NYPD Pizzeria Voted Best In Orlando
Number One Daughter got her driving permit on Friday. To celebrate, she wanted pizza and elected to try NYPD Pizzeria and Delicatessen which had won some local Best Pizza of the Year awards.
I spent many years working in the pizza industry. I get nervous whenever I do an unannounced review of a restaurant. I understand that even the best establishments can have an off day. When I do my reviews, I try to look deeper than the surface. I look for systems, talk to patrons, observe the crew and study the procedures. Does anything indicate that tonight is different than usual?
But this visit, I didn’t have to worry about that.
From the moment we pulled up to the NYPD Pizzeria, located on Universal Drive right near the convention center, it was obvious we were at a restaurant worthy of a Best in Orlando award.
The restaurant was doing a bustling business; phones were ringing, tables were crowded and the kitchen crew and wait staff were scurrying back and forth.
#1 Daughter Digs In
I looked at the tables full of people. They were all smiling, gesturing and talking in an animated way. On the center of most tables was a round metal plate set on a pedestal about 8 inches off the table and filled with pizza that looked expertly cooked with generous portions of toppings and cheese. Some tables (that did not have a pizza in the center) were being served with plates filled with calzones, sandwiches or pasta all of which appeared to be cooked just right.
The wait staff was hustling, but not harassed. They appeared friendly, but not overbearing. The kitchen had a half dozen team members each focused on their work. No one looked bored or annoyed. The atmosphere was pleasant.
I looked around the shop. It was obviously a new store. Even so, the walls, tables, counters and baseboards seemed clean. There were firefighter helmets and amusing signs that carried themes of New York’s Finest. Walls with accent paint, a granite countertop and dark wood molding said that someone had created this shop with care and attention to detail.
Our waitress, Ashley, was cheerful and attentive. It was a busy night so she had to hustle and she did so while not being rude or pushy. She tried to give us a few minutes to purview the menu while she attended to some pressing duties. However, when we told her we were ready to order immediately (we had a movie deadline, but we didn’t tell her that) she dropped her other duties and instantly gave us her full attention.
Toasted Just Right
Number One Daughter ordered a Bayside Bianca (white pizza), I ordered an eggplant parmsean sandwich, Number One Son got got linguine with sauce and Mrs. LanceAround shared my sandwich with a slice of Number One Daughter’s Bianca and a salad. The food did not take long to arrive–but it was long enough to indicate that it was freshly prepared. It was cooked to perfection, not over- or under-done. The crust was slightly crunchy and chewy on the outside yet moist and tender on the inside. The eggplant parmesan was on an italian roll that was toasted just right.
At the front of the kitchen, you could watch the chef hand tossing the fresh pizza dough and putting the completed pies into a large oven. It appeared to bake on a revolving stone surface, but I did not get enough of a glimpse of the oven to know for sure.
We were all smiles as we tasted each other’s fare. When our waitress, Ashley, asked why were taking so many photos, she displayed the usual nervous concern when learning we were preparing to write a post about the meal. Since we never reveal whether a review will be positive or negative, we could not alleviate her anxiety. She had nothing to worry about. It was obvious from before we even sat at her table that she is a caring, conscientious waitress who works very hard.
We gave her a good tip and went on to watch our movie–full, delicious and content. Good meal at a good price.
And lucky for our readers, there are currently five NYPD Pizza and Delicatessen Restaurants throughout the greater Orlando area. Here’s the contact info for the one we went to:
NYPD Pizzeria & Delicatessen
9900 Universal Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32819