Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Gruppo Lunch Specials on Ave B

Have you ever experienced a series of events or situations that are so coincidental and bizarre they place you under a spell of utter disbelief?

Today I woke up and immediately decided I wanted a pizza with artichoke on it. I was craving a quality pizza, not your average slice. I still don't know why. Although I live a short walk away from Artichoke on 14th St. I was completely against waiting in line there. It's too creamy for my tastes and in my opinion, grossly overrated. As if no one has had good artichoke dip with toasted bread before? But that's a story for another post.

I remembered walking by a dimly lit pizza place on Ave. B the evening before, so I decided to head in that direction. I finally found the pizza place. They are currently running lunch specials and happy hour deals that are hard to beat.

- 2 slices and a pint of beer for $5
- A sandwich and salad for $9
- A 16" pie and a pitcher of Yeungling for $18

These are quality pizzas with premium ingredients. Thin crust pies are less filling than the typical slice but these were absolutely delicious. (and I hesitate to use superlatives for anything!) Tangy freshly made marinara over a thin, yet soft, crust and topped with globs of fresh mozzarella. I took the deal for 2 slices (a pepperoni and spinach/artichoke).

As I sat at the bar scarfing down lunch I realized I didn't even know the name of hidden gem I had just discovered. I grabbed a nearby menu that read, "Gruppo". The name immediately rang a bell and then I suddenly remembered that a friend had suggested this restaurant to me almost two years ago. I realized it had been years since I spoke to her. I ordered another round of slices. I wondered if I should let her know I finally stumbled upon the pizza place. (When you're grabbing lunch at the bar solo you have ample time to fiddle with your Blackberry and contemplate these things). I decided against it and told the kind man behind the bar I would be back tomorrow.

Interesting enough, out of the blue, an hour later I got a message on Facebook from the same person who suggested the pizza joint from earlier in the day. Weeird huh? *Cue Twilight Zone music!

That being said... Seriously check out Gruppo Pizza on Avenue B between 11th and 12th. Great Pizza and generous recession specials.

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