Two of my favorite movie theaters in Manhattan—stadium seating, plenty of leg room, excellent sound, a few monster-sized screens among the 38 total—happen to be across the street from each other in one of my least favorite parts of town, 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues.
When you're inside the theaters, it's all good. Outside? Yeah... not really. And if you need to grab a quick bite before your show—a not unusual situation, and one that Bo, Co and I found ourselves in last Saturday evening—then what? Are you going eat at McDonalds? Yoshinoya? How about, god forbid, Chevy's?! I've tried them all, to much intestinal discomfort.
Enter Villa Pizza, which serves up surprisingly good and satisfying slices, both thick "Sicilian" style as well as regular NYC foldables, right on the corner of 8th and the Deuce. I've now eaten here several times since last winter and the pizza's been consistently decent (pizzafficiando Debbie was the one who first suggested it, and also gave it her approval): the Sicilian has a pleasing crunch, the regular is not too greasy; the ingredients are fairly well balanced and actually have some flavor; the sauce is not too sweet, not too garlicky; the place seems busy enough that you needn't fear the meat slices, which actually have a nice, safe spicy-ness to them.
The atmosphere is as unlovely as you'd expect—and not helped by the inevitable flies that come through the wide-open front door—but the food-court sensibility and cafeteria-style service definitely provide for a speedy meal. In other words, this restaurant knows its job, and it does it well.
Villa Pizza is on the corner of 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue. Sicilian slices, with toppings, cost around $4. They also serve steam-table things like pasta and chicken wings, as well as make-your-own salads, but I have never felt the urge to go there. The two movie theaters mentioned are the AMC Empire 25 and the Regal E-Walk Stadium 13, both of which are right nearby on 42nd St.