The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Luzzo's, Il Laboratorio del Gelato, and Babycakes

Pizza: it's the college student's staple. You can eat it for dinner! Or lunch! OR BREAKFAST! You can even brush your teeth with it! Despite the many uses of pizza, which may or may not be life sustaining, I rarely eat it. I grew up eating pizza, no question, but that was the school "pizza day" stuff. Flaccid, dripping in yellow oil and heavy with cheese, I easily gobbled up two slices (even when I was in elementary school, oh my), but I wouldn't be very drawn to that kind of pizza now. (Actually, there's this place near my house called Brick Oven Pizza that I used to go to a lot with my family since it was pretty good. I haven't been there in years, but I'd be interested in trying it again.)

Horrifyingly perhaps, my entire first year in NYC was pizza-less. I've only become more "adventurous" (with a rather unadventurous food) because, my need to update this site and the realization that there are pizzarias on seemingly every corner of NYC, as though no one took their pizzeria-control pills before copulating like rabid bunnies. Surely a handful of them must be good. Or at least not suck and offer me something reminiscent of my grade school days.


Last Sunday I went to Luzzo's in the East Village with (holy crap, I'm going to alphabetize) Adam, Allen, Amy, and Kathy. Luzzo's was recommended by my food history teacher, Fabio Parasecoli. Understandably, he's very food-minded with the plus of being from Italy, so I fully trust his judgement.

Fritto Napoli
Fritto Napoli

We started with two appetizers. The fritto napoli consisted of fried cheese, fried potato balls, fried rice and cheese balls, and a somewhat random grilled bread slice topped with cut baby tomatoes.

rice balls cheese!

The crust was thin, light, and compact, if that make any sense. The triangular fried cheese pieces were easily the best and thankfully didn't resemble the chewy, yellow, oil-laden mozzerella sticks I remember eating growing up. There, good. I was going to come up with a better description, but imagine the deliciousness of melted cheese and then imagine it rolled around in bread crumbs and deep fried. DEEP FRYING INCREASES DELICIOUSNESS! You know it.

Fried calamari
Fried calamari

Our other appetizer was fried calamari. Growing up, fried calamari was the thing my family (or at least my mum and I) "always" had to get at restaurants if they had it. I ate a lot of Italian food growing up, thus I ate more fried calamari than anyone should ever eat. At some point we realized that deep fried squid slices probably weren't that healthy (yeah, we're smart) so we stopped ordering it, meaning I stopped eating squid altogether because why else would I want to eat it if it weren't breaded and deep fried? THERE IS NO REASON TO EAT IT. NOOONE. (Just kidding; I'm sure there are other good squid dishes...none of which I particularly enjoy.)

This fried calamari was okay. Not bad, not great. I would've liked it if it were crispier, but at least it wasn't funkily chewy. If you want fried squid rings (and golly gee, who wouldn't?!), this will do the trick. I prefered the fried cheese.

Now...get ready for the pizza parade.


The bufola mozzeralla pizza was topped with (get ready for this) BUFFALO MOZZERELLA. The simplest things can be the tastiest too. Never having seen this kind of pizza before, I found the polka dot cheese pattern very cute. And tasty. Round things are tasty. This may not be the best way to describe melted buffalo mozzerella, but it has this sweetness to it that fills the mouth with soft, warm, blissful cheesiness. What does that mean? ...Hell if I know. It's tasty. That's it.

Pizza Ortolano
pizza ortolano

The pizza ortolano was topped with tomato, mozzarella, zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant, radicchio, and maybe something else, but that's where the menupages description ends. Pretty good. I mean, it couldn't be bad It's good. Yeah. Come on, bread plus cheese plus [insert any combination of edible toppings excepy maybe...tripe)] equals something tasty. I like how the toppings are just plopped on top and not bathing in cheese.

...bathing in, that's disturbing.

For some reason, I deleted the photo I took of the pizza marinara, so you'll have to rely on my description. [tumbleweed rolls by] Um. It. Uh. It had anchovies on it. I don't understand how anchovies got such a bad rap; they're not bad at all. Kinda salty, but nothing worthy of being loathed to the 10th power (loathe10, if you wanted a visual). It was actually the olives that I had a problem with; they existed. All over the pizza. There's nothing wrong with putting olives on pizza, but I don't really like olives. I wouldn't attempt to reattach them to the pizza if they were to fall off, or get mysteriously flicked off by my finger. Mysterrrriously.

Pizza Marta
Pizza Marta

I saved the best for last. This pizza is named after Martha Stewart because apparently, she really likes it. Man, I wish someone would name something after me. "The Robyn: Chocolate Lava Ganache Cake topped with Whipped Cream and White Chocolate Syrup and Caramel Syrup and Maybe A Pat of Butter and then Dipped In Chocolate, Deep Fried and Covered In More Whipped Cream".

