#87 Gruppo Thin Crust

February 14th, 2018

Manhattan, NYC

We’re all for Valentine’s Day celebrations, but we don’t like to deal with the whole finding reservations/fancy dinner thing. Usually, we end up at home with take out, watching something on TV. This year, we decided to go out for dinner but we wanted to keep it simple. We ended up stopping by a new addition to the 2017 Best Pizza list, Gruppo.  It was the only pizza place in NYC on the new list that we hadn’t yet been to.

We wanted to avoid any Valentine’s Day rush, so we went for an early dinner.  We ended up ordering two personal sized pizzas, the Shroomtown, which is what the Daily Meal recommended, and the Giordino. We both felt we needed some veggies after all of the chocolate that we had been eating all day. We also tried the Bruschetta appetizer.

The app was really good. It was served on a crispier flatbread, just like the pizza crust, but topped with pesto and a huge piles of fresh tomatoes. We recommend it and we didn’t really miss the thick bread that’s usually served with Bruschetta. We were glad to still have plenty of room for pizza.


The pizzas were good, too. The crust is so thin here, almost like a cracker. We really like a thin crust sometimes because we don’t leave feeling so full. The mushrooms were flavored so well on the Shroomtown, we both loved them. And the crust, while thin, really holds up to the toppings. At the same time, we both agreed that a thin crust makes a pizza harder to stand out in the crowd of NYC pizza. When confronted with the massive amount of pizza in NYC, it would be hard to justify going to one of these thin crust places.

Also, we were wondering why Gruppo made the list instead of the other restaurants in the chain: Tappo or Spunto (both of which we’ve been to), or Posto or Vezzo. They all taste identical to us. Actually, Tappo and Spunto both have a cuter atmosphere, in our opinion. I’m not sure why the owners couldn’t just pick one name and go with it – instead they have five different websites! We actually didn’t realize they were all the same until we saw the logo for Gruppo in the window. And then saw the menu, which is identical (as far as we can tell). We actually had the Shroomtown at Tappo late last year.

In any case, if you’re in the mood for thin crust pizza, these places are great. It’s nice to switch it up sometimes. We’d maybe go back, but probably to Spunto or Tappo, which are both closer to our offices (and to the subway).

To visit:

Gruppo Thin Crust
98 Avenue B
New York, NY 10009

#91 Zaffiro’s

May 25th, 2016

Milwaukee, WI

Our last pizza stop in Milwaukee was one of the classics – Zaffiro’s. Zaffiro’s has been making pizza since the 1950’s, and it has a solid following in the city. It was predominately a bar when it opened, but it was able to expand into the shop next door in the 70’s and it has stayed in the same location ever since, with the same family as owners.

Again, this is Milwaukee-style pizza, and had a super thin cracker crust. The crust holds up to the cheese and toppings here, and there was plenty of both. There was more cheese on this pizza than there had been at Pizza Man, and the cheese layer was definitely thicker than the crust itself.

We ended up choosing to order the “EBF” or “Everything but Fish” pizza. It came with both pepperoni and sausage, mushrooms, peppers, and onions. Also, black olives, which we picked off. I guess we could have ordered it without olives, but we really don’t like to be difficult, and we already had requested that the meat stay on one side of the pizza.

So, the big question is obviously: which pizza did we like better? We both gave the slight edge to Pizza Man. Mainly because it felt fresher and had more unique topping combinations. If you are looking for the traditional pizza (with the Milwaukee-style crust), then Zaffiro’s is where you should go.

There are now offshoots of Zaffiro’s pizza around Wisconsin and neighboring states. Similar to the abundance of Patsy’s around NYC, these seem to be related somehow to the original and they bake similarly-styled pizzas. However, they also have a different website from the original Zaffiro’s that we went to. We’d be interested to see how the other Zaffiro’s Pizzeria & Bar compares.

If anyone is really up for a challenge, those alternate Zaffiro’s have a good one: the “Big Z” challenge.  (Or at least this was going on last year – they may have discontinued it by now). I think that Eric and I could have finished 4 square feet of pizza, especially with that thin crust. But that would have had to be its own road trip.

Also, according to this article, the average person eats 46 pieces of pizza per year. Um, I think we are wayyy past that….

To visit:

1724 North Farwell Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53202

#81 Pi Pizza

May 22nd, 2016

St. Louis, MO

It was easy for us to drive around the Northeast to try the pizzas on the Daily Meal list. We took the opportunity to fly to the West Coast to visit friends, and drove down to Florida to visit Eric’s brother. So, that just left the Midwest. And there were A LOT of pizza places in the Midwest. There were a couple of problems here:

  1. We didn’t have money to fly every weekend to a different city in the Midwest.
  2. Doing this would have taken too much time and too many weekends.
  3. We don’t know anyone who lives in these cities.

So, our solution? We planned an epic pizza cross-country road trip. We decided to hit all of the major cities in the Midwest that had pizza places on the list, most for only a night or so. It was going to be a lot of driving. It was going to be A LOT of pizza. It was going to be awesome.

We left from NJ on a Friday night and drove out to stay in Pittsburgh overnight with friends before we made it to the first city on our pizza list, St. Louis.

We got to St. Louis late in the evening. It was about 9 hours from Pittsburgh, and we had to make a few stops along the way. We made it to town in time for a late dinner, which we had at Pizzeoli. This place wasn’t on the list, but they follow our Instagram and their pizzas always looked really good. It didn’t disappoint – they serve good Neapolitan pies!

We checked in to our hotel for the evening and then woke up bright and early to check out the city. We walked to the Arch, went to the original Panera for coffee, and then made our first pizza stop from the list at Pi Pizza. There are a few locations of Pi around the city, but we had tickets to the Cardinals game at 1 pm, so we stopped at the location right downtown.

Pi has a nice selection of pizzas, both thin crust and deep dish. We figured that we’d be eating enough deep dish when we stopped in Chicago, so we went with the traditional thin crust here. The pizza that sounded really interesting to us was the Lincoln Park. This one had mozz, zucchini, tomato, and feta. We’d never had feta on a pizza. We loved the thin crust and were pleasantly surprised how much we liked the feta on the pizza. It was the perfect light lunch before the baseball game.

We made it over to the stadium for the start of the game. Unfortunately, the Cards were losing. It was not a good day for them. Around the 6th or 7th inning, we had had enough of the game and the sun, and Eric had a *brilliant* idea. You’ll have to wait until our next post to hear all about it 🙂


St. Louis was a great place to start our road trip. We really liked the two pizzas we tried here. On a side note, the pizzeolis at Pizzeoli have a new place they just opened in St. Louis that is serving New York-style slices, Pizza Head. It looks awesome, and if we ever find ourselves back in St. Louis we will definitely be stopping there.

Also, fun fact: Pi Pizza is supposedly one of Obama’s favorites. You have good taste, Obama.

To visit:

Pi Pizza
610 Washington Ave
St. Louis, MO 63101