Foot traffic blessed as it may be, Times Square has long been one of NYC’s most notorious food deserts; unless you’re really lusting after a fast food chain burger, chicken bucket, or 99-cent slice. Yet UrbanSpace has successfully transformed thoroughfares of devoid-of-character districts, into veritable hubs of plucky micro-businesses, selling one-of-a-kind eats.
And one of their newest ventures, TSQ Market, provides especial incentive to brave the Broadway crowds. Because amongst their slate of familiar, regular vendors (Nuchas, Two Tablespoons, Wafels & Dinges), it’s hard to miss the shipping container dominated by a gorgeous rock stone oven, and oblong slices of intriguing, non-marinara pies.
That would be Rock Pizza Scissors, a kiosk that recently opened quite without fanfare, despite the stellar culinary credentials of the man in charge. Because while such markets are often used as entry level exposure, for young guns that haven’t yet operated a brick-and-mortar business, owner Gadi Peleg is already plenty savvy; being a primary partner behind the beloved Breads Bakery, and the recently opened, Israeli celebrity chef-run restaurant, Nur.
While a low key pizza venture may seem out of the box for Peleg, the project actually hits close to home, by combining his passion for Middle Eastern ingredients, with a proven appreciation of dough. Made in traditional Roman fashion, the thin-crusted pies are coaxed into rectangles, divided with scissors, and sold by the section (around $7) or slab (averaging $21). And while tomato and torn mozzarella is one of the options, most toppings are inspired by daily obtained provisions from the greenmarket, as well as exotic flavors from abroad; think the “White” with ricotta, gouda and za’atar, “Vegetable” featuring everything from radishes and microgreens to ramps, and “Shakshuka;” made with a base of tomato matbucha, and topped with a runny fried egg.
Goodness knows, Times Square sure has more to offer New York nowadays, than a 99-cent slice.
Rock Pizza Scissors
Broadway between 42nd and 43rd Streets