NYT Chronicles Pizza A Casa’s TripAdvisor Drama

Pizza a Casa, the learn-to-make-pie-at-home school at 371 Grand St., is having a New York Times moment today.

Reporter David Koeeppel delivers an interesting blow-by-blow account of the school’s battle with TripAdvisor, a travel site that categorizes and rates dining, lodging and entertainment venues for tourists. A few months ago, thanks to rave reviews from its students, Pizza a Casa sat atop the list of NYC attractions–above other “things to do” such as visit the Statue of Liberty, for example. Class sign-ups rolled in and owner Mark Bello was thrilled.

And then, TripAdvisor reclassified Pizza a Casa as a “tour” instead of an “attraction” and everything changed. An e-mail battle ensued.  The term “tour” was dissected and debated. Consultants were consulted.

Pizza Guru Shares Chinatown Turkey Tradition

Desperately seeking last minute inspiration for your traditional Thanksgiving feast? Oddly enough, there’s no need to look any further than Mark Bello, the mastermind behind Grand Street’s Pizza a Casa.  It turns out the guy obsessed with teaching people how to make a perfect pie at home, also is pretty ingenious when it comes to turkey.

You see, for the last three years, Bello’s holiday guests have been raving about his Chinese-style roasted bird.  Crispy on the outside — juicy and flavorful on the inside — this turkey has it all. Best of all, it doesn’t require any fussing around in the kitchen.

Talking Turkey with Jeffrey

Don’t let that big knife scare you. Essex Street Market butcher Jeffrey Ruhalter will be happy to help you prepare for Thanksgiving, which is only 10 days away. We stopped by over the weekend to learn about some of the options available for the big feast.

Here’s the scoop:

If you want a fresh, all-natural turkey (from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania), you’ll need to get your order in no later than the end of the day tomorrow.

But if you just need a regular fresh or frozen turkey, there’s still time. Jeffrey says you can order those varieties up until Monday or Tuesday of next week.  What’s the price difference? The all-natural bird will cost you around $4.75/pound — $2.29 or so for a regular fresh turkey — and $1.99 for frozen.