George R.R. Martin takes time off from not writing his book to laud New York pizza

Screenshot: Penguin Random House (YouTube)
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Okay, okay, I know it’s really tired to see George R.R. Martin, a human being with a life to live and a world of wonder to enjoy, and immediately jump to, “BUT WHY ISN’T HE WRITING THE DAMN BOOK?” But of all the things he could be doing instead of writing the damn book, he’s choosing to go long on why New York pizza is the best pizza?

Martin, the author of the mildly popular Song Of Ice And Fire series on which the little-seen Game Of Thrones series is based, communicates his affection for what I’ll begrudgingly admit is pretty decent pizza via YouTube video, and that video comes from Penguin Random House, his publisher. (We stumbled onto it by way of Gothamist.) I suppose they’re good with whatever content he wants to put out, even if it isn’t The Winds Of Winter. You can watch it below, and once you have, let’s spend a few minutes on Martin’s pizza philosophy, shall we?

For those averse to watching one of the world’s most popular novelists talk about America’s favorite food, Martin’s argument that New York pizza is the best pizza essentially boils down to these brief talking points:

  • Thin crust is best—“The thinner, the better.”
  • However, the crust “also has to have a flavor to it.”
  • The best flavored crusts come from coal-fired ovens: “It gives the crust a char and a smokiness.”
  • “Weird stuff” should under no circumstances be placed atop a pie. His list of “weird stuff” includes pineapple and sprouts specifically.
  • Not weird, according to George R.R. Martin, creator of the books where a girl becomes mom to a bunch of dragons she hatches with the power of not-getting-burned: “Cheese, maybe some pepperoni, maybe some sausage, you know.”
  • You shouldn’t get too ambitious, says the writer of a book series that’s, like, intensely long: “But don’t go crazy with the toppings… get the basic, pure pizza experience.”
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He also lists a few pizza joints of which he’s particularly fond, specifically naming John’s on Bleecker Street, Lombardi’s in Little Italy, and Di Fara’s in Brooklyn.

While we here at The Takeout might take issue with Martin’s toppings philosophy, we can’t argue with his stance on crust. Thin crust is delicious! It’s great when it’s got a distinct flavor and texture! We, too, love coal-fired pizza! On these points, we all agree.

But Mr. Martin also notes that “You can walk into any place in New York pizza street place, and get a slice, and it’s better than what you’ll get in 97 percent of America.” Respectfully, sir, we disagree. Chicago pizza is not to be fucked with, particularly if you’re a thin crust devotee. You may call New York City’s pizza “food of the gods,” but we’ll call Chicago’s pizza “extremely good.”

We urge you, Mr. Martin, the next time you want to put off writing your book, to come visit us here in Chicago! We’ll take you to Pequod’s. The crust is thin, so thin, and has tons of flavor. You can get your “basic, pure pizza experience,” and we can have the satisfaction of saying that, when it comes to regional pies, “You know nothing, George R.R. Martin.”

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Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

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About the author

Allison Shoemaker

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves television, bourbon, and dramatically overanalyzing social interactions.