Yesterday, we learned that Flatiron eatery Bravo Pizza had joined an unfortunate number of others in co-opting the September 11th terrorist attacks to boost sale: the chainlet's 19th Street location was serving up slices of "Ground Zero Deep Dish" pizza, apparently oblivious to the tone deafness one might infer from naming a pie after an attack that killed nearly 3,000 people. But now, the pizza's been removed from the menu, and the location's owner has apologized.
Mike Steinberg, who told us yesterday that he was "thinking about taking that off, because I don't know if we should put that on," told the Daily News that "we took it off the menu because we didn't want to offend people," and that the decision to put it on the menu in the first place "was an error." Steinberg did not respond to our request for updated comment.
But as he explained to us yesterday, the pizzeria is in the the midst of a rebranding and expansion, and will soon be renamed Big Slice of New York. Accordingly, the pies will also be renamed after New York references—others include Empire State Buffalo Chicken and SoHo BBQ Chicken. The "Ground Zero Deep Dish" wasn't an official menu item yet: Steinberg said yesterday that "those aren't the names exactly, it's trial and error. I don't want anybody to take it the wrong way, so that's why I'm probably going to change it."
And so he has.
The pizzeria attracts a lot of tourists, and the manager told the News that most of the customers who came in while they were serving the unfortunately-named pie weren't offended. But for the New Yorkers patronizing the restaurant, that pie's name didn't come off as particularly clever.
"Surely there were other options," one customer told the tabloid, adding, "I had a friend who lost his dad that day."
We all make mistakes, and in the grand scheme of things, an insensitively-named pizza pie isn't the worst thing anyone's ever done. But next time anyone out there is trying to come up with a pithy name for a food item, simply ask yourself: does this make reference to a tragic terrorist attack that killed thousands and traumatized an entire city? Yes? Then perhaps spend just a few more minutes brainstorming, and surely something even snappier will come along.