Rich Greco is a designer, a Ditmas Park native (and after a stint in Midwood, a Ditmas Park resident once again), and a lover of pizza. Having recently invented, branded (with literature and Consecrated Chile Oil, as any designer worth his basil will do), and completed a one day “pizza pilgrimage” he calls The Feast of St. Pizza, Rich told us about his chosen stops, his local pie preferences, and how others can enjoy a trek that’s as delicious as it is un-PC.
A pie at Wheated
How did the idea come about for The Feast of St. Pizza?
I wanted to create a holiday to justify eating as much of my favorite food as possible. Branding the event came naturally, and it helped get others on board and take it as seriously as they could.
Are you some sort of pizza expert? Are your friends who went with you pizza experts?
I believe I am an expert at eating pizza. I know about certain pizzerias and I make pies at home, but I really shine when there’s a fresh slice in front of me. My friends are pretty obsessed as well.
If I’m feeling a round with half mushroom and olives and an eggplant roll, I call up San Remo. I really enjoy their dough. If I’m in the mood for a solid grandma pie, I go with Lo Duca. And there’s no reason you can’t have both.
The chosen pizza
Who are the friends who joined you on the pilgrimage? How did you choose your 10 pizza destinations? Is there a pizza desert in the middle of Brooklyn?
TJ, from Minnesota, is a label manager, event producer, and pizza enabler. Ben, from Northern California, is an advertising creative and pizza obsessive. And Johan, from Sweden, is an advertising creative and has a Swedish pizza project in the works.
I made a list of my favorite spots in New York, and narrowed it down based on proximity to one another and shop hours. There are definitely some spots between Wheated and Best (Lucali, Pizza Cotta Bene, Brooklyn Central, Juliana’s), but we had to narrow it down. Next pilgrimage we’ll swap a few in and out.
How long did the pilgrimage take? How many slices were eaten in total, and how many were eaten by the most prolific pizza eater?
About 14 hours. We started at Totonno’s a little after noon, and finished our last slice at Artichoke around 2:30am. We divided pies evenly, and bought individual slices when available. I did help out with some crusts though.
“The high priest of the pie,” Rich calls Di Fara’s Dom DeMarco.
People come from all over to have a slice of Di Fara. It is legend. I’ll go to Di Fara maybe once a year, usually when it snows or when there’s a big storm. But I go to Wheated a few times a month. It can hold its own for sure.
Everything in there is worth trying at least once. Plus their chile powder is on point.
Are you planning another pilgrimage anytime soon (and to where)?
Next year when the anniversary of the first feast rolls around, I’ll pick the ten Pizzerias of reverence for 2015 and set course, and it will be in New York again.
To celebrate your own Feast of St. Pizza, choose a small group of friends (four is ideal), ten of your favorite pizzerias, and a convenient day to embark. Then submit your map to email@example.com and we’ll post it to the site.
As for tips, rain may not provide the best backdrop, but it does make for shorter lines (Di Fara). Going on a weekday also helps. And don’t start drinking until at least halfway through.
All photos via thefeastofstpizza