Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Under Ditmars (Frankie's Pizza; 22-56 31st Street)

The location of this pizzeria is not the most opportune. It's right between the stairwells coming down from the Ditmars Boulevard station platform, so if you're getting off at that stop, it's never on your way, despite being right there. And something in the mind rebels at the notion of eating right there, where the elevated tracks assure the sun can't shine, where so many trains are idling, where so many transients congregate.

That being said, once you are inside Frankie's, you enter a different time -- the early 1960s perhaps. You are back in that era when tables equipped with bright orange bucket-style seats instead of benches -- that dining-room innovation specific to the fast-food-restaurant revolution that post-war suburbia engendered -- seemed somehow of the future rather than simply inconvenient. Frankie's is very much of that period and hasn't been substantially remodeled since, though in the past year, they did expand their counter into a L-shape that now extends toward the front entrance. This was not warranted by their having more goods to display; perhaps it's meant to make the space more inviting. If that's so, they might also consider taking the "Absolutely no outside food and drink" sign down. Not only does the bluster seem petty and off-putting, they don't even try to enforce it. We came in for a couple slices after a run carrying a few water bottles we bought at the deli, and no one at Frankie's said a word about it.

As for the pizza, we can say with confidence that we prefer it to Pizza Palace, which is up the street, and Alba's, which is nearby. But it bears no comparison with the neighborhood's finest.

Price: Average for a pizzeria.
Will we go again? Probably, but not from any special desire to return.

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