By Heidi Evans
Pizza has been very good to Inwood’s John Kambouris.
The 66-year-old Greek immigrant was able to buy a slice of the American pie with his dough – he put three kids through college and bought a house – working seven days a week.
And last week, his Dyckman Street pizzeria received an honor that most New York pizza joints would kill for.
Kambouris’ Pizza Palace was rated among the top five slices of all 362 pizza places in Manhattan by “The Slice Harvester”, aka Colin Hagendorf who spent the last two years sampling every cheese slice in town.
“This slice has thicker dough and more cheese than I generally prefer in a slice, but they were perfectly balanced so that every bite was a delight, ” wrote Hagendorf in his review.
“It was such a nice surprise,” said Kambouris, from behind the counter, where he serves up about 500 pies a week in his five-table storefront that is right out of a Spike Lee movie. “There is so much competition in the city- and three or four around me right here.”
The clean and cozy pizzeria in the middle of the busy uptown thoroughfare has been in the same location at 121 Dyckman St. for 65 years.
Kambouris took over from two brothers in 1985 after owning a little coffee shop a block away on Sherman Ave in the 1970s. When one of the brothers said, “John, why don’t you come and buy my share?” he said yes, And the rest, as they say, is a slice of uptown history.
“All my life I have been on Dyckman Street,” said Kambouris, the sunny and warm proprietor who left Greece when he was 23 to make a life in New York. His first job was as a dishwasher at Dyckman House cafeteria.