Initial visit: Grimaldi’s Coney Island

Large pepperoni pizza from Grimaldi's Coney Island

Large pepperoni pizza from Grimaldi’s Coney Island, $16.

Grimaldi’s, on an expansion jag as of late, has opened a branch in Coney Island. For the longest time I’ve thought the one under the Brooklyn Bridge was a tourist trap, but a recent visit to its new digs and a visit to the Coney outpost have me reconsidering.

Grimaldi's Coney Island pizza crust

Grimaldi’s Coney Island, hole structure. Pretty thin. Pretty crisp. Still foldable, though.

The last few times I’ve had a Grimaldi’s pizza, it’s been cooked evenly and cooked through and has been thin, crisp, and just chewy enough.

Grimaldi's Coney Island

Grimaldi’s Coney Island, on Surf Avenue, just steps from the subway station.

In the past they’ve often been undercooked, and I used to say they cared more about shoveling the pizza in and out of the oven to turn tables over quickly. I wonder if, in managing a mini empire, the Ciolli family hasn’t learned to impose some impressive quality control over the product. If that’s the case, hats off.

Of course, the real story is how does it compare to Totonno’s, two blocks away and almost a century older? I didn’t have time to do a direct comparison, but I can tell you that in Coney my heart will always belong to Totonno’s. It’s the real deal, still in the original family, and a New York pizza icon.

Grimaldi’s Coney Island
1215 Surf Avenue, Coney Island, Brooklyn NY 11224

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