Mastro Pizza

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sunnyside up
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2006/04/14 08:44:39 (permalink)

Mastro Pizza

Does anyone remember Mastro Pizza at the 64/65 NY world's Fair?
#1

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    Sundancer7
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    RE: Mastro Pizza 2006/04/14 09:12:50 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by sunnyside up

    Does anyone remember Mastro Pizza at the 64/65 NY world's Fair?


    That takes me back a while. I was doing some post graduate work at Ortho Pharma in Raritan, NJ and staying at Princeton, NJ in 1964. Since Princeton was not too far from NYC, I visited the fair. I did have pizza there and it very well have been at Mastro. That was 42 years ago.

    I drove a brand new 1964 Oldsmobile 442 that was red on the trip. What a blast.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN

    #2
    David_NYC
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    RE: Mastro Pizza 2006/04/16 21:47:18 (permalink)
    Can you believe 40 years have passed? Yes, I remember Mastro pizza. Had no money to get into the fair, so I snuck in under the fence along the Long Island Expressway. Pizza at Mastro Pizza was only 25 cents a slice, possibly more toward the end of the fair. For years I have been trying to find a pizza joint to replicate the product put out by Mastro, and the closest I have found is by the mini-chain of Little Vincent's in Lake Ronkonkoma and Huntington, Long Island, New York.

    Two years ago, I found a few web sites devoted to the 64-65 New York World's Fair. One of the contributors was Mr. Vincent S. Mastro, son of Vincent Mastro, owner of Mastro pizza at the time. Vinent S. Mastro's father died at a very early age, probably causing Mastro Pizza to go out of business. His web contibutions were enormous, including streaming video of a slide show shown at the Mastro Pizza pavilion. I never copied the URL's, but these sites have info on Mastro:
    http://64nywf65.20m.com/The%20Carousel.htm
    http://www.nywf64.com/
    Vincent S. Mastro also posted on this forum under the screen name of vangelo:
    http://www.peacethroughunderstanding.org/
    This is now a registration-required website, and I have not been back since.

    Hopefully Vincent S. Mastro will find his way to this forum.
    #3
    David_NYC
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    RE: Mastro Pizza 2006/04/16 22:20:45 (permalink)
    First, I wish to correct an error I made in the previous post. The poster to the internet forums is Mr. Vincent A. Mastro, son of Mr. Vincent S. Mastro, who ran Mastro Pizza at the time of the 64-65 World's Fair.

    In 2000, I used to go to this lunch joint in lower Manhattan, New York City. There was a counterman in his mid 50's who told me he worked at the Mastro Pizza pavilion. I asked him if there was a secret to the pizza they made at Mastro Pizza, but he didn't remember any. (This is before I discovered Little Vincents.) He was one of many young Italian immigrants who worked at Mastro Pizza. At the lunch joint in 2000, most of the young workers were Mexican.

    Back in 1964, neighborhood pizza joints were just starting to sprout up in New York City outside of heavily Italian neightborhoods. Mastro Pizza comes into this equation because Vincent A. Mastro's grandfather got a patent for a pizza oven. They also had a restaurant equipment business on New York's Bowery, where you had block after block of mostly restaurant equipment businesses.

    Just found this link for pix of the Mastro Pavilion:
    http://www.billcotter.com/misc/mastro-1.jpg
    http://www.billcotter.com/misc/mastro-2.jpg
    http://www.billcotter.com/misc/mastro-3.jpg
    #4
    marc.williams
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    RE: Mastro Pizza 2006/04/17 10:59:49 (permalink)
    quote:
    http://www.peacethroughunderstanding.org/
    This is now a registration-required website, and I have not been back since.


    We don't require registration to read the forums but do require it to post replies or start topics.

    Marc Williams
    http://www.peacethroughunderstanding.org/
    #5
    marc.williams
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    RE: Mastro Pizza 2006/04/17 21:43:32 (permalink)
    quote:
    Hopefully Vincent S. Mastro will find his way to this forum.


    I just heard back from Vinnie today. He says he hasn't had a lot of time for the forums but will try to visit soon.

