‘Pizza makes people happy’: LISTEN to Adam Elzer on feeding NYC’s COVID first-responders




by Will Pollockcontact Will

(ATLANTA/NEW YORK, 1 April 2020)

Even though Frank McGurrin wrote “Now is the time for good men to come to the aid of their country” as filler text in 1918 he was actually foreshadowing of Adam Elzer and Perry Rahbar.

Elzer and Rahbar founded Everyday Hospitality in 2015 without a clue they’d be crucial-relief heroes in a global pandemic, as New York City has become America’s Coronavirus epicenter. But Elzer tells me he’s doing what he can to help in a difficult situation for all: “The energy of complaining about it didn’t feel right to me.” Listen:






The push to get meals to first-responders took off quickly and even caught the attention of Elzer’s landlord, who released them from paying rent for 3 months and even donated to the cause.



Elzer initially threw up a link on Sauce Pizza’s website to buy pies directly for nurses and doctors, but overwhelming response on social media spurred him to set up a separate GoFundMe.

Sauce Pizzeria Loves NYC Hospitals” has raised just over $24,000 in 4 days as of this writing; 100% of funds go toward feeding front-line workers. Elzer told me a separate effort to support his bartenders and wait staff—60% of which he had to put on unpaid leave—will be coming later. He also mentioned that once his restaurants get back up and running laid-off staffers can all have their positions back.

‘There are 62 hospitals in New York City; we’re delivering to at least 35 of them’


Because of his repeated exposure to front-line workers Elzer told me he’s sequestered away from Ford, his six-year-old son. He likened that sacrifice to those front-line doctors and nurses who are also forced to live away from their families. But right now he’s solely focused on bringing relief to first-responders and the rest will get sorted in due time. Listen:




pizzaforgood-IBPAcover copy


“What’s going on and right now it’s pretty scary,” he said. “I’d rather not focus on the fear element but rather on how we’ll get through this. The way to do that is to open up your heart and be more supportive then you would have been before. To be a good friend. To spread more love versus anything else. That will be the most helpful way through.” 🍕

Rob Birdsong contributed to this post

Donate to “Sauce Pizzeria Loves NYC Hospitals” on GoFundMe and follow Adam Elzer on Instagram to keep up with happy faces getting fed



Will Pollocksideways is a perpetually crabby New York City escapee based in Midtown Atlanta. He’s a freelance multimedia journalist, media analyst and author of two books (award-wining Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way.

In 2001, Will earned his Masters from The Medill School of Journalism, graduating with highest honors from the magazine sequence. As permanent member of Journalism’s National Honors Society, he’s been active in monitoring, writing and blogging about media and journalism ever since he graduated.

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Trifle Cakes of the Mulberry and Chocolate Kind

Food Unlimited


Trifle Cakes of the Mulberry and Chocolate Kind

⅔ CUP (160ML) MILK


Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Place the milk, sugars and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Place the butter and chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat and stir frequently until melted and smooth.

Add the…

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Why I’m going dark on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram this weekend [UPDATED]

I’ll be doing a full recap of our event in San Diego, but for the time being…

Cranky Yank

SUMMARY: At what point do social-media giants start to become their own authoritarian states? The platforms where I’ve gone to learn and vent about Russia’s influence on our democracy have themselves been overtaken by a type of totalitarian addiction. And we only know about 5% of what’s actually happened. 

By being silent, I’m intending to show we will not be silenced.

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, among others, have all been implicated in the Trump-Russia investigation. Just today we learned Twitter received $800M in a “significant round of funding” from a Russian investment firm DST Global.


Facebook got a similar infusion from DST’s Russian Ka-jillionaire, Yury Milner, in 2009—magazines like Forbes have heaped “greatest living business mind” praise…

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EXCLUSIVE: PFG’s own Ethan Brown wins Fox’s ‘SuperHuman’

You could say that Ethan Brown is the “pi” of our eye.

It’s true—Ethan has for years been preaching the gospel of “Math is coolio, yo” and touring the country doing his magic square and giving talks to eager audiences. All this work culminated in winning the championship on Fox TV’s new show called SuperHuman.

What’s Ethan’s connection to Pizza for Good? Glad you asked. Chapter 3, Pi, is a profile of Ethan and his math and education advocacy—representing a pizza so incredibly unusual and tasty I won’t reprint it anywhere except in the pages of PFG. Yes, you have to buy it to find out. Picking up from the chapter itself:

Ethan is one of a handful of “mathemagicians,” as they’re called; he’s active, traveling the country performing and speaking; he even earned $30 doing a sidewalk show in Las Vegas. “I know kids will get up and do it for their school talent show,” he says, “but I decided to keep going forward. You won’t see a ton of mathemagicians like you do singers or actors.” And most artists are not going to be winning any math competitions—at least not the artist-types I run with.
We gathered in Bethel, with his mother, Rachel, a gal pal of mine since high school—along with the rest of “The Brownies,” including Chris and Spencer—so we could craft our very own Pi pizza. In other words, if we turned this visit into a biography, it’d be called Ethan Brown Tosses His First-Ever Pi Pie.

