I was over by Washington Square Park and the rest of the NYU area at lunch time with a couple of coworkers who were more familiar with the food options, they suggested checking out local spot Pizza Mercato. Looked interesting from the outside and there were a number of students that were in and out of the place. One of the general rules of thumb to follow for good cheap food is to eat where college kids eat, so I gave it a try. That was the last time I ever take their recommendations, the food was edible, but a notch above grade school cafeteria food.
Pizza Mercato actually looks pretty spiffy from the outside, like it could be a nice old world style pizzeria within. When you walk in the door, you step through a narrow hallway and out into a larger area with the counter on the right and a small section for seating straight and to the left. Pizza Mercato is meant to be more of a take out place than anything else.
The menus are up on the walls demonstrating what is available and there are set ups of the food behind the sneeze-guards. Pizza Mercato offers pizza of all varieties (duh) as well as sandwiches, calzones/strombolis, salads, and pasta platters. I was tempted to go with a sandwich but the slices on display looked really good, so I went ahead and asked for a bruschetta slice, a chicken and broccoli slice and a “square” pepperoni slice. Figuring I was in for a delicious lunch covering all four major food groups I picked out a seat along the back of the restaurant and waited.
After receiving the slices I retreated to my corner and started chowing down on the bruschetta slice. Unfortunately while the bruschetta mixture itself was pretty good, what it sat on was just not so good. For me to consider a pizza to be a success all three of the cheese, sauce, and crust have to be individually good and work together. With the pizza at PM, yeah they all work together but they just aren’t good, as I mentioned at the top, it was just too eerily reminiscent of grade school cafeteria pizza. The cheese had that same grade F quality, the sauce was visible yes, but no discernible flavor and the crust was almost too thick. Biting into it I thought of the terrible freezer fodder Elios Pizzas. On the positive, the breaded chicken and broccoli slice was the bet of the bunch. Not so much because of the pizza portion itself, but the topping was excellent. Like I said above the bruschetta was good as well. The pepperoni was a dud.
All told while the price was kind of right, 3 slices all with topping and a soda for $12.55, and it was actually food, the pizza was not good. If you’re looking for quality food in NYU area, go somewhere else.
Pizza Mercato reviewed by Well Fed on December 10, 2014 rated 2.0 of 5