    I'll let him know about the Road Food Forums.

    Marc Williams
    http://www.peacethroughunderstanding.org
    #6
    Zman
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    RE: Mastro Pizza 2006/04/18 02:09:47 (permalink)
    quote:
    I drove a brand new 1964 Oldsmobile 442 that was red on the trip.

    Are you sure the 442 model was available in '64??
    I remember the 442 coming out in '67 or'68... (just curious.)
    Zman
    perhaps it was a Cutlass, or ???
    #7
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Mastro Pizza 2006/04/18 06:12:13 (permalink)
    Actually Zman, I am not positive. I bought it new, it had four in the floor, four barrel, dual exhaust, two door with red and bucket seats. I think the third attachment does validate it was available.

    Attached is a parts list and it does mention "emblems for 1964 442

    https://www.opgi.com/GateOlds4.asp

    https://www.opgi.com/GateOlds4.asp

    The info on this page was taken from a 1964 September issue of Motor Trend magazine

    http://members.aol.com/drink2mny/olds2.html


    Z, I am pretty sure it was a 442. After all, it was 42 years ago when I bought it. I know I paid extra for what I thought was a 442. A long story goes along with it and if we ever are together, I will tell you about it.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #8
    arthurg
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    RE: Mastro Pizza 2008/10/19 14:09:17 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by sunnyside up

    Does anyone remember Mastro Pizza at the 64/65 NY world's Fair?


    Yes I'm related to them.
    Frank Mastromauro invented the first gas pizza oven. Many of us remember the Mastro ovens in most of the pizza places.
    He was the brother of my grandmother. Frank and his wife Gracie ran a restaurant equipment store in Manhattan on the Bowery.
    His son I knew as Sonny opened the Pizza King in the Worlds Fair.
    Unfortunately the business went bankrupt and he past away at an early age. I last seen my aunt Grace at a family reunion paid for by her daughter Mary at a place in Red Bank New Jersey back in the 70's. I spoke to Mary shortly before she past away.
    #9
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Mastro Pizza 2008/10/19 17:04:15 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by sunnyside up

    Does anyone remember Mastro Pizza at the 64/65 NY world's Fair?

    I remember the World's Fair of 1939-40. I swallowed a tooth eating a hot dog while watching Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. I don't recall any fair in 1964.
    #10
    ann peeples
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    RE: Mastro Pizza 2008/10/19 17:19:02 (permalink)
    There was definately a Worlds Fair in 1964.I was 5 years old and had the best time of my life.The merry -go-round was so fast my Mom freaked out.I had a blast!!New York was a wonderful host, and I still have beads from that experiece!
    #11
    ann peeples
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    RE: Mastro Pizza 2008/10/19 17:20:10 (permalink)
    Sorry-, it may have been 65-66.The neatest thing I have is a carnival glass from my great grandmother-Daisy Cochran, etched on the glass, from the 1898 Worlds State fair.Truly a treasure!
    #12
    joerogo
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    RE: Mastro Pizza 2008/10/19 17:24:59 (permalink)
    You were right the first time Ann, 1964.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1964_New_York_World%27s_Fair

    arthurg, Thanks for the info and welcome to Roadfood.

    EDIT: Remember The Observatory Towers from the Men in Black movie.
    #13
    arthurg
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    RE: Mastro Pizza 2008/10/19 17:54:51 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

    quote:
    Originally posted by sunnyside up

    Does anyone remember Mastro Pizza at the 64/65 NY world's Fair?

    I remember the World's Fair of 1939-40. I swallowed a tooth eating a hot dog while watching Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. I don't recall any fair in 1964.


