On menupages.com, one of the top rated pizza joints that got the most reviews for the Lower East Side area I generally work in is Mamani, next door to the venerable San Loco on Avenue A. I was a bit intrigued at the idea of pizza being sold for 99 cents a slice, a tactic already done at a few other places, in response to the recession or whatever we’re in. In fact, Mamani was cited by the NY Daily News and Channel 7 for doing their part for the huddled masses.

Mamani has scant seating and hardly any decor, save the TV set permanently tuned in to South Indian music videos. There are 2 slightly uneven dark wood polished tables, enough room for 4 apiece.

I have pics of the slices I ordered (2 plain, 1 with tomato and mushroom). Basically we’re talking about Persian pizza. I believe they use a gas-powered oven. John is the co-owner, along with his wife (Parvan, I believe). John tells me the story….his wife learned to make dough since childhood in Iran, and took her knowledge and love of food here. The idea with Persian/halal pizza is the consistency of the dough. It doesn’t seem to rise as much as what you’d find in your basic NY slice. The slices and crust are thin, with minimal amount of sauce and a bit of oil, which doesn’t run off nearly as much, again, as a typical NY slice. No char on the bottom; the crust is fairly hot and holds the toppings very well. I was non-plussed by the tomato-mushroom deal…as it was just slightly warmer than expected, tho again, the toppings held well. It actually was not a bad taste. In comparison to other slices, it doesn’t stand out, and I don’t think that’s its intention. It’s definitely enough to hold you over for a few hours, and feels and tastes just light enough to make an impact.

The Daily News article is here: http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2008/11/20/2008-11-20_recession_buster_99_cents_for_a_slice-2.html
and the Channel 7 clip here….
http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local&id=6573975

I don’t see much at all in the way of Persian or Halal pizza in NY (or perhaps that should read NY-Persian) but there may be another style to look after here. My overall grade is average for quality, above average for the budget-conscious.

Mamani
151 Avenue A – btw. 9th & 10th St
New York, NY 10009 
212 420-8574