Giuseppe'sManhattan truly is the home of the generically named pizza joint. They dot the eastside from the Bowery to the upper reaches of the UES. They generally have some vaguely Italian name and feature the long, glass counter coated in cheese grease and fingerprints. The formula is not necessarily a bad one, but certainly a tired one. Cold pies lay like cardboard Frisbees just waiting to be refreshed by one of those huge pizza ovens. The fountain soda machine sits there unused, and always in some state of disrepair. I guess orange Fanta just isn’t the draw it once was. The owner is most likely still smarting over that purchase. Giuseppe’s fits in this category of restaurant like it was born to be mediocre. It just feels like there’s some huckster out there selling non-descript pizza franchises–and our friend G-man was there waiting in line, hopping up and down with his fistful of hundreds with the rest of the unimaginative underachievers. I guess when it comes down to it, we don’t patronize these places for their ambience. And that just leaves the food. I’ll take a ho-hum chicken roll to go–and step on it; I’m getting depressed. [MF]

341 Lexington Ave.