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thereuare

Pizza in New Jersey

295 posts in this topic

I LOVE pizza, and it's one of the advantages of living in the tri-state area.  If you've ever lived/traveled outside of the tri-state area, you'll know that they consider Pizza Hut, Little Caesars, and Dominos to be pizza (i consider these to be the McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's of pizza).

So when you want a good "pie", where do you go?  These are some of my favorites:

Kinchley's in Mahwah/Ramsey

Benny Tudino's (only get slices or a "house pie") in Hoboken

Grimaldi's (Brooklyn is best, but Hoboken will simply "do")

John's Pizza in NYC (any location)

Tomorrow nite i'm trying L&B Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn.

Others (mostly in NY) on the list that i need to get to are:

Crosby's in Bronx

Nick's in Forest Hills

Denino's on Staten Island

Nunzio's on Staten Island

Nellie's in Waldwick

New Park Tavern in East Rutherford

????? in Trenton (don't remeber the name, but if you know a great pizza place in Trenton, that's the one)

Been to Pepe's in CT and although good, was somewhat unimpressed.

Anybody have their own favorites, or comments on any of the ones mentioned.

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Kinchley's is one that a lot of folks don't know about.  It's in the middle of nowhere, but pretty darn good.

Any of the "Patsy" spinoffs are at least tolerable---whether they are named Grimaldi's or Patsy's or Brooklyn's Brick Oven Pizza (that's the one in Hackensack, NJ) they are all using a similar approach, even if years of lawsuits soured everyone on all of them.

Speaking of lawsuits... I've never been impressed with ANY of the many NY Pizzarias named with some variation of the name "Ray".  Who cares which one is the real original when they all suck.

Of the mass-market chains, I've only had passable pizza at were Pizzaria Uno and Papa John's.  The worst of the lot, of course, are Dominoes (shudder) and Chuck E. Cheese (the pizza business invented by the guy who started Atari, simply to get people to play games while they waited for their sucky pizza).

Fat Guy, somewhere on his website, has some kind of NY Pizza roundup, if I remember correctly.  I don't know if anyone asociated with eGullet has ever done a NJ roundup though.


Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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i really don't like pizza but....

that said if i want bread crumb pie i go to pies on

plain cheese pie it is frank's and, of course for my husband

i make my own pie with thin cut/sauteed yellow and red peppers, ham, italian sausage, tomatoes, olives, artichoke hearts, and fresh basil(he is lactose intolerant). i also echo the herbs with oregano/basil and garlic powder incorporated into the dough.


Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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Rosie,

Where in Bayonne is pizza masters? (cross street)  If you "know" Bayonne, i also just read about Pompei's and Franco's.... any word on those (although Pizza Masters is obviously your first choice)

When i head to Bklyn tomorrow, i think i'll take the Bayonne Bridge, so maybe get a slice to hold me over? (or is it not a slice place?)  I never knew Bayonne had decent pizza.

I've read Fat Guy's pizza section, and L&B is mentioned on it, as well as many of the others i've listed.  He seems to recommend all the places he includes on the list, but the write-ups seem to complain that none of the places are "like they used to be."

(Edited by thereuare at 12:28 am on Nov. 2, 2001)

(Edited by thereuare at 12:36 am on Nov. 2, 2001)

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Pizza Master's is a slice place. 532 Broadway. I also like their foccacia sandwiches.


Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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Brooklyn's Pizza in hackensack is by far my favorite.  of course, not everyone appreciates that style of pie, but it's the tops for me.

Grimaldi's in hoboken, which is another distant cousin of the original patsy's is about 20 notches below Brooklyn's, but still better than most of the offerings in hoboken.

hoboken's bennies serves that huge slice, and their pizza always tastes much better at the restaurant than delivered.  i'm convinced it's different pizza when it's delivered.

went to Patsy's on 3rd ave in NYC yesterday.  decent enough.  another distant relative, or so they imply, of the original.

in NYC, there's a place on 49th btwn lex and 3rd called La Bellezza.  it's some of the best pizza i've had in NYC.  thin crust, great taste.  yummy.  highly recommended.

NYC pizza overall is just completely horrible.  you really have to know where you're going.

BTW, does anyone know if the "Brooklyn's" in edgewater is related directly to the hackensack outlet?

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Ralph's Pizzeria in Nutley is amazing! Friday nights there is close to an hour wait for a pie - take out!!! By far the tops in a town loaded with very good pizza joints.  Another good one is The Reservoir Tavern in Parsippany.


A.D.S.

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Tommy,

Don't know if the "Brooklyn's" in Edgewater is the one by the strip mall which has a Barnes and Noble, Pathmark, Target, etc.  If that's the one you are refering to, i believe it is a Cosmo's Brick Oven Pizza, which also has a location at Newport Center Mall.  I ate at the one in Edgewater when they first opened about 2 years ago.  The pizza was tasty and "typical" brick oven fare, but i got sick later that evening, so we haven't been back.

