07 November 2011

Roadside Pie at New Park Pizza

I was walking to a wedding in Howard Beach when I passed by New Park Pizza at the corner of 157th Avenue and Crossbay Boulevard. I've heard of the old pizzeria over the years, but have never consciously sought it out. So the sight of the grand old neon sign, with its steaming pizza centerpiece, was a happy surprise.

New Park has been owned by the same family sing 1956. Given their look, I'd say the squat, square building and the signage date from that time. The interior, such as it is, sports a long counter with ordering windows and a row of picnic tables. The set-up reminded me of L & B Spumoni Gardens in Bensonhurst. This makes me think that New Park used to operate as a sort of roadside stand in the old days, something like a drive-in. I suspect the picnic tables were now covered and enclosed in the past.

New Park makes brick-oven pizza. I have read accounts that praise it for its smokey bite. The slice tasted more sweet than smoky to me, but I got it at the end of the day. The crust was soft and chewy. First impression: this is an easy-going version of the classic New York slice, but nothing more special or artisan than that. Lovely atmosphere, though. I'd go again.

My one question is: What park does the pizzeria's name refer to?


Stephanie said...

Don't know where the name comes from, but it was the scene of the infamous "Howard Beach incident" of 1986.

IrishNYC said...

The enclosure around the picnic tables is from within the last 20 years or so. As far as I can remember there were always picnic tables outside.

The name comes from the names "New Howard Beach" and "Rockwood Park."