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Famous Deninos of S.I. Stealths into Aberdeen, NJ

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it seems to have happened silently, but, two months ago, famous deninos of staten island (si) opened an outpost in the same strip mall as stratemore bowling lanes (to stratmore's right), on route 34 in aberdeen, nj.

although si is culturally diverse-ish (of course, not really compared to queens, ny), culinarily, it is the "little italy" for which persons pine, as opposed to the tourist trap in manhattan.

from the pizza perspective, deninos is a perennial contender for best si pizza. it is a thin, crispy crust pizza, but not cracker crust. one of the amazing things about this pie is that deninos brings it just to the beginning of char without creating a cracker crust (a lot of persons hearing a description like this say "oh nOOOOO, char", but deninos seems to know to fork its tongue at the pizza oven, delivering a savory pie with amazing consistency for taking a pie so close to the edge). at least one sausage pie seems to appear on almost every table, mine included. the sausage is ground, but it clings in clusters. the average slice only has 2 clusters, some may have one cluster more or less. rule of thumb is you'll probably eat twice the amount you normally eat. with a little dicipline, a large pie is doable !!!

¿ so, how's the nj pie measure up ?

so no one gets the wrong message from what follows, let me be clear: the aberdeen pie is an top-tier pie, surely to become part of deninos aberdeen vs. vic's vs pete and elda's vs. tony's baltimore grill type of debates.

that being said, i preferred the si version. the aberdeen pie seemed less aggressively cooked, and yet, the crust had become cracker (bottom was thin crispy but not cracker). another difference was the sausage was more finely ground and more evenly dispersed.i've come to appreciate the randomness of the big clusters. to use a mad tv phrase, deninos of si "takes it to an hnl" (hole nuther level). then again, i don't doubt that these variances might be preferred by some or even many. anyway, if you haven't been to a deninos, delicious pies await you there.

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  1. piney, thanks for this tip. We will definitely give nj Deninos a try.

    1. I've been hearing great things about this place. As a matter of fact a waitress in a local diner was talking about it yesterday, and today a girl I work with mentioned it. Definately a must try for me.

      1. Thanks, piney, for alerting us. As a fan of Pete & Elda's, I will most definitely check out Denino's to see how the pizza compares. I hope it's as good as you say it is because, while we've never minded the drive down 18 to Neptune, Matawan is only 10 minutes from our house.

        Btw, is it all about the pizza at Denino's? Or are there other good things to be had there?

        2 Replies
        1. re: RGR

          deninos si is a tavern pizzeria. other than pizza, the only food i've had is the fried calamari and meatball (no calamari marinara option). the meatball was undistinguished - never ordered again. the fried calamari is consistently non-rubbery but fairly generic otherwise. mini-dish of marinara that comes with it doesn't really do much for it. i eat some with lemon and some straight up.

          deninos aberdeen doesn't have a tavern. the menu also has wraps and a few entrees. i've only had the pizza there, so i can't say anything useful about these items.

          one comment i could add about deninos pizza is that its not a good refridgerator cold or room temp pizza. it does have legs: you can freeze it and revive it close to its just-out-of-oven state.

          1. re: piney

            Thanks, piney. Pizza it will be!

        2. OMG, is this the same Denino's that was off Forest Ave. in S.I.??? I went there after my high school graduation (and many times afterward) because the drinking age in S.I. back then was 18. There was an old gent named Ernie who was a fixture at the bar...on the rare occasion that he vacated his bar stool to use the rest room, everyone would start cheering. There was a tavern and a pool table in front and a restaurant in back...is this the same place?

          1. Last week when we moved here, I was looking for a pizza place for our friends (moving helpers). I was in the Shop & Stop to get some things and asked the cashier to recommend a pizza place. She told me of Denino's in the plaza next door. So that's where we went.

            I ordered a large half plain, half sausage. My fiance and friends said the pizza was outstanding; a great choice! I cannot have pizza due to lactose issues (trust me, even Lact-aid doesn't help), but I'd like to try them for their pasta dishes and whatnot.

            So yeah, many thumbs up from our camp on Denino's.

            1 Reply
            1. re: DJMarilyn

              Wow! This is right next to me, and I never knew.

              Contact info?

            2. My wife and I have eaten at many of the Jersey shore pizza greats such as: Vic's, Maria's, Pete and Elda's not to mention various other places in our 25 years in Jersey.
              But, when we want the best we drive to Staten Island and visit Nunzio's, Deninos or Pats. Well our driving to NYC for pizza days are over. We just tried Deninos in Aberdene and WOW. It is simply the best pizza to be found in central Jersey and possible the whole state. We enjoyed it even more that the Staten Island shop. Don't take my word for it just go and see for yourself. End of story.

