My Observations of the Pizza Outing:
The Brothers (Red Bank)
I thought it was about average for a thin-crust bar pie. Stylistically I prefer what Kinchley’s in Ramsey or what Nellie’s Place in Waldwick offers. The crust had no flavor and I thought it was actually dried out. I didn’t like the canned mushrooms although the sausage redeemed the pie somewhat. The sauce was unremarkable and the cheese at least didn’t offend me.
Sciortino’s (South Amboy)
The pie had a few good things going for it — I liked the fact that the cheese and sauce integrated well in a nice homogeneous, bubbly mass, the sausage was nice and even the pepperoni, of which I am not usually a fan of, added something to the enjoyment of the pie. Salty and Spicy toppings would do well on this particular pizza because of the sweet sauce, which I think was just a bit too sweet and started to venture dangerously close into Domino’s territory. The slices themselves were somewhat goopy and tended to flop over, a fork and knife is definitely required with this one. There was some nice crust char on the edges of the crust although the underside of the pizza was basically a uniform whitish-beige. Nice bottled and on tap beer list, any place that carries Boddington’s on tap sits right with me. Definitely a tavern/bar with a pizza with character.
Pizzatown USA (Elmwood Park)
This is a case where inconsistency and hastiness among impatient eaters can ruin a potentially awesome pizza experience. The pie came out piping hot, with the oils still floating on the surface of the cheese layer and the Munchmobile gang didn’t give that pie the appropriate resting period in order for the cheese and oil elements to re-congeal. In my opinion Pizza Town produces an excellent straightforward Bari or Vulcan steel-deck gas fired pie if you give the place a chance, give that pie some time to cool, and also hopefully are there on a day with the planets in proper alignment. I also think the night crew doesn’t rush the pizzas out the oven as fast as the day crew, the one we sampled was somewhat underdone and this may have contributed to it’s goopiness and inablilty for the pie to maintain proper cohesion. And whatever you think about the pies, there’s no denying how friggin’ awesome the deep fried calzones are. Perry from Hoboken411 and I are in agreement if you don’t like this place, there’s something seriously wrong with you.
Cafe Capri (East Rutherford)
If this place just took a little bit more care, these would be exceptional pizzas. They’re using good fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and good canned DOP San Marzano tomatoes. The problem is they aren’t letting the pie cook through enough on their wood-burning oven and this results in a uncooked layer between the sauce and the crust. They also need to season the crust more, and a bit of extra virgin olive oil drizzled on the top of the pie at the end would definitely improve the experience. That being said, this place makes a great iced espresso coffee, they’re using nice Lavazza and Moka D’Oro beans. If you’re feeling all pizza’ed out on a late afternoon, this will definitely get you firing on all your cylinders again.
What can I say Pete, you should have taken us to this place first. Ancient gas-converted anthracite coal brick oven made by an artisan who’s been playing with that apparatus since he was a five year old. Excellent tangy sauce, cheese and sauce integration is perfect, excellent crust char, crust cooked thoroughly and uniformly, nice seasoning with the dried oregano. While we didn’t sample a pie with toppings I can be fairly certain that they are superior because I can’t imagine a pizza jedi master like Al Santillo using bad ones. This place is a keeper. Who cares if you have to eat in an alleyway.
Read what other NJ bloggers had to say about our Munchmobile Trip:
Baristanet (Liz George did some live blogging from the road, complete with photos)
GoOutJersey (Ali and Donna text-messaged their blog posts from the road)
Hoboken411 (Perry, guru of all things Hoboken wrote about his Munchmobile experience)
redbankgreen (John Ward was busy taking notes all day for his post on redbankgreen, observing the obsessiveness and frenetic energy of the other bloggers.)