#48 Juliana’s Pizza

December 6th, 2017

Brooklyn, NY

When our grand plans to hit Totonno’s were busted yesterday, we decided to make another trip to Juliana’s instead.  I’ve mentioned Juliana’s before because we’ve been there several times now, but 2017 is the first year that it officially made it on to the 101 Best Pizza Places list since we’ve started traveling cross-country for pizza. We thought that we should go back to document it officially as part of our pizza journey.

As I previously mentioned, Juliana’s is located in Brooklyn right next door to the classic pizzeria Grimaldi’s. It’s Grimaldi’s fancier, more expensive, and somewhat less popular little sister pizzeria. It ranked in 2017 at #48, which is pretty high for a new appearance (although it DID make the previous list in 2014, but then it disappeared for two years). It ranks lower than Grimaldi’s, though, which usually falls around the top 25. Strangely, Juliana’s also came up as the top pizza place in the US according to TripAdvisor? We’d like someone to explain that to us.

The comparisons of this pizza with Grimaldi’s are valid, because Juliana’s was also opened by Patsy Grimaldi in 2012 after he had sold the rights to the original Grimaldi’s name. Juliana’s is named after Patsy Grimaldi’s mother, and is actually located in the original location of Grimaldi’s, using the original brick oven. So obviously, there is a sort of rivalry that has arisen between the two restaurants.

We usually go for the same order at Juliana’s – the Margherita. We alternate between a large and a small. Honestly, they are about the same size and almost the exact same price, so we usually go for the large. This time we went for the small, but only because we also ordered the meatballs for an appetizer, and we have way too many Christmas cookies sitting on the counter at home.

We end up at Juliana’s when we are either a) too tired or cold to wait in line for Grimaldi’s (although sometimes the line at Juliana’s can be just as long), or b) wanting a more romantic dinner.

Juliana’s is the nicer of the two restaurants, but is also smaller. The waiters are (generally) more friendly, and the options on the menu are trendier and less traditional. It is a great date-night restaurant. Grimaldi’s is more classic NY with it’s old school booths, crowded atmosphere, and the old Brooklyn man who makes you wait at the door until your seat is ready. The pizza is essentially the same, though. Both are good. Grimaldi’s is cheaper. This head-to-head review gives Juliana’s the edge, but honestly, we think that it depends on the day. We’ve been to both places multiple times now, and it is really hit or miss for both of them.

To visit:

Juliana’s Pizza
19 Old Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

 

 

 

 

 

#23 Grimaldi’s

November 13th, 2015

Brooklyn, NYC

The weekend before we started this quest, we happened to go to Grimaldi’s for dinner. But we decided that we couldn’t count this as part of our challenge (because we didn’t photograph it). We were happy to go back, though, since the first time we only tried the traditional cheese pie. And we got some friends to join us!

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We ordered 3 large pies to split between the 5 of us, which ended up being almost a perfect amount. The ricotta was our favorite and we would definitely get that again. The crust was perfectly charred on the bottom due to the coal-fired brick oven, and the ratio of sauce to cheese on all three pies was excellent.

Interesting fact: Grimaldi opened his restaurant in Brooklyn because  coal ovens are apparently illegal in Manhattan, unless they’re pre-existing or unless building owners get a special exception. If you want to learn more about Manhattan coal ovens, this and this were interesting reads! Who ever knew that pizza ovens could cause so much controversy.

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At this point, we could see why Brooklyn pizza has such a following. It was worth the hour-long trek from Manhattan over the Brooklyn Bridge. Yes, Barb made Eric walk all the way there, in preparation for all of the pizza we were about to eat.

On the way home, we took a wrong turn and got lost trying to get back over the bridge. Eric clearly has a great sense of direction!

To visit:

Grimaldi’s
1 Front Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201