    Speaking about the 39 Worlds Fair, I met the couple who won the house of the future and they took me inside it in Whitestone
    #14
    maddyferr
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    RE: Mastro Pizza 2009/12/20 15:31:28 (permalink)
    Mastro Pizza at the 1964-1965 World's Fair was a pavillion that show cased our family's business Frank Mastro Inc. started by my father  originally in 1925.  It was a restaurant, hotel and institution supplies business. At that time, commercial pizza was baked only by the huge wall ovens usually found in bakeries, but many Italian housewives made pizza and focaccia at home in their gas fired ovens.  My father strove to find a gas and coal fired oven that could become an adjunct to an Italian restaurant so that pizza could become part of their menu.  He originally by himself added a gas line to a commercial wood and coal oven to see if he could be successful in creating a portable oven that could do the job.  He was indeed sucessful and so the Mastro pizza oven was born.  After many models later, and with his work with Blodgett oven, Brooklyn Union Gas and Robert Shaw Controls a totally gas fired portable commercial pizza oven was produced in the late thirties and early 1940's.  My father definitely knew what the outcome would be, because he said at that time that pizza would become as popular as the american hot dog.  To get to the point.  The secret of the pizza baked at the Mastro Pizza pavillion at the Fair was keeping the ovens at their properly controlled heat so the yeast in the dough was grabbed at the right time to produce that puffy outer core and crisp center.  The recipe was basically my grandmother"s made in 100lb batches.  What was showcased at the Fair
    was this dough which had been frozen and which was to be used in my brother, Vincent Mastro's new franchises "Pizza Plaza".  Unfortunately my brother Vincent died in November just as the Fair had closed and all of my father's and mother's dreams died with him.  My father had died previously in l957 at age 59, my brother followed at age 33.  Would the world of pizza be the same today were it not be for these two people Probably because pizza made properly is almost the perfect food, someone would have found a way to commercialize it.  But my dad's dedication to his profession and customers certainly brought it much sooner to fruition.
    #15
    Russ Jackson
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    RE: Mastro Pizza 2009/12/20 15:43:05 (permalink)
    I thank you and your family. Without Pizza I would not be a complete man...Russ

    Too bad an entire generation has almost no idea what the perfect food should taste like.
    #16
    David_NYC
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    RE: Mastro Pizza 2009/12/22 13:31:57 (permalink)
    Maddyferr, Welcome to Roadfood and thank you for the history of the invention of the Blodgett deck oven. I think many of the good pizza joints in the NYC Metro Area still use a version of that Blodgett oven, even though they have names such as Bari, etc. I think the great reputation of New York pizza has a lot to do with these ovens and with the other innovations developed by your family. Those conveyor pizza ovens are no where as good.

    To this day, I still think the Mastro pizza I had at the World's Fair was the best I ever had. As Russ Jackson noted, you just don't get that kind of pizza anymore. I'm pretty sure all vendors who supplied the ingredients for Mastro Pizza are no longer in business, as well. But, I would like to ask if you know of any pizza joints that still make a pie similar to what was served back in 1964-65? The closest I have found is from the Little Vincent's shops in Huntington and Lake Ronkonkoma, Long Island.
    #17
    ffneodoc
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    RE: Mastro Pizza 2011/06/12 15:32:44 (permalink)
    #18
    ffneodoc
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    RE: Mastro Pizza 2011/06/12 15:36:04 (permalink)
    I posted the Link to our youtube Video if anyone in interested at Let Me know about any comments: Frank (Mastro) Ferrentino

     
    #19
    David_NYC
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    RE: Mastro Pizza 2011/06/14 11:47:01 (permalink)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8g4DxKsuik
    Welcome, Frank. Sorry about the anti-spam feature of our board; it blocks out URL's until a new member has reached a certan number of posts. It does, however, keep out the spammers who post links to scareware sites.
     
    I found the slideshow fascinating. I remember seeing the brown and cream colored trucks of Falcone Dairy Products of Brooklyn. That Pizza Plaza pizzeria on 42nd Street was there until the block was gentrified. It was a scary place on Friday and Saturday nights. Schlitz used to have a brewery in Brooklyn. There are also some interesting slides of the Mastro pavilion, showing the large numbers of ovens, pizza makers, and customers. The youtube video is a conversion of a slideshow made in the 60's. These systems used a narrative recording (mag tape, IIRC) that had a audible cue tone. The tone would cause a slide projector to advance to the next slide.
     
    I'd like to invite Frank to share his reminiscences of Mastro Pizza.
     
     
    #20
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