Re: Benny's in Hoboken, their pizza tastes different if you get a slice or if you get a pie (still can't figure THAT one out yet!).  That's why the best bet there is to get a slice (and try to get it when it first comes out of the oven, as the pizza is so thin that they don't like to reheat slices since it often doesn't "hold up" and makes a mess of their oven) OR order a house pie (which is the same as their "slice pie"... with no discount for buying it as a pie i might add!)

I think Brooklyn's in Hackensack is good, but IMO the best of that type is found at Grimaldi's under the Brooklyn Bridge (ok, maybe i get wrapped up in the line, the crowd, and the Sinatra music).

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Quote: from thereuare on 12:02 pm on Nov. 2, 2001

Don't know if the "Brooklyn's" in Edgewater is the one by the strip mall which has a Barnes and Noble, Pathmark, Target, etc.  If that's the one you are refering to, i believe it is a Cosmo's Brick Oven Pizza, which also has a location at Newport Center Mall

the one i'm thinking of (by mcdonalds in the strip mall that you're referring to) is in fact a "Brooklyn's Brick Oven Pizza."  i just called and the fellow said that it's the same owners as the one in hackensack.  

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My Trip to L&B Spumoni Gardens....

This place is like the "South of the Border" of Brooklyn.  It appears to be in the middle of no other business, and has lots of bright lights and neon in the front.  Quick review:

The pizza was just ok, simply because it was not hot enough (although i got out of line when i saw that they were nearing the end of a pie... we wanted the fresh stuff!!)  Well, they probably have other pies sitting under the counter and don't look towards the oven when they run out, as our pizza didn't really taste that fresh.  I had read to get the sicillian slice, which is served "upside down"... bread, cheese, sauce.  The sauce is REALLY what makes this pizza, as it has lots of flavor.

The real surprise of the evening was the spumoni.  I got chocolate, the fiancee got vanilla.  I've never had spumoni before (other than the tri-colored stuff that came out of the kitchen of an itilain restaurant when i was a kid) and this stuff is GOOD.  It's sort of ice cream, sort of italian ice, sort of ice cream again, sort of italian ice again.  The chocolate had little chips of chocolate in it, and the vanilla had some sort of vanilla bean in it.  They truly use quality ingredients in this stuff!

To sum it up, i wouldn't call this a "destination" pizza place, but would certainly stop by again when i'm passing through the area (and "the area" includes the Belt Parkway, which is a short distance away).

Also, on the way, i stopped at Pizza Master's in Bayonne.  Nice, decent, slice.  Great to have in the neighborhood, but nothing i would send others traveling for.

(Edited by thereuare at 12:38 am on Nov. 3, 2001)

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Quote: from tommy on 12:49 pm

i just called and the fellow said that it's the same owners as the one in hackensack.  

The placemats in the Hackensack location reveal this.  They tell a somewhat fictionalized story about how guys named Patsy throughout history did everything relevent to Pizza, and end with some bit about how the last of the famous Patsy's 3 nephews "continue his tradition" or some similar guff.  I think the implication is that each nephew opened a Brooklyn's Pizza somewhere in NJ.


Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Donna's in Palisades Park

and

Uncle Frank's in Dumont


Life is too important to be taken seriously.[br]Oscar Wilde

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This is about 40 miles south of the New Jersey/Joisey border so I'm not sure if it's allowed on the board :)

Bruno's in Haddonfield. The best sicilian pizza I've ever had.


Dum vivimus, vivamus!

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Brooklyn's Brick Oven pizza is now open in Ridgewood, along with hackensack and edgewater.  i tried it the other night, and it's just like what i remember from hackensack.  it's byo.  the best pizza in ridgewood no doubt.  much better than the "other" brick oven place, New York Pizza Factory.

i also remember that Kinchley's tavern on Franklin Turnpike in ramsey is pretty good.  haven't been there in probably 10 yrs though.

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Quote: from shugga on 1:50 pm on Nov. 3, 2001

Donna's in Palisades Park

and

Uncle Frank's in Dumont

Ooh! We've only had the hot subs from Uncle Frank's, but they were really good. Your post reminded me to go try their pizza soon.

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Kinchley's "pretty good"??

Some of the best crispy thin crust in the state!(IMO)

I am fortunate enough to have recently encountered  a group who go out and critique "destination" pizza places every other month or so.  Next month is my first tour with group, and we're heading to Nick's in Forest Hills, which has been on my list of things to do for far too long!

I'll be sure to report back afterwards!

