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Mar 7, 2008 11:19 AM

Pete and Elda's

Hoping to get up there tonight for what some locals tell me is the best pizza in this area. This is another restuarant that we have never gotten to eat at in all our years living down the shore.

Any suggestions from anyone that has eaten there before would be great.

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  1. I've been eating at Pete and Elda's regularly for nearly 20 years and have never ordered anything but the pizza (and an occasional salad). Due to the extremely thin crust (which is not for everyone -- its a "love it or hate it" type of pie), the pizza doesn't hold up too well to toppings (a single topping is usually all I'll order). I believe RGR has favorably reported to trying some of the menu besides the pizza, but I don't recall which items in particular. On a Friday night expect a wait (could be a good 30-45 minutes), unless you arrive pretty early. Enjoy!!

    2 Replies
    1. re: jsfein

      I am not a fan of thin crust. Had it at P&E's and did not like it. Went back and tried the little thicker and disliked it more. Guess as Jsfein mentioned, a love or hate it type of pizza.

      1. re: jsfein

        As you mentioned, jsfein, we have tried some other items on the menu. We love the meatballs and the sausage, which we always order with onions and peppers. I'm pretty sure we tried the lasagna some time ago, but since it doesn't stand out in my memory, it was probably o.k. but not special.

        With regard to the pizza, I do love the very thin crust which I is, in my view, very much like an excellent pastry crust. However, there is one hazard. On occasion, we have had to send the pizza back because someone in the kitchen was not watching carefully enough, and the crust arrived either too overdone or even burnt.

        In fact, that was exactly the problem we had the last time we had pizza a Federici's, in Freehold, though when it's properly prepared, it is, as rnr says, another excellent very thin-crust pizza.

      2. Everything there is homemade and good. The pizza is great; very thin with delicious sauce and cheese. They also have a sliced steak sandwich drenched in butter and garlic which is absolutely decadent.

        There is one other place in Monmouth County with truly delicious thin-crust pizza and that is Fredericcis (sp) in Freehold.

        1. jsfein is pretty spot on -- people seem to love it or hate it and can get pretty passionate about it. While it's not my favorite, I definitely like it. It's VERY thin (almost reminds me of a tortilla) but that what makes it unique. I prefer it after it's been sitting a while (even takeout) since it seems to set up a little bit. I haven't had a lot of their other food, but anything I've had has been solid.

          If you get a pie order more than you think you'd typically eat because it's easy to devour one of them due to the thinness.

          2 Replies
          1. re: white light

            We did go tonight and the wait was only about 15 minutes ( probably due to the weather). I must say none of us enjoyed it very much. We ordered an antipasto to start with and it was terrible. There was more shredded lettuce than anything else. Our pizza was half mushrooms and half meatball, it had no taste to it at all. I like thin crust pizza, but personally I felt that plain, dry matzo has more taste than this crust.

            Tried it but will not be going back,

            1. re: Babs16

              Sorry Babs - Exactly my sentiments. I think I've posted many times that I think their pizza is akin to tomato sauce and cheese covered matzoh. For true thin crust pizza, I would try DeLorenzo's in Trenton.

          2. Yes my suggestion is not to waste your time with this place. There are a lot of people out there that think this is good pizza because they simply have never tasted a really good pie. Pete and Elda's is not even in the running. Their thin crust pie is like eating saltines with cheese on top. If you must have thin crust then you must travel to any of the great spots on Staten Island or go up to Denninos in Matawan which is owned by the same folks as the place in guess where, Staten Island. The bottom line - you are not going to find really good pizza at the Jerzey Shore, sorry abouyt that.

            4 Replies
            1. re: JerzeyShore

              We've had the Denino's pizza in Matawan, and I agree that it is very good. The thin crust is definitely not anywhere near as thin as P&E's, but not as thick as what one generally finds at pizza places around here. I guess we could call it the "Goldilocks" pizza -- not too thin, not too thick, but just right. :-)

              Btw, a few days ago, I was talking with someone who recently moved here from Staten Island and is, of course, a Denino's fan. She told me that the Matawan location is owned and operated by the son. He had a falling out with his father and decided to branch out on his own. The most interesting thing she mentioned is that he makes regular trips to S.I. for S.I. water in order to insure that the dough remains exactly the same.

              1. re: RGR

                The pizza at Nunzio's in Long Branch is thin crust and far better than Pete & Elda's, which I think is horrible. Also Denino's In Matawan and Delorenzo's new spot in Robbinsville are excellent.

                1. re: jjm323

                  I've driven by Nunzio's countless times, but have never stopped in. I'll try to correct that soon. As for DeLorenzo's, I work in Trenton and have been numerous times and have never found the pizza to be as transcedental as many do. I'm curious as to your reference to the Hamilton Ave location. Most people seem to claim that the Hudson St. location turns out the better pie.

                2. re: RGR

                  "The most interesting thing she mentioned is that he makes regular trips to S.I. for S.I. water in order to insure that the dough remains exactly the same."

                  If he does ,then he's a bigger fool than the the people who beleive this pizza makers myth !I've heard more than my share of pizza makers using the "It's the water" line to mystify thier pizza.It's absolute BS.Technique,fermentation,gluten,temperature and yeast are the key factors.

              2. I have enjoyed the pizza for many years. I am sorry to say the place is going downhill. Aside from the plastic on the ceiling and the hodgepodge construction (I am always waiting for the ceiling to come crashing down) I finally came to the realization that this place is living on its past reputation. Tasteless pizza, bad service and a horrible atmosphere, the food is not worth the trip. With all the money they make you would think they would put some back into the business. The pizza at the Cabin on Rt #33 is better (I think there is some connection).

                1 Reply
                1. re: nycbigman

                  nycbigman, which place? It's not clear which one you are referring to.