calls to mind frozen junk), it features the?right amount of cheese, the sauce is present but not overwhelming and the garlic adds bite.
The only other pie I've tried and recommend is the Vodka. This one is heavier, and richer due to the creamy red sauce, but still a winner particularly when you end up with a bite with an unmistakable bacony kick. I can't recommend the white for being way too cheesy.
Vella himself is somewhat famous but to look at the vanity of his shop, you'd think he were DeNiro rather than a mobster character actor. A friend use to live next to him in Little Italy and everyday as she walked her puppy he'd stop every one hanging out on the stoop to announce “Hey, you know what dat is? A fox walking a fox!” So it seems he's also a comedian.
Not sure what prompted the man to open a pizza parlor but I am just glad he did. Never again to I have to bemoan the absurd lack of decent pizza available to us. Sorry Triangolo, while I loved the stories of Steven Seagal getting hummers down below in your restaurant, your slices made me pout.