On May 11th, after the CUNY CUE conference (formerly the CUNY Gen Ed conference) ends at 4:30, we’re hoping to have the inaugural Staten Island CUNYPie outing, and I’ve felt the weight of the decision on my shoulders, not knowing other CUNYPie members with Staten Island experience to share in the pizzeria-selection decision. I thought about keeping this message in the discussion board, but then decided that it’s not just a matter of housekeeping–it’s a matter of Staten Island pizza preference, which I take seriously. As someone who grew up on Staten Island, I should be able to say that I’ve tried all the SI pizza all-stars, or at least the ones that were in business when I lived there, or even when returning to visit, but I can’t. I used to go to Goodfella’s on Hylan Boulevard, which was always very tasty, but then they expanded far and wide, and I lost interest. Growing up, when my family wanted good pizza, the kind you go out for, not the kind you pick up and maybe reheat the next day in the toaster oven, we went to John’s Pizzeria in the Village. I don’t think it was until I was in college that my family went to Denino’s, a no-frills top-notch pizzeria on the North Shore in Port Richmond–the best pizza on Staten Island that I knew of. I also remember around the same time going to Jimmy Max in Westerleigh, which also had good pizza, maybe not quite as good, but it was more of a restaurant, which is to say, it had decor and plates that weren’t made of paper.
Now when I visit my parents and we want good pizza, we get pizza from Ciro’s in Hugenot–it’s from the same family as Jimmy Max as I understand it, and it’s really delicious. And I noticed that another Jimmy Max opened in Great Kills or Eltingville. I’m glad to know that the South Shore has some good pizza options! But I digress–neither of these would be good choices for the 5/11 post-CUE-conference CUNYPie outing because they’re too far south, the wrong direction from CSI and the ferry or express bus. Just keep them in mind the next time you’re on Staten Island, especially if you’re looking for pizza near the Staten Island Rapid Transit.
So, should CUNYPie head to Denino’s? Or to Joe and Pat’s, which I’ve never been to but have always meant to try? There are a few others that get mentioned in one place or another, but both of those write-ups feature Denino’s and Joe and Pat’s prominently, so it seems to come down to these two.
There had once been talk about CUNYPie rotating through the boroughs. There was also an ambitious goal of eating pizza near each CUNY campus to create a guide of sorts to CUNY pizza-eating. I encourage everyone attending the CUE conference, working at CSI on 5/11, or itching to try some Staten Island fare to join us, and to weigh in here on pizzeria selection!