...Wait, that's disgusting.

Back to the pizza. It's awesome. I've never had the combination of white truffles, truffle oil, buffalo mozzarella, and prosciutto before, but there is a reason that people like truffles; they're damn tasty! Or the oil is. Or mixed with cheese, bread, and pig meat, it is. I don't know how to describe the truffle-y taste, as it doesn't really hit one of the taste receptors. A part of your brain just knows it's tasty.

...My god, maybe it's crack. That explains it.

The only thing that bothered me about the pizza was that I thought the crust would be crispier. It didn't have the consistency of melted cheese (that would've been odd), but it was rather floppy. Hm. Maybe it was supposed to be like that.

store hours
store hours

After a quick stop at Build A Green Bakery, we (sans Kathy, who I'd meet later in the day) went down to Il Laboratorio del Gelato. Yup, there's no better way to aid post-pizza digestion by adding a layer of creamy, churned, frozen dairy products. Or there is. It's one or the other. Sadly, Il Laboratorio's hours kinda suck. I'd go there so much more often if they opened later than dinner time into the wee hours of the night when I get hit with an ice cream craving. ...On second thought, it's a good thing they don't open later. (They probably run out of everything by then anyway, eh? COS IT'S SO GOOD? Yeah. But who eats ice cream at 10 AM? I mean, I'd obviously do it, but I'd have to think twice...and then eat it anyway.)

medium cup is delish

I got a medium cup with toasted sesame ice cream and dark chocolate ice cream. Something inside me tried to swerve my decision towards mint, but I resisted since I've already tried that flavor. REAL MINT IS SO AWESOME, SWEET JESUS, YOU MUST TRY IT...but I'd feel guilty if I didn't attempt to try all the other flavors first (and you know, that is my goal, after I visit Antarctica and pet a real penguin). Some other interesting flavors were ricotta and mascarpone. However, since I wasn't familiar with their flavors in a non-ice cream setting, I figured it wasn't the best choice. Toasted sesame and dark chocolate went well together and as usual, they tasted amazing. Who would've thought that real flavor could taste so good? WHO?!?! Why don't more people make toasted sesame ice cream? (sigh)

The medium cup is an adequate portion and well worth your $4.25. While I know I should get a small, as it is enough to quel an ice cream craving, I tend to go for medium. Damn my gluttony. If you ever go to Il Lab with me, instruct me to get the small. "No medium, Robyn, resist!, why are you holding that shovel above my head and looking at me like a homicidal maniac?"

Babycakes storefront window shopping

After killing some time and parting ways with Adam, Allen, and Amy, I went to Babycakes to meet up with Kathy, two of her friends, and Nick, a fellow reader of this blog. We decided to meet up so I could give him his Poofy pancake t-shirt (hint hint: I am taking more orders, so if you want it, BUY IT NOW, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD).

frosting shot
frosting shot

Behold, the mysterious frosting shot. Nick was the brave soul to actually buy one of the babies instead of saying, "Whoa, awesome idea, I should eat that someday," like I've been doing. He said it was good. I guess you can't go wrong with a shot of frosting.

carrot wheat-free cupcake innards
carrot wheat-free cupcake

I went for the carrot wheat-free cupcake. How good is this cupcake? AWESOME. ...Wait, that didn't answer the question. VERY. Yes. It's "very" good, not "awesome" good. "Awesome" isn't an adverb. I think.

Back to the cupcake. It's very soft and squishy, just moist enough to be fluffy and not glistening,, it's carroty. I'm not going to describe what carrots taste like. The frosting confused me a bit as I couldn't really discern the flavor, but the texture was creamy and smooth. This cupcake is awesome and won't suck the life out of you with refined wheat flour and sugar! Score another gazillion tasty points for Babycakes.

That was my Sunday. After that, I may have passed out. Since it's already Wednesday, you can see that I'm falling behind. Very. Behind. My stomach area is growing every so much larger and its topography getting ever so much bulgier (thank god I know I'm not pregnant), all so I can blog about stuff and tell you what's delicious. I DO IT FOR YOU. And myself.

Okay, mainly for myself.


Final note: Lifehacker discusses what not to eat over your computer. I don't have commenting privileges on their site, so I'll give a response here:

Get a keyboard cover. Problem solved! I've solved the problem of crumbs and sticky fingers by covering my keyboard in molded plastic. I BEAT THE SYSTEM! BOO-YA! [does a little nerdy dance] Not only can I eat just about anything over my keyboard, but I can put stuff directly on my keyboard. I don't do it, but I could, and that's what counts.


Cathy / March 16, 2006 8:38 AM

Oddly enough the best fried calamari I've ever had was at an Olive Garden. Not chewy whatsoever! It was kind of weird at first, but then I realized that it was actually cooked properly.

