HOME > Chowhound > New Jersey >

Best Pizza in Central Jersey?

ambrose Mar 25, 2008 02:05 PM

The latest issue of NJ Monthly claims that the best pizza in central Jersey is found at La Casa Bianca in Whitehouse Station. This came as a huge surprise to me but hey, what do I know? I haven't been to this place for many moons but I do know that they redesigned the interior and the menu in the last couple of years.

Can anyone comment on the pizza quality here? Sounds too good to be true (and you know what that usually indicates.....).

http://njmonthly.com/articles/best_of...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. flourgirl RE: ambrose Mar 25, 2008 03:04 PM

    Hmmm. Interesting... never been there. Must try it! :)

    1. f
      fletchphil RE: ambrose Mar 26, 2008 05:57 PM

      I prefer Delorenzo's in trenton and Conte's in Princeton is quite good as well.. A new place is opening at some point in Hopewell by the former owner of Thomas Sweet. They are specializing in gourmet brick oven, Nomad Pizza, keep your eyes peeled. I have heard that their traveling pizza truck is amazing...

      1 Reply
      1. re: fletchphil
        b
        brownie RE: fletchphil Mar 27, 2008 06:53 AM

        wow, what's the tentative opening date? i've had the owner's brick oven pizza once and if this is going to be anything like that, we're in for a major treat!

      2. l
        lynnegrossman RE: ambrose Apr 10, 2008 01:07 PM

        For me the best Pizza in Central NJ is Brother's Pizza, a little place on Rt 18 in East Brunswick in a strip Shopping Center across from a Diner, and two doors down from the Bird Store. If going South pass the Brunswick Sq. Mall and take the Hillsdale exit then go straight across 18 into the Shopping Center. I live in Metuchen and travel 20 minutes for a slice of their pizza. The eggplant rollatini is great and enough for at least 2 people.

        6 Replies
        1. re: lynnegrossman
          s
          Saint Andrews RE: lynnegrossman Apr 10, 2008 04:22 PM

          I found a new Pizzeria in Bradley Beach NJ just off of main street on Brinley. Its called CBO, short for Coal Brick Oven. Bradley beach is famous for Vic's Pizza which I have been a fan of since I was a little kid. CBO's pizzas are more of an old world pie compared to Vics. Each restaurant uses a different kind of oven and different ingredients. Its nice to have a variety of something as simple as pizza in the same town and have two restaurants with excellent products. Vics is heavier on the garlic. At CBO, I recommend having fresh garlic added as a topping.

          1. re: lynnegrossman
            r
            RPMcMurphy RE: lynnegrossman Apr 10, 2008 07:13 PM

            I like brothers, but like Coffaros in South River a little better. and DeLorenzos tomato pie is in a class of its own....

            1. re: lynnegrossman
              y
              yankeefan RE: lynnegrossman Apr 14, 2008 06:48 AM

              Lynn,

              funny you mention Brothers- I live right next to there but dont like it very much. I guess being right there got me a bit sick of it. In terms of straight up pizza, I have to say Vinnie's locally on Ryders is legit as is Luigi's down in Little Silver.

              For the frumpy frills pizza with all kinds of toppings, Im willing to make the trip down to Lawrenceville and hit Chuckle's. Just delicious.

              have to put out a disclaimer- would get up a finger to have access to real Chicago Giordano's deep dish out here :)

              1. re: lynnegrossman
                m
                MoxieBoy RE: lynnegrossman Dec 12, 2008 09:30 AM

                Hi Lynne Grossman:

                Just 10 minutes ago I took your recommendation and tried Brother's Pizza for the first time. Very good, for conventional Pizza, not in the same class as DiLorenzo's TPies or DiFara's in my old neighborhood in Brooklyn, but well worth going to...I work in South River so it's good to know of it. Good, basic pizza..better than many I've had.

                I've gone many times to Bombay Gardens in the same shopping center for their Indian buffet, but their recent steep price increase and selection reduction kept me out of that plaza for a few months.

                Thanks for giving me a new place for lunch.

                1. re: MoxieBoy
                  r
                  RPMcMurphy RE: MoxieBoy Dec 12, 2008 10:18 AM

                  not in the same class as Delorenzo's , but if in South River, Coffaros on Obert IMO is better than Brothers.

                  1. re: RPMcMurphy
                    Passadumkeg RE: RPMcMurphy Dec 12, 2008 04:20 PM

                    A moment of silence, please, in memory of Spezzi's

              2. m
                mmgpsych RE: ambrose Apr 10, 2008 06:24 PM

                We just got back from La Casa Bianca. Is it the best pizza in central Jersey? To our taste, not quite. If you like a medium thick crust that's slightly charred and crunchy on the surface, and just chewy enough in the center to let you know you've broken through, then this crust is the best of that genre I've had anywhere . It's brick oven baked, and the flavor is superb. Unfortunately, the toppings on the two pies we had were both a bit of American overkill for our liking. We had a Broccoli Rabe pie and a Mushroom pie, the former slathered with a heavily garlic laced Broccoli Rabe, black olives and (said the menu) sweet sausage and roasted peppers which I couldn't, for the life of me, taste at all. The mushroom pie was the better of the two even though the melange of mushrooms was as overwhelming of the (said the menu) fresh rosemary and grated Parmesan -- both of which must have been buried so deeply beneath the mound of mushrooms that they, like Jimmy Hoffa, were never to be found again. We wondered if the so-called Kids Pizza, a simple tomato and cheese pie, wouldn't have been the better choice, and perhaps a real contender for best of breed. The Caesar salad that came with each pie gratis was more than respectable. All in all, to our taste, if one of our last suppers before execution had to be a central Jersey pizza, both of us would have chosen DiLucia in Somerville. Still, if you're willing to sacrifice subtlety for a wonderful crust, La Casa Bianca is well worth a visit if you're already within striking distance.

                11 Replies
                1. re: mmgpsych
                  a
                  agruel RE: mmgpsych Apr 10, 2008 07:15 PM

                  I like the somerset country honorable mention. Bedminster pizza is by far the best somerset county pizza if your in the area again

                  1. re: agruel
                    m
                    mmgpsych RE: agruel Apr 11, 2008 05:10 AM

                    If you happen to be an Olympic level shot putter, we live a stone's throw from both Pizza Brothers and Bedminster Pizza (mile or so) and have tried them both.Though it was over two years ago, we thought Bedminster's pie was something of a sloppy mess while Brothers was okay but no more than that. We'll give them both another try soon and let you know if either we've changed our minds or they've improved. While I'll argue--from here to eternity--that there is a relatively objective 'betterness and worsness' out there, and that such quality exists even within a specific genre, with pizza, and perhaps hot dogs, as much as anything, it comes down to a matter of genre preference. Some think that the best thin crust pizza is no more than tomato sauce on matzah while others think that the best Chicago Deep Dish isn't pizza at all. So . . .

                    1. re: mmgpsych
                      MGZ RE: mmgpsych Apr 11, 2008 07:25 AM

                      I likewise subscribe to your position concering objective standards. However, should we abandon the concept based on genre preference or simply address each genre distinctly? I enjoy thin crust pizza executed properly as much as I do a good deep dish pie, but I judge each by different standards. While it is a waste of time to read a comparison of the merits of a apple to those of an orange, a well-conceived, objective analysis of several apples would be of interest and utility to me.

                      So as to return to the topic at hand, "a medium thick crust that's slightly charred and crunchy on the surface, and just chewy enough in the center to let you know you've broken through" is a thoughtful and helpful description of merit within a genre. The use of terms like the "best" or "I prefer" when discussing a food with as many genres as pizza bestows upon me no useful knowledge. I am certain that I too have been guilty of similarly subjective and therefore not helpful posts. At the risk of reigniting an earlier source of disagreement, perhaps we each should be more aware of the purposes these discussions and attempt to be cognizant of some objective factor when posting opinions.

                      1. re: MGZ
                        m
                        mmgpsych RE: MGZ Apr 11, 2008 11:50 AM

                        You raise some interesting points. To clarify, you'll notice that when I said "best" I said "best of that genre I've had anywhere." (Thanks for the compliment about