PS Pizza, Astoria’s Broadway Gem!
By Ilija Sekulovski
It’s hard to believe that this Broadway gem, only opened last February.
With the way it’s run, and the constant people buzzing around, you’d think it’s been here the whole time.
This treasure on Broadway was imagined by smiling Ankit Chadha and his partner/designer/builder/cousin Sumit Puri.
If you get a sense of an amalgamation of rustic, warehouse, shipwreck feel when you walk in, it’s for a reason. And that reason is that most of the things you see come from exactly those places. Everything in this uniquely small yet spacious restaurant has all been custom made by recyclable material, down to the old leather belt holding up the circular mirror in the bathroom. Yes, that’s old too.
Lights collected from old ships, thick wooden tables hand made by planks found in abandoned buildings, in fact, apart from the TV which plays black and white silent movies, you’ll probably struggle to find anything new.
The atmosphere walking in is casual. High tables and low with an open kitchen and the custom made gas pizza oven baking in the back.
This is a small place, with a huge character, with everything handpicked and molded to fit in this unique quaint rustic pseudo warehouse restaurant. Even the chalk board was hand written, and if that seems easy enough, take a look at it next time you go.
But enough about the ambiance, let’s get down to eating. And boy did we eat:
For drinks, they have beer, wine, the lot, however if you’re feeling experimental I suggest the chef concocted Sriracha Mehelada. Basically a spicy cure to a hangover, or the perfect tobacco filled kick in the taste buds to jump start the night.
To the food, we started smartly with some Deviled Eggs, Risotto Balls and Boconcini Skewers. The Devilled Eggs were a spicy cream filled infusion with a kick, along with the eggy casing that gives your mouth something to chew on while the cream does its work.
The Risotto Balls are a delectably appetizing appetizer that you could kinda just have over and over. Crunchy exterior with a perfectly mushy rice center working well.
The Boconcini Skewer was a cold quickie with a slight mix of sour and muggy – in a good way –taste.
Then the soups came flowing:
Lopsa soup was surprisingly sweet with a spicy undertone that creeps into your mouth and lingers delightfully on the back of the tongue. And the Clam Chowder is a creamy potato filled – can’t go wrong – soup that they most certainly didn’t get wrong.
But you can only put off pizza for so long, and our appetites were very much wet and ready as The Godfather and The Mafioso made their way with a smiling Ankit right along-side them.
Steaming and inviting we didn’t have time for pleasantries. Digging right in, The Godfather was a lemon and leaf topping spark of a pizza. Lightly salted Fontina cheese balances the sour lemon and green perfectly. The dough was thin and cooked nicely and if I could just take a minute;
The one thing that a pizza in my eyes should have to perfection, when all else fails, is the crust. There is nothing more I love, then
biting into a crust and hearing and feeling that crunch make its way through my jaw. Nothing gives me more pleasure when dining for pizza. A soggy crust, over cooked or tasteless will always get an F from me.
That being said, if there was an option to order nothing but crust from PS Pizza Shop, I would have these guys on speed dial.
This crust was fantastic. That addictive crunch is the perfect way to end the taste filled center.
The Mafioso didn’t disappoint either. Bacon, sausage, peperoni and olives. The parmesan on top does overpower the rest at first bite,
but I didn’t mind that, because as soon as the first flood of taste melts away, the rest soon takes over. The meat – especially the salty bacon and the thick cheese – really does the trick in breaking the pizza apart and finishing it off with a pleasant aftertaste that leaves the buds wanting a quick swig of drink before taking another bite.
But if you thought it was over, nope. Smiling Ankits at it again as he brings out Sizzling Shrimp Campy, with white wine, garlic butter and seasoned herb sauce. The sauce is quite sweet with the wine being the main component. The shrimp are cooked the way they should be and melt in your mouth.
Baby Spinach Salad: A hot sauce base, sweet corn sprinkled, spinach bushel middle, this salad made for a good palate cleanser without sticking to your tongue for too long. Nice and refreshing.
And finally (yes we were quite full by now), the Pork Chops.
Juicy, seasoned extremely nicely, and very much a dish you would fight yourself not to devour. A bite quickly leads into another with the seasoning very much being the big sister in the dish to the easily chewed pork chop little brother.
Overall, the experience at PS Pizza was a casual and friendly one, filled with great food in an easy atmosphere at a good location.
If the success of this place isn’t clear yet, the fact that their opening up in Williamsburg soon and following that with Manhattan on the horizon should help to make it evident.
But the Astoria location isn’t done yet. Plans for an outdoor area seating around 30 is on the way in 2016. And coming soon will be a breakfast and brunch menu that is set to keep business booming for this little pocket rocket.
Bon Appetite Astoria!
Address: 32-02 Broadway, Astoria, NY 11103