A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from July 06, 2021
Palermo Pizza (Palermo Slice)

A “Palermo slice” (Palermo pizza) is a version of the Sicilian pizza slice that is sold at Famous Ben’s Pizza and Krispy Pizza in the New York City area. The Palermo slice is a variation on sfincione that is popular in Palermo. Sicily. A 2021 article in La Cucina Italiana stated, “Nowadays, it’s (sfincione—ed.) topped with tomato sauce, but the original version was complete with anchovies, sliced tuma (Sicilian cheese made from raw sheep’s milk), breadcrumbs with grated pecorino cheese, onions, salt, and extra-virgin olive oil.”

Food critic Robert Sietsema described the Palermo slice at Famous Ben’s Pizza for Eater—New York on July 7, 2021:

“A lovely chestnut brown in color, the top is paved with a thick topping of olive-oiled and browned bread crumbs with a coarse puree of onions underneath. If you’re a fan of onions, this slice ($4.25) shines. Why bread crumbs? Supposedly, in Sicily, where pastas are often dressed with bread crumbs, they were sometimes considered a substitute for the dried cheeses like Romano and Parmesan that were enjoyed with abandon in other parts of Italy.”


Famous Ben’s Pizza
Reviews
“The Polermo slice is cause for concern. For me, there are slices all over the city that I will get, just if i’m in the area, but few I’ll travel for. One is Ben’s Polermo slice. It’s delicious, crispy, oily, sort of light too.. For those of you complaining, just don’t order the regular slice at Ben’s. The tomato and olive sicilian is also great. PS. If you don’t like surly Italian’s serving you pizza, Go Somewhere Else, because what you call surly, I call character. New York should be a little gritty. I like it that way.” Heather G., Los Angeles.

Krispy Pizza
Palermo Pizza
This Pizza Comes Only As A Square. This Pie Has A Bottom Layer Of Fresh Mozzarella Cheese Slices And Topped With Pizetta Sauce/Sweet Onion Sauce, Oregano and Grated Cheese.

Google Groups: nyc.food
New York Pizza
Peter
Nov 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM
I like Ben’s in Soho. The Palermo slice (w/ breadcrumbs) is very tasty.

Google Groups: nyc.food
Cheese slice
Peter
Feb 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM
Ben’s Pizzeria in Soho has excellent pizza by the slice. I believe it’s on the corner of Prince and McDougal (not sure). I know you requested cheese pizza, but Ben’s Palermo slice (breadcrumbs) is truly wonderful.

Twitter
David Drake
@DavidDrakeNYC
Here with @justinsiegelnyc having a Palermo slice #soho (@ Ben’s Pizza w/ @justinsiegelnyc) http://4sq.com/5TDIiJ
5:19 PM · Apr 27, 2010·Foursquare

Twitter
Alltop Food
@Alltop_food
Daily Slice: Palermo Slice from Krispy Pizza in Brooklyn http://bit.ly/9UgnyD
11:37 AM · Oct 7, 2010·twitterfeed

Scott’s Pizza Tours
Sicilian Pizza vs. Pizza in Sicily
SCOTT WIENER
May 6, 2011
(...)
But the only pizzeria I have come across that offers a true-blue slice of Sicilian sfincione is Famous Ben’s of Soho – but they don’t call it sfincione. They don’t even call it Sicilian. Just look in the bottom shelf of the glass display case and you’ll see it clearly marked: Palermo.

Twitter
Philip Frantzis
@_X0MBI_
Famous Ben’s Pizza on #Yelp: Don’t overlook the seemingly simple Palermo slice. Deeelicious! http://bit.ly/qmK82K
1:27 PM · Jul 29, 2011·Yelp

Twitter
Scott’s Pizza Tours
@scottspizzatour
Nice spread at Krispy Pizza in Bensonhurst. Palermo slice is SUPER sweet in the sauce dept. http://yfrog.com/h3b2izxj
11:44 PM · Aug 16, 2011·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Erika Strum
@Strumerika
Lives up to the legend! Palermo slice had awesome crunch, crumbly bread crumbs… Next up artichoke slice smile http://4sq.com/rCh51F
2:27 PM · Nov 20, 2011·Foursquare

