Singas Famous Pizza has always proved somewhat disappointing. Don't get me wrong, their smallish pan pizzas are quite tasty and the way they cut them with a scimitar-like knife is kind of cool too—but sadly the only thing Indian about it is the name. So when a friend asked me along to check out a place serving Punjabi pizza, I jumped at the chance. Tower Pizzeria & Indian Food is located in a heavily Sikh section of Richmond Hill, Queens. As my dining companion and I waited for our pizza to be served it was hard not to notice that all of the customers were eating Indian food rather than pizza.
The Sikh pizzaiolo balked at first when asked to do a half-and-half. After some cajoling, he soon agreed and made us a half Tower Punjabi and half creamy garlic vegetarian pie.
My first impression of Tower Pizzeria's pie was that there was a lot of, well, stuff on it—my second was that much of that stuff looked like it came from a can.
I can't help but wonder what Punjabi M.C. would make of Tower's ginger-spiked Punjabi slice. The Punjabi half of the pie was topped with mushrooms, chopped green peppers, red onion, green olives, fresh tomatoes, jalapeño, and copious amounts of fresh ginger. Sadly, they went too easy on the jalapeños. Say what you want about Singas, they're not shy when it comes to the peppers. All in all, it was a decent novelty slice, but certainly not the Punjabi equivalent of Joe's or John's.
With a name like "creamy garlic vegetarian" it's not surprising that the "creamy garlic sauce" tasted vaguely of salad dressing. With its toppings of green olives, shrooms, peppers, and cooked tomatoes, this slice was decent, but like the Punjabi, not a peak pizza experience.
A medium pie set us back $11.99 so I guess I can't complain too much, but next time I'm looking for Indian pizza, I'll stick to the South Indian snack utthapam. While not technically a pizza the South Indian snack is delicious. As for Tower Pizzeria, I'll be back—but not for the pizza. I've got a hankering to try the Punjabi catfish pakora.
Tower Pizzeria & Indian Foods
118-16 Atlantic Avenue, Richmond Hill NY 11419 (map) 718-846-2842
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