Lions & Tigers & Squares
268 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011
This new pizzeria opened in the heart of Chelsea in Manhattan that specializes in ‘Detroit style’ pizza, which is a type of Sicilian pizza that is baked in a deep dish with the cheese baked right into the sides of the pizza producing a caramelized edge to the pizza. Having gone to college at Michigan State University, I was introduced this this type of pizza at a restaurant named “Dooley’s” in the mid-Eighties. It’s nice to see it come to New York City.
Lion’s & Tiger’s (Named after two sports teams in Michigan) & Squares, a very clever ring in the fact that the pizza is cooked in a square pan in a pizza oven. These wonderful deep-dish pizzas are offered with a limited amount of toppings such as pepperoni, sausage and onion, vodka sauce, a spicy type of marinara, mushroom, black olive and the specialty mustard pizza. The topping are also loaded on so the price of the pizza is justified by the amount of sausage and pepperoni that tops these pillowy creations.
The first time I passed this restaurant, I was heading up to the Upper East Side to finish an entry on “MywalkinManhattan.com” blog and wanted a quick snack before I headed uptown. I could not resist the $5.00 for a plain pizza special they had on the outside board. The restaurant was trying to attract business and there was a nice crowd eating at the cocktail tables in the open restaurant (there is no seating here).
I ordered my pizza which had just been made and was reheated for me. Its cut into four generous slices and was a nice deal when on a budget. I ate the pizza on a table in Madison Square Park and bit into the cheesy hard edges of the pizza to taste of carmelization of the cheese with the spiciness of the sauce. For $5.00, you get a four slice pizza that can easily feed two people or one hungry person like myself.
The pizza is crisp on the outside and soft and pillowy on the side and perfectly cooked. The sauce has a nice combination of spices to it and matches nicely with the generous portion of cheese baked right into the dough.
The second time I visited the restaurant, it was mobbed! Word had gotten out and it was all over the Internet on Blogs and videos on YouTube. Customers found the restaurant with generous portions, good customer service and delicious food.
I ordered the Sausage and Onion pizza on my return trip to the restaurant. It was topped with a lot of sausage and chopped sweet onions $10.00 (see review on TripAdvisor) that made a nice combination of flavors. The sweetness of the onions played off the sage in the pork in the sausage and just to add to the flavor, they put a small swirl of maple syrup to top the pizza to bring out the true flavors of the toppings. They also give you a generous portion of sausage and it is layered into the cheese on the pizza.
The third time I visiting, I tried their pepperoni pizza ($11.00) that is loaded on the top with thickly sliced and curling spicy pepperoni. The top of the pizza has a complete layer of it and it is baked into the cheese and sauce. Each bite is a crunchy and spicy experience. The spices of both ingredients play well together.
The pizza at Lions & Tigers & Squares has brought a new type of pizza to the city only those of us who have lived in the Midwest know and now its time to share it with New Yorkers and tourists alike. There is no place to sit but there are cocktail tables inside the entrance to the restaurant. You have Madison Square Park to your left and the Highline to the right to sit back and eat your pizza and people watch.
What’s nice about the restaurant as well is that they are open until 4:00am perfect for the after club and bar crowd who made need a late night snack to absorb alcoholic drinks.