A picture of “Pi” from our recent PFG event in Bethel benefitting DAWS.

The crazy concoction has a sweet-and-savory cherry-butter glaze that, when baked, caramelizes into a goodness that can only be felt by the palette, not described in words. Which makes sense, since mathematics has no generally accepted definition, according to Ethan.
“Mathematics is such a broad topic that it is impossible to make a definition apply to every single subtopic. One of the themes in my recent talks is that schools don’t give a broad math education, but rather focus it in on algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus. This makes students think that there is a strict definition of the topics included in mathematics, when there are actually many.”


Ethan received lots of press in advance of the show, and Facebook is abuzz with congratulations. Well-deserved ones, I might add. Way to go Ethie! 🔵

(Writer’s note: Ethan’s project, The Sweaty Penguin, is an excellent satire blog bringing attention to climate change and global warming. Check it out! And watch the mini-doc about our first event below.)




Will Pollocksideways is an Atlanta-based freelance multimedia journalist focusing on pop-culture, politics, journalism & media, retail, real estate, travel, politics, and human interest. 

He is the author of two books (Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way. Sign up for the mailing list, follow on TwitterFacebook and Instagram—and check out the book links below.

Support independent authors, writers, artists, journalists, reporters and professionals. Buy a book, leave a review, start a discussion. Thank a reporter if you like a story you see or read. Our success as a nation depends on your engagement and involvement at every level.


Massive Success! Second ‘Pizza for Good’ in Bethel raises $1K for DAWS

We joined The Browns last weekend for a Pizza for Good party to raise money for DAWS—a local animal-welfare society. Our co-hosts Amy Platt & Tracy Brod helped greatly with behind-the-scenes work, and Will was assisted in the kitchen by incomparable sous chefs Chris, Ethan & Spencer Brown.


[BETHEL, CONN.] — Our sophomore Pizza for Good effort here in Bethel, Conn., was a fantastic success. Thanks to all who came out, donated and volunteered! This time around we were raising money (aka “Chowfunding“) for Danbury Animal Welfare Society—after all was said in done we made right around $1K for the group’s effort to care for area animals. Exact fund-raising total to follow shortly.

Meantime, we featured a number of great pizzas ripped right from the pages of PFG, including:

  • Pimento & Sissy: scratch-made pimento cheese
  • <head tilt> Bless Your Heart: peaches & prosciutto
  • Pi: cherry glaze, bacon & apple
  • Popeye & Olive Oil: sautéed spinach, lemon

I found a bottle of Soy Vey Hoisin marinade and made an asian-fusion chicken pizza out of it—very yum. Some of the tastier pies come from using up supplies from the fridge!

I was especially proud of a pizza I made on the side. It’s called “Prretty for Ze Prrom,” and it’s an homage to a night out that Rachel and I had before her prom. Dressed in formal wear, we went to our normal diner hangout on 79th and Broadway and ordered grilled cheese with bacon. The waitress came over and said “you look so prrrrety for ze prrrrom!” And that nickname stuck.

“Prrety for Ze Prrom”—an improvised pizza based on a visit to a NYC diner.

So to honor Rachel’s birthday, I made the pizza version of a grilled cheese with bacon. Par-bake your pizza dough and make sure to brush the outside of the top with either butter or egg wash (for crisping) and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. BOOM! We got ourselves a tasty grilled-cheese-bacon in the form a pizza.

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I heard lots of “oohing” and “ahhing” over the pies so it sounded like the hungry masses were psyched once again. My great thanks, as always, go out to the entire Brown family—Chris, Rachel, Ethan, Spencer & Waldo—for hosting! These parties give their host homes a beating so it’s always much appreciated.

Watch the quick recap video here, and if you haven’t scored your copy of PFG yet, please do. More to follow! 🔵



Will Pollocksideways is an Atlanta-based freelance multimedia journalist focusing on pop-culture, politics, journalism & media, retail, real estate, travel, politics, and human interest. 

He is the author of two books (Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way. Sign up for the mailing list, follow on TwitterFacebook and Instagram—and check out the book links below.

Make sure to comment often—cranky loves company. As a wholly independent news source, CrankyYank depends on your subscriptions, shares, comments and likes. If you’re enjoying CY, please consider telling a friend.

Support independent authors, writers, artists, journalists, reporters and professionals. Buy a book, leave a review, start a discussion. Thank a reporter if you like a story you see or read. Our success as a nation depends on your engagement and involvement at every level.

