Over the past couple of weeks I-75 has become a second home. On my frequent trips between Tallahassee and Orlando I try to avoid chains. Instead I attempt to seek out local places for a quick lunch or dinner. While pumping gas in Ocala I saw a sign for 484 New York Pizza. Since it was dinner time I decided to drop in for a sandwich. The restaurant is located in a small strip mall. The walls are gray concrete brick and a slate blue strip of corrugated metal capped the top. The sign over the door was small and rectangular. A string of colored pennants drooped above the door, and a small neon sign announced they were open.
I opened the door and walked into a front dining area. Three booths hugged the front wall, and the counter to place orders sat in the rear left corner. The walls were white with red bead board and black trim. Red and black tiled covered the floor. To the right a larger dining room ran towards the back. Additional seating was located in this area. New York themed prints dotted the walls. I stood in front of the menu board. They offered the standard pizza place fare of slices, pies and sandwiches
The lady behind the counter snapped her gum and gave me a look that said hurry up and order. I was the only person in the store. My attempt at small talk failed, and I decided to order a chicken parmigiana sandwich with a coke. The place does not have a soda fountain and I was handed a 12 oz. Pepsi in a can. I sat at one of the the booths and dusted off the remnants of someone’s lunch. I figured my sandwich would be up shortly since I was the only patron in the restaurant. I was wrong.
After a fifteen minute wait I approached the counter and asked what was taking so long. The girl shrugged and shouted something back to the kitchen. She told me to take a seat and it would be right up. A slow stream of people started to come into the restaurant to order dinner. I continued to wait and nursed my Pepsi. An additional ten minutes passed, and just as I was going to ask for my money back the lady appeared with my sandwich. She walked up to the table and slid it in front of me. She did not mention or apologize for the long wait.
The chicken parmigiana sandwich was served on a simple white plastic plate with a piece of wax paper. After a 25 minute wait I expected an amazing sandwich and took a bite. The roll had not been cut in half, but rather had been made into a pocked by just slicing the front edge. Inside breaded chicken strips were covered with mozzarella cheese. There was a light dusting of sauce between the chicken and cheese. The bread had been toasted and gave a decent crunch. Due to the minimalistic splash of sauce however, the sandwich was very dry. The cheese also had not been completely melted. I was disappointed.
By the time I finished my sandwich my mouth was parched. I put the plate on top of the trashcan and walked out the door. Before heading back onto the highway I stopped by a minute market and grabbed a large water. When I first saw the sign I had been excited to try 484 New York Style Pizza, but due to the long wait and the sub-par sandwich I will not be back.
Sweet Tea & Bourbon’s Rating: