I recently learned that my suspicions were valid. While still very good, the pizza at Grimaldi's Pizzeria – a famous tourist stop in Brooklyn – just wasn't good enough to warrant the excessively long lines out front. Why? Because the pizza isn't from the hands of a real Grimaldi pizzaiolo! For that, head a few doors away on the same block to a place called Juliana's, where Patsy and Carol Grimaldi, the original owners of Grimaldi's, have again been slinging their wares since December 2012. (They sold Grimaldi's, including the rights to the name, to a customer in 1998.)
In fact, Juliana's present location – 19 Old Fulton Street, in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge – is the very same spot where Grimaldi's used to be. Grimaldi's present owners had to move to the new address, which made way for the return of Patsy and Carol. So the real Grimaldis are back with their generations-old recipes and expertise, even if they're not under their old banner. (Juliana is the name of Patsy's late mother.)
If you've never had coal-fired brick-oven pizza, you must give it a try. Unlike typical New York-style pizzas, the crusts are crispier, airier and smokier, enhancing the flavor of the fresh toppings. It's hard not to love the result, especially in Juliana's more modern and roomier space (than Grimaldi's). The choice of pizzas is generous, as is the selection of salads, desserts, and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
And remember: no slices, only whole pies!