There's a pizza debate raging at Gothamist HQ that's threatened to tear the office apart. We're not talking about our painfully assembled list of favorite pizza places—we're talking about a struggle that has consumed our office every Friday for months now, a struggle that has already seen its fair share of casualties. We're talking about Grimaldi's vs. Juliana's.
Each and every Friday for the last couple of years, a dedicated group of Gothamist staffers has ordered pizza from Grimaldi's; it is, without a doubt, one of our most sacred traditions, right up there with Air Conditioning Tug Of War, Pin The Tail On The Dobkin, the Sneeze Logbook, and Find The Hidden Sour Straws Box! But over the last nine months since Juliana's opened in the old Grimaldi's space, certain segments of the office have slowly begun clamoring to change spots. There were angry email exchanges, passive-aggressive Tweets, uncomfortable stare downs during pizza ordering. I still firmly believe that someone planted a shard of metal on a Grimaldi's pie one week just to shake things up.
Finally, today we ordered pies from both places, which are located on the same block, to try to come to some equilibrium. Overall, the consensus was that Juliana's has better (and softer) crust and sweeter tomato sauce. Grimaldi's has better cheese, bigger olives, and is greasier (which could be a plus or minus depending on your tastes). Often times, the Grimaldi's crust is too hard—though Juliana's crusts often don't leave much room for holding.
Some preferred Grimaldi's extra-salty, extra-big toppings, while some like that Juliana's uses the original Grimaldi's oven and was slightly doughier. Points were given to Grimaldi's for their friendly, no-nonsense service, helmed by manager Gina Peluso. Points were deducted from Juliana's for a confusing ordering process. Juliana's is slightly more expensive, but it travels better than Grimaldi's. Both places seem to have lines out the door every Friday around noon, though Grimaldi's line tends to be longer.
- "Juliana's tastes fresher, has better sauce, better crust (not too thin, not too thick!), and better EVERYTHING. And it's more filling—after three slices of Grimaldi's you are still hungry, but just two slices of Juliana's will fill even the hangriest tummy. Grimaldi's biggest offense is its cheese, which after just minutes turns hard, chewy and plastic-like. And the metal shards in it doesn't help." -Jen Carlson
- "I think I want to eat more Juliana's because it's so good—it's like Lays, but you can't eat just three."-Jen Chung
- "Juliana's is slightly more expensive, which is a bit of a bummer. I dislike the relatively sparse placement of Julianna's cheese, but I do prefer its crust. I'm of little help in this debate because I would eat a piece of driftwood if there was pepperoni stuck to it."-Lauren Evans
- "I like the flavor of Juliana's crust better but the charred powder gets all over my hands, which makes it difficult to type while I'm eating. Overall I think Juliana's has more flavor. There is a nice seasoning that they use and I like the sweetness of the tomato sauce. I also like the flavor and amount of cheese on Juliana's pies. It's thinner, less bulky and softer than Grimaldi's."-Nell Casey
- "They taste very, very similar. The olives at Juliana's appear to be sliced, while the Grimaldi's ones are pitted but whole. Otherwise, I notice very little difference—most of the difference week to week is how well-done the pies are."-Jake Dobkin
I've tried to remain as neutral as possible as more and more of my coworkers were seduced by that sweet Juliana's tomato sauce. But it's clear that our office, as a whole, has made its choice.
We'll always have that metal shard, Grimaldi's.