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Lessons from Pops

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You might guess he was Italian from his formal name, Biagio Buffolino. Or maybe you’d get a clue from the name of his restaurant, “New York by the Slice Italian Restaurant.” If you still had any doubt, a tee shirt hanging on the wall of this restaurant might catch your eye. It read, “I’m not shouting, I’m Italian.”

Most of us didn’t know from Biagio. We called the man with the twinkling eyes and the suspenders, “Pops.” When you entered the door of his restaurant you were in for a treat. You were in for an experience where you and everyone around you ate great food and smiled a lot.

Let’s be clear. This is not the kind of restaurant where terms like “presentation” or “flavor profile” get thrown around. New York By The Slice is a restaurant where you got simple and delicious food in a joyful atmosphere.

The atmosphere radiated outward from Pops. He was always smiling. He gestured when he talked. If I was there to pick up an order to take home, we might trade some banter like two old boys from New York City. That’s where Pops opened his first pizza restaurant in 1974.

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