Thursday, July 19, 2012

Brooklyn Pizza Tour Interview

Grimaldi's Pizza from the Slice of Brooklyn Pizza Tour

The following Interview is from The Pizza Therapy News Archives:

A While back, I was contacted by Tony, who runs The Brooklyn Pizza Tour. When he explained the details of "The Pizza Tour", I knew I had to interview him for
Pizza News.

Albert: Hi Tony. Thanks so much for agreeing to do this interview. I am very excited to hear about The Brooklyn Pizza Tour

Tony: Hi Albert. Thanks for your interest in my tour! Any mention of it in Pizza News would be a tremendous help to me.

Albert: Can you tell me how you came up with idea for the Brooklyn Pizza Tour? Had you thought about it for a long time? Was it a secret dream?


I've been an avid traveler over the years and whenever I went abroad I would always meet locals who were nice enough to show me around. I would reciprocate when they visited NYC and would show them Brooklyn from a native's point of view. I would drive them around and show them Brooklyn landmarks, points of interest, famous movie locations and take them for some of Brooklyn's amazing pizza. To many of us, Brooklyn is synonymous with pizza. Then about 2 years ago I took a group of friends from Manhattan, who are pizza fanatics, on a personal pizza tour. There were 3 cars with 10 of us and we did a similar type of thing...a few pizzerias interspersed with Brooklyn highlights. Word got out and the next time we tried to do it we had as many as 25-30 wanting to do it so I thought to myself "Hey, maybe New Yorkers and tourists alike might be interested in something like this?"

  I am interested in the choice of pizzerias. Now you're from New York. Why Brooklyn? You choose two pizzerias, in a place where there are dozens and dozens of great pizza places.

True, there are dozens of fantastic pizzerias around Brooklyn. That's the great thing about the borough. Brooklynites are a choosey bunch when it comes to pizza. You don't stay in business for 30, 40 or 50 years serving lousy pizza. The great thing about Brooklyn is that you can walk into so many old-school pizzerias and get a great slice. The reason I chose the two, is because they're the best at what they do.

Grimaldi's, whose lineage goes all the way back to the very first pizzeria that opened in New York City in 1905, serves up amazing Neapolitan pizza the likes of which I've only had in Naples. The other pizzeria, L&B Spumoni Gardens, serves up the best Sicilian anywhere around. It recently came in first place in the borough-wide pizza contest held by the New York Daily News. Then again you could have known this by asking anyone who's grown up with the stuff.

As it says on my website, Booklyn Pizza Tour, I chose the two best pizzerias in Brooklyn according to locals, pizza aficionados and others. Being born and raised in Brooklyn I've been eating at L&B for over 30 years now. Grimaldi's is known for their Neapolitan style and L&B is known for their Sicilian style.

Adam, from the pizza blog "Slice"  agreed with me on my two choices. I can't say I have one personal favorite because sometimes I'm in the mood for Neapolitan and sometimes Sicilian. Either way these are the only two I'll go to and I'm not the only person who feels that way.

Albert:  Just for your information, Tony, we feature both Grimaldi's, and L&B Spumoni Gardens at in our "Best Pizza in The World", section. How long does the tour take? How much time do you spend in each pizzeria?
 What does it cost? Do you do it everyday? How long have you been offering the tour?

 Tony: The tour lasts 4 1/2 hours and we spend a half hour in each pizzeria. We sit down at tables, have waiter service and the pies come out shortly after we arrive. I usually arrange with the pizzerias beforehand as to how many pies or slices I'll need and we usually get there within 5 minutes of the estimated time. So the pies always come out hot out of the oven.

We usually arrive at Grimaldi's before the lunchtime rush and L&B Spumoni Gardens after the lunchtime rush. There's no other way to do a tour like this other than at those allotted times.

As much as the pizzerias have been nothing but cooperative with what I need. They both pleaded with me not to do it on the weekends. I've even had locals who have taken the tour tell me that it was the first time they were actually able to sit down and eat at Grimaldi's. On the weekends, there are lines down the block as soon as they open.

Albert: Who are you customers? Are there New Yorkers and tourists alike or just tourists?

Tony: I get New Yorkers, people from around the country and tourists from as far away as England, Ireland, Australia and Holland.

Albert: What do the people say after the tour? Can you give me some comments?

Tony: People absolutely love the tour...We've received pretty much 5 star reviews across the board. Participants have nothing but great things to say about the tour. They will explain, how it's a hidden gem, how incredible the pizza is and how happy they were with me as a tour guide!

 I can't tell you how truly flattered I am and how happy that makes me feel. I tried to make this the best possible tour I know how to provide. I took many things into consideration. This includes what I've liked when taking tours over the years, the size of the group, the intimacy of when we sit down and eat and get to talk to each other, etc.

 I think it comes across to those people who take the tour. At least it seems so from the reviews. Those reviews are a part of my website as well and I've been told by folks that it helped them in deciding whether to take the tour.

Albert: Thanks Tony. Can you give me your contact information for our readers? You know who I'm going to call the next time I am in the City!

Tony: Thank you. Here it is:

Tony Muia, President
A Slice of Brooklyn Pizza Tour
Phone: 917-678-9733
Fax: 718-228-4713

Tour Highlights

  • Brooklyn Bridge Park for the most spectacular view of the Brooklyn Bridge!
  • Coney Island's landmark amusement park and boardwal
  • The scenic Brooklyn and Verrazano-Narrows Bridges.
  • The history of pizza from Italy to Brooklyn.
  • The Brooklyn Army Terminal where Elvis shipped off to Germany in 1958.
  • Million dollar homes along scenic Shore Road in Bay Ridge, including the famous "Gingerbread House"
  • Learn about Brooklyn-born celebrities
  • Locations from movies filmed in Brooklyn such as Saturday Night Fever, Goodfellas, The French Connection, Scent of a Woman, Annie Hall and many more. We show you the respective movie clips on our TV monitors as we drive up to the movie locations!

    Essential Information

    Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays at 11:00am.

    Approximately 4.5 hours

    Adults: $80 • Children under 12: $70
    Price includes 2 slices of pizza & a soft drink at each of the two pizzerias

    For more great pizza, check out The Best Pizza in New York from Pizza Therapy

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