August 15, 2022

Pizza - New York Style at Mony's on Milam


I came across a recommendation for Mony's on the Facebook Group Houston Foodie Friends. Persons from New York take their style of pizza very seriously and it is not uncommon, here in Houston, to see any recommendations for a place that serves New York style, immediately put down by others who claim to be purists (Brothers Pizza gets this, as do Romano's, Grimaldi's, et al). 

For me, Mony's (I think) is what New Yorkers are looking for when they think "pizza". The slice is big. I put a quarter next to it to give you an idea of the size.

John Nechman writes:
A passion of Richi's and mine is REAL NY pizza. And what many New Yorker's say is true--you can only find this in the 5 boroughs. The mystery of why has never been cracked--some say it's the water, but places outside NYC have imported NYC water for their recipes and still not achieved the same results. Some say it's the air/atmosphere and how it affects the dough. NYC pizza chefs have moved to other cities and used the exact same recipes they used on streets of Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan, and they just can't achieve the same product.

Maybe it's all bullshit. But I've yet to find a NY-style pizza outside of NY that compares with what I've had in NY.
So when my brother Brad lived in Upper Manhattan, Richi and I visited him often--sometimes 5 or 6 times a year over the course of 15 years. And we made it our mission to find the best of all NYC pizzas. I'm sure we've tried well over 200, in all 5 boroughs. We grew to know NYC as well if not better than most locals. I often received callls from acquaintances of Brad's, usually saying something along the lines of "Hey--I'm a native New Yorker, but I heard from your brother of your obsession for NY pizza and was hoping you could send me your recc's."
Obsessed. No doubt about it.
Which brings me to Mony’s Pizzeria, recently opened in a hopefully-not-jinxed spot in Midtown (2808 Milam St.). I am duly impressed. The all-important crust is stellar--just that right mix of crispy yet foldable. The sauce is almost there, and it and the cheese are kept in appropriate moderation--gloopy and drippy doesn't work on a NY-style pizza. Mony's could benefit from a better quality pepperoni, but that's a minor quibble--in NY, I'm often plenty happy with just a plain slice.
Mony's has an outrageously great lunch special--$9.99 gets you a huge house salad, a drink, and a slice. But this isn't your typical NY-size slice (which are often pretty big); this is an 18-24" behemoth--like the jumbo slices famous in Washington DC (though a million times better tasting). I was stuffed and smiling widely after eating this. They can make a pizza in a size that will easily feed 10--the box for this pie, one of which is on the wall next to the "normal" sizes, is a wonder in and of itself.
Mony's is open late for those after-bar hunger pangs. They have 2 websites, one of which has a peculiar "About" section that contains the quizzical statement, "Complete your meal with French Fries, it's a great way to make dinner into a feast." This statement, of course, led me on a search in vain for french fries on the menu.
Thank you to Jay P. Francis for making the first post I've seen on Mony's--this definitely makes my Top 10 list for Houston, and any time of the day, I would crave a slice here over a pie from highly-lauded NY original pizza spot Roberta's at the Post.

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