Deb / March 16, 2006 9:45 AM

Talk about a coincidence! Yesterday was my birthday so I was in NYC at not only Luzzo's for late lunch (around 3 pm) and Babycakes for a birthday cupcake (around 5ish)!!! I'm going to update my blog tonight with the photos and link to yours as well since you had more stuff at Luzzo's. :) Sorry we didn't run into each other!

Rose / March 16, 2006 10:07 AM

I want a Poofy t-shirt! how do i sign up? payment?

Oh, thank you so much for the sauce recipe. I'm going to use it when my mom's tomatos are ripe. Right now I'm making the ricotta cheese and marinara sauce for a lasagne tomorrow!

Heather / March 16, 2006 10:36 AM

Robyn, your blog always makes me laugh and MYGOD! THOSE PIZZAS! Finally somone knows what REAL pizza is, not that crap from the Hut.
I really gotta visit you over there for a visit-nyc-food-themed-trip.

Ani / March 16, 2006 11:47 AM

Bahahahahahah!! "No one took their Pizzeria control pills before copulating like rabid bunnies." Oh God this made me laugh so much. I must try this place too.

Samurai Nick / March 16, 2006 12:18 PM

So many good pictures... yum.

The frosting shot was quite tasty, yes, as I enjoy those types of things in concentrated doses.

Also the Poofy Pancake shirt is AWESOME! I think I will celebrate by wearing it the next time I go get pancakes!!

And I owe you a buck.

roboppy / March 16, 2006 12:29 PM

Ash: Yaaay! You're welcome!

Cathy: Olive Garden? Mmm...I used to go there. :D I wonder how much I'd like it if I went back today. Not sure if I ever tried their fried calamari, but I only remember once having some pretty bad fried calamari (at an Italian place in Taiwan). I remember that Legal Seafood had some good fried calamari. Or some other, tasty.

Deb: WHOA, CREEPY! I mean. COOL! Your fooding patterns don't sound that far off from mine, hehe. Can't wait to see your photos!

Rose: YOU WANT POOFY! Sweet. I put a link to the order form up my entry somewhere. Wow, I'm too lazy to find it. But it's there! Yeah. It has info about payment and everything else, except the meaning of life.

I put up a sauce recipe? Or something? ... ...(confused)...OKAY, COOL! Wait, did I really? Why don't I remember this?


Heather: Real pizza, mmm! (rubs belly) I guess I'd eat Pizza Hut too, but all I remember is mega oily pizza. Hm.

Yup, be sure to visit someday!

Ani: Try it! And blog about it. ;)

Nick: Someone should make ...frosting concentrate! Like orange juice.

...Wait, that's gross.

Glad you like the shirt! It totally goes with pancake eating.


Samurai Nick / March 16, 2006 4:13 PM

You'll never take me alive, Robyn!!!

Although if there is food involved you may yet see that dollar again.

Wei / March 16, 2006 4:51 PM

Were those pizzas light? I mean.. where's the beef? heh. But then again, I've only been to one of those sit down pizza places where they have more choices of pizza than the average fare you get at normal pizza parlors. I think it was California Pizza Kitchen. It was ok, but I guess after eating greasy Pizza Hut for all these years, my ability to distinguish good and bad is horribly skewed. Have you had chicago style deep pan? Those are really tasty.

one girl / March 16, 2006 8:07 PM

Good god, that pizza looks great! Have you been to Grimaldi's in Brooklyn (it's under the Brooklyn Bridge)? You have GOT to go if you haven't. Really, run, now... go to the pizza!

roboppy / March 17, 2006 2:39 AM

Wei: Light pizzas? I guess they were pretty light or else they wouldn't have been structurally sound, hehe. But they weren't flimsy and it's more about quality than quantity. ;) I'll take a smattering of sweet, flavorful cheese over a layer, something else any day. I've been to CPK too; I thought it was pretty good. It was probably because of the unique toppings more than the basic cheese/pizza part. I think I had some kind of Asian chicken pizza; so goood. I've had pan pizza although until I go to Chicago I doubt I'll get the "real" thing.

one girl: I haven't been to Grimaldi's, but I'm planning to! There's a flickr meet happening there on April 1st, heehee. PIZZA, HERE I COME.

Rose / March 18, 2006 1:32 AM

You posted a recipe for marinara sauce on one of my posts.

Oh, so the poofy do i order it?

roboppy / March 18, 2006 2:02 AM

Rose: Ahhh...there are two Robyns in the food blogging world. ;D I know because I read her blog. "Whoa, that's my name! But these photos are 1000 times better than mine and...oh, it's so not me." The chances of me posting a recipe for sauce are like 100000000/1, as I've never made marinara sauce. But maybe I should to fulfill my duties as a Robyn!


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