I’ve largely set aside my book promotion on Twitter to focus on crimes committed by the Trump administration. There are many other bloggers, pundits and journalists doing the same; make sure to support them at every turn. 




‘Pizza for Good’ in Bethel—Round Two!


We’re gathering today in Bethel for our 2nd Pizza for Good event—this time we’ll be raising funds for Danbury Animal Welfare Society (DAWS). For more than 40 years DAWS has been working in the community to enhance the lives of troubled animals and fostering the wellbeing of dogs and cats. DAWS launched in 1974 as small operation of improving the lives of animals at the Danbury pound to opening its own clinic and providing education to the surrounding area.

Our hosts are once again Rachel, Chris, Ethan & Spencer Brown. And best of all: today is Rachel’s birthday! So we’ll be celebrating her as we raise money for DAWS. Thank you SO much to all of our PFG in Bethel volunteers, too, who’ve pitched in big time to make sure the event is a big success.

Big thanks also go out to Perry Anastasakis & Famous Pizza for returning as our Doughnators. We have 30 rounds of scratch-made pizza dough thanks to them!

Please consider supporting DAWS and make sure to score your copy of Pizza for Good—as an enhanced eBook and in print! We’ll post event pics and recipes here later. ❏

@Mashable Asks: Is Pizza the New Resistance? @bywillpollock

New Zealand the country has always been a place I’ve wanted to visit. But it has a pizzeria that’s now on my must list.

Filadelfio’s Gardens created a pizza last week that spoof’s Donald Trump’s idea of a border wall with Mexico. In case you’d like to make it yourself: the pie is half Americana and half Mexican, with BBQ sauce chiseled the middle representing the wall. “Think we’ll call this one the ‘Trump,'” the post read. “Yes we’re open today.”

Resistance to Trump takes many forms these days, but to see it in a pizza is a great thing. Read the whole Mashable article here by Joseph Earp—and have a look at the history of pizza, here:




CrankyYank Vo. 50: [SPECIAL EDITION] Pizza-palooza on #NationalPizzaDay!

On National Pizza Day, we celebrate a dish that’s all about bringing people together. I should know. I wrote a book about it.

Source: CrankyYank Vo. 50: [SPECIAL EDITION] Pizza-palooza on #NationalPizzaDay!

Fighting cancer and for freedom of the press

This is an amazing read. highly recommended!

Isaac Avilucea

Whirlwind week. I wanted to give everyone an update, and hopefully, some relief after I was admitted to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in Hamilton last week.

I’m sure some of you heard the news in an article via The Daily Beast that touched on the prior restraint fight I’ve been involved with in New Jersey regarding my reporting on a 5-year-old kindergarten student in Trenton who was found with drugs twice at school in two months.

It had been shaping into a whopper of a fight featuring the state Attorney General, The Trentonian and me and had attracted the glare of the national and local media and the Society of Professional Journalists.

My focus had been squarely on that until last week, when I got sucker-punched with another cancer diagnosis. photo illustration.PNG

Since then, I have been put on a cocktail of drugs and have been run through a battery of…

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Best-ever Donations for San Diego Humane Society (RECAP)

dsc_0039We took PFG on the road again—and it paid off big time!

Our 2nd Annual Pizza for Good Party in support of San Diego Humane Society was a huge hit—great attendance and a record haul of nearly $1,500.

In addition to the many individual donations, we had a ton of support from the local community to make this record haul happen.


Dang Brother Pizza dough—excellent!

Dang Brother Pizza was our “dough-nation” sponsor. I’ve worked with a ton of dough over roughly 15 years as a pizza chef, and theirs was some of the best I’ve ever used. We paid exactly $0.00 for the base element of our creative pies, which helped us spend more money on toppings. Thanks guys!

Catalina Offshore Products donated use of a mobile Italia Mobile Pizza Oven by Camp Chef, not to mention supplying us with a Hawaiian fish called Opah. The fish formed the basis of our first-ever “San Diego Fish Taco,” and unusual and yummy pie that got rave reviews. Great thanks to Tommy Gomes (see below) for his support.


Important to be clear about our mission: supporting the great work of the San Diego Humane Society—in business since 1880. They work to reduce euthanasia of otherwise healthy animals, and by July 2015 reduced the number down to zero. (read the full history here)

Related: footage of the Dang Brother pizza-truck construction
and a tour of Catalina Offshore



MAKE SURE to patronize these businesses, because they’ve shown their support for our effort and, indirectly, SDHS. So, book a Dang Brother event or go online and get some amazing, sushi-grade fish and have it delivered from Catalina. With a name like that how could you go wrong?

With many, many thanks to all attendees, sponsors and volunteers—and of course our hosts, Wayne, Ed—Triscuit and I are looking forward to doing it all again in 2017! Mark your calendars now. ❏


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