              1. Thanks piney! We went last weekend and it was great! We had a sausage pie (perfection) and the calamari (perfectly cooked and generous portion). I agree about the sauce served with the calamari - kind of tasteless. It was fantastic with a little lemon. I am still a big Pete and Elda's fan. Denino's is quite different but also delicious!

                1. I never did report on our experience at Denino's back in October. We had a half regular and half sausage pizza. It was very tasty. However, I had expected the crust to be thinner. It's not as thick as the the crust at Marlboro Pizza, where we go when we don't feel like shlepping down to Neptune to our favorite spot for pizza, Pete & Elda's. But not anywhere near as thin as at P&E's, where it's so thin that it's more like a pastry crust. We haven't had pizza anywhere since then, but Denino's is certainly more than good enough to warrant a return visit sometime.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: RGR

                    I found Deninos after a run to the Hobby Shop..Found it to be the best I've had in quite a while. They get good marks from me for using all FRESH veggies...How many times has a perfectly good pie been ruined by canned mushroom and pickled peppers? This is sacreligious!! Ok..not being modest here I have to confess that Im addicted to the "garbage pie"....perfect hot out of the oven and even later room temperature. Im one of those "freaks" that will eat pizza outta the box the next day. A skill I learned in college! But enough about their pizza....am I the only one that thinks their Buffalo WIngs are awesome as well? 3.5 bacon slices for the pizza (If they could get it a hair thinner will definately qualify for 4) and 4 bacon slices for the Wings.

                  2. Just had their pizza today for dinner. The BEST I've had so far ( A Mano in Ridgewood is just a tick behind but is more of a gourmet pizza).

                    This place knows how to make pizza. Add to the fact that it's only a few minutes drive away for me and it's a no brainer. Atillio's used to be my defacto, no more...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: kadeshpa

                      A Mano is Neapolitan and when last there (Jan 08 ) was very good and authentic.As far as this SI offshoot of Deninos...mmmm,the place is forgetable.Try Napoli on 35 North (Aberdeen / South Amboy ) for a decent Grandma slice and all around superior pizza.

                    2. Granted the pizza is good, BUT...its not worth a 40 minute wait for take out..

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: DF0403

                        Sometimes I am very happy I found a certain post on Chowhound. This was not one of those times. I feel like I wasted a trip where I could have gotten food from one of my two favorite oriental joints just across the street, West Lake and Cafe de Thai.

                        Anyway, on to the pizza. My son and I shared a large pie with sausage. The best thing I can say about it was that it was cooked perfectly. It just wasn't that great though. It wasn't bad, just ok. Not Pete & Elda's, not even Frankie Fed's, just ok.

                        Since I appreciate all types of pizza, I figured I'd try a slice of the Grandma pie and check out their thick crust as well. Now this was truly bad. I threw it out after a few bites.


                      2. I went here last night and I have to say, I thought it was very good. I could not believe for a Tues. night how packed the dinning room was. We did not have much ..an order of fried calamari..which was good...not too greasy, the oil seemed fresh, and the color was a light brownish golden. The sauce I liked because it was'nt that sweet crap every place by me gives you..(YUCK! Taste like they hit up the Domino sugar box before the order leaves the kitchen.)

                        We had a large pie with mushroom. (I know, nothing exciting). I must say, my husband and I really enjoyed the pizza. Great crust, sauce was great, and mushrooms, too! Service was super friendly, as were the patrons. A couple next to us were super friendly and gave us their pics and how they used to go to the S.I. location.

                        Overall, I was quite happy. Will definately return. Too bad it's 40 minutes from me, but it sure beats the crappy pizza by me!!

                        1. This is good pizza!

                          On request they made me a heart shaped pizza to go for Valentine's day!

                          1. I was recently in Matawan as I was dropping off my taxes, stopped into the Dunkin Donuts for some java and asked around for Denino's as I've been excited by the prospect of trying Denino's. No one could tell me, until that is, till I found this post.

                            Next time I'm up there, I'm making a B line to the place. Btw, P&E's isn't good pie. At all. The best pie at the northshore (where I live) are Vesuvio's in Belmar, Vic's (I've been won over again by this place), Brothers in Red Bank makes a helluva margharita pie. I'm down on Tuzzio's (terrible tastless crust) and haven't tried Freddie's in LB for some time.

                            But please with the ravings for Pete & Elda's. It's not that good (and I live but 7-8 minutes from the place) and it doesn't make my 'short list'.

                            Best pie in NJ? Delorenzo's in Trenton. That'll be the measuring stick when I try Denino's.


                            1 Reply
                            1. re: ParadiseWaits

                              On Pete and Zeldas we agree - they are not worth mentioning as fine pizza. But, please do not compare Deninos with Delorenzo's in Trenton. Two different worlds and as far as tomato pies nothng beats Delorenzo's. As far as New York City style pizza nothing beats
                              Denino's. End of storry...