Twitter
Steven
@The_Steven_Ho
Palermo slice at Famous Ben’s is to die for
2:09 PM · Dec 19, 2012·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
𝕄𝕀𝕂𝔼 𝕎𝕀ℕ𝕊𝕋𝕆ℕ
@WinstonGFX
I liked this slice even better. The bottom is thick and spongy like a Sicilian style… (Palermo Pizza @ Ben’s Pizza) http://foodspotting.com/reviews/3296718
4:46 PM · Mar 18, 2013·Foodspotting

Twitter
Trace ⧖
@agentmule
The Palermo slice at Famous Ben’s in Soho remains one of my fav NYC things.
9:24 PM · Aug 25, 2014·Echofon Android

Twitter
Sid
@totalhypebeast
Yea sex is great and all but have you had Palermo pizza from Famous Ben’s
9:25 PM · Jul 20, 2018·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Cute Animals & Food
@Cute_and_Food
“"Palermo" slice and grandma slice from Famous Ben’s in NYC” via #Pizza Subreddit - Courtesy of lasagnazagnaza
3:26 AM · Jul 25, 2018·IFTTT

Twitter
Michael W. ✈
@MichaelWTravels
The Palermo slice at Famous Ben’s of SoHo was interesting.
This Sicilian has an interstig, herby flavor due to the oniony sauce and loads of breadcrumbs.
Kim… https://instagram.com/michaelwtravelsfood/p/BuZnFK9B5wQ/?utm_source=ig_twitter_share&igshid=1y12sorx3qewa
4:22 PM · Feb 27, 2019 from Manhattan, NY·Instagram

The Pizza Cowboy
Apr 20, 2019
Soho Sfincione That’s Better Than the Standard Slice
I’d been to Famous Ben’s Pizza ages ago, but missed their Palermo slice, a take on the Sicilian sfincione breadcrumb pie. Spotted it on @michaelwtravelsfood and intrigued by the sheer thickness of the breadcrumb layer, I swung by.
(...)
Famous Ben’s breadcrumb topping is super oniony.

La Cucina Italiana
Sfincione – The Original Sicilian-Style Pizza
by Salvatore Spatafora
March 21, 2021
(...)
This pizza most refer to as “Sicilian” is actually derived from sfincione, a street food synonymous with Palermo, Sicily’s capital. Nowadays, it’s topped with tomato sauce, but the original version was complete with anchovies, sliced tuma (Sicilian cheese made from raw sheep’s milk), breadcrumbs with grated pecorino cheese, onions, salt, and extra-virgin olive oil.

It originated in Bagheria, a town in the commune of Palermo that’s around six miles from the city center.

Eater—New York
19 Restaurants That Prove Soho Offers More Than Just Pricey Shopping
A tourist favorite, NYC’s Soho has a number of great restaurants to rival its retailers and art galleries

by Robert Sietsema May 21, 2021, 4:59pm EDT
(...)
8. Famous Ben’s Pizza
177 Spring St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 966-4494
Since 1977, when this corner of Soho was still largely Italian and Portuguese, Ben’s has been slinging pizza at the corner of Thompson and Spring. The array displayed behind the glass sneeze guard is impressive in its number of choices, but go for any of the thick, square Sicilian slices, which is what Ben’s does best. The sweet Palermo slice is heaped with olive-oiled bread crumbs and caramelized onions, and is available almost nowhere else in town, reflecting the style of snacking in Palermo, Sicily’s capital.

Eater—New York
The Breadcrumb-Topped Palermo Slice at Famous Ben’s Is an Under-the-Radar Masterpiece
A Soho mainstay serves several versions of Sicilian pies that deserve more attention from pizza-loving New Yorkers

by Robert Sietsema Jul 7, 2021, 12:36pm EDT
(...)
The slice called Palermo — named after the Sicilian capital — was especially remarkable. A lovely chestnut brown in color, the top is paved with a thick topping of olive-oiled and browned bread crumbs with a coarse puree of onions underneath. If you’re a fan of onions, this slice ($4.25) shines. Why bread crumbs? Supposedly, in Sicily, where pastas are often dressed with bread crumbs, they were sometimes considered a substitute for the dried cheeses like Romano and Parmesan that were enjoyed with abandon in other parts of Italy.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Tuesday, July 06, 2021 • Permalink