I'm not sure if i posted on the NY thread or not, but last month i made a trip to Umberto's on Jericho Tpke, and had some very good sicilian.  Dough was thick, but also light and airy.  Not as good as Sac's in Astoria, but pretty good stuff (my fiance kept telling me to stop eating out of fear i'd be sick the rest of the night), as i insisted on ordering a whole sicilina pie for the 2 of us (don't worry, i brought SOME of it home).

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Couple of good pizza places in my town, Pequannock:  Pizzaman and Cosmo Bella.  Both have very good full menus too, with small BYO dining rooms.  There is also V&J Pizza on Rt 23 in Pompton Plains, in the A&P shopping Center, which seems to specialize in "I never would have thought of that!" toppings on pies.

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Quote: from thereuare on 7:28 pm on Dec. 27, 2001

Kinchley's "pretty good"??

Some of the best crispy thin crust in the state!(IMO)

i just noticed that you mentioned Kinchley's in your first post.  i only say 'pretty good' because it was so long ago!  and my taste buds weren't the perceptive machines that they are today when i was in my early 20's.  i probably didn't even know how good it was!

i see you mention grimaldi's in hoboken.  if you haven't already, i really really really suggest that you go to brooklyn's pizza in edgewater or hackensack.  simply blows grimaldi's away.  no comparison.  you owe it to yourself!

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I agree that Hackesack's Brooklyn is better than Hoboken's, but for convenience Grimaldi's in Hoboken isn't bad (and no line either, although i don't know if the Hackensack place still gets a line, it's been ~2 years since i've been there).  However, Brooklyn Grimaldi's (under the Brklyn Bridge) blows them both away.

I think i remember something about the owner in Hackensack and the owner of Hoboken's Grimaldis being relatives (cousins perhaps)... and no love lost between them.  But i could be wrong (and just starting a rumor).

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For those that acknowledge that there is indeed life south of New Brunswick, ( ok, a little end of the year sarcasm!)  Conte's in Princeton is the best, still serving thin crust tomato pies from the same worn tables and red leatherette chairs as when I was a kid, it's a 40 year old institution.  

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Quote: from thereuare on 1:45 pm on Dec. 28, 2001

I agree that Hackesack's Brooklyn is better than Hoboken's, but for convenience Grimaldi's in Hoboken isn't

of course. it became the only pizza place i ordered from when in hoboken.  and there is truth to the ole "relative" story.  i don't think any love is lost btwn anyone in that family when it comes to restaurants.  i just wish they could all be good.  

as an aside, not many ppl use "~" to imply "approximately".  color me impressed.

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i went back to Kinchely's last night (586 N. Frankling Turnpike in Ramsey) after a 10 year hiatus.  wow, it was just as good as i remembered.

the thin crust pizza is delicious.  it's tough to compare it to anything else, even my favorite Brooklyn's Pizza.  it's a pub atmosphere, but can be lots of fun if that's the mood you're in.

as an aside, the pizza reminded me a bit of the bar pies at Lady Janes in hoboken (14th and hudson).  i forgot just how good those bar pies at lady jane's are!

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Tommy (and others)....

Don't know how long you've been in the "north Jersey" area, but Kinchley's reminds me of a place my family used to take me to when i was a kid, called Nola's (in Emerson, NJ).  They had the greatest thin crust pizza!  

Does anybody remember this place?  Not only did they have great pizza, but they were good people.  Lou, the chef/owner/pizza maker would always come out of the kitchen and give me and my sister rolls of Lifesavers... we loved him!  He'd also take me (~6 years old) into the kitchen, which, even at that early age, i thought was VERY cool.

Another place which supposedly has similar pizza is Nellie's in Waldwick, but i've yet to go there (a promise to myself for 2002?).  I already have plans to try DiFara's in Brooklyn next month!

Kim,

About a month ago I visited my sister in that area and took my fiancee for lunch in Princeton.  I asked my sister where to eat and she sent us to some "local" place that was simple, and just "ok."  It's an old place and is downstairs/underground if that helps you at all.

Last week i asked her about Conte's (as i had read about it on another board) and she says "Oh, that place is great!"  I replied, "So why didn't you mention that to me when i asked you for lunch recomendations last month?"  Her only response was WHOOPS! (and she couldn't believe i knew about it)

I properly admonished her and forewarned her to remind me to go there next time i'm in town!

Tommy, maybe a quick drink next week to toast the New Year? (i don't know the wine places in town though.. as i know how much you like the grape :)

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Quote: from thereuare on 1:44 pm on Dec. 31, 2001

Tommy, maybe a quick drink next week to toast the New Year? (i don't know the wine places in town though.. as i know how much you like the grape :)

yup, i'm a big fan of most grapes.  email me through egullet if you're interested in meeting for a quick one.  i can't email you because egullet doesn't let me.  says i'm not logged on even though i am.  

(Edited by tommy at 1:47 pm on Jan. 2, 2002)

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