29 November, 2010

Pizza by Cer Te: Drive-By Review

Naming your restaurant Pizza by Cer Te implies that "Cer Te" is a familiar name, one that implies something of quality imparted by the mysterious Mr. Cer Te. Unfortunately for Pizza by Cer Te, "Cer Te" is most likely not a familiar name to you, given that it is a relatively anonymous midtown deli distinguished primarily by their copious, strange and modestly-priced sandwich specials which have earned the devotion of Midtown Lunch. In other words, marketing pizza as "by" Cer Te is not exactly a winning strategy. Then again, nothing about Pizza by Cer Te suggests that the restaurant will be successful in the long term, from its choice location next to the Zimbabwean UN mission to its high price point and tone-deaf marketing.

The pizza, however, is pretty good, and as this is a pizza blog this counts for more than anything else. The eggplant grandma slice had a crispy, oily crust and a sparing dusting of sharp cheese; I recommend it. The chicken "saw seetch" (chicken sausage, broccoli rabb and roasted peppers) was less successful due to the flavorless sausage and overwhelmingly bitter greens, although the crust on this one was again satisfying, with a salty, slightly burned flavor.

If the price point were more reasonable than $8 for two slices, it might be a great addition to the neighborhood given the poor pizza selection in the area. As it is, it is a decent every-once-in-a-while spot.

A final word about the marketing. Pizza by Cer Te claims to be a "green pizzeria", which as far as I can tell is tone-deaf greenwashing. An example: they claim to grow their own herbs, but I saw no evidence of said herbs anywhere in sight; they also claim to be New York's first LEED-certified pizzeria, which means nothing to me except that corporate homebuilders use the term "LEED-certified" to sell expensive apartments to clueless yuppies. Much like the employees handing out free samples on the sidewalk, it all seems a little desperate.

Pizza by Cer Te, 132 E 56th

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1 comment:

  1. What a shame. Chicken Saw Seetch is so good when it's done correctly.

    Can't wait to listen to the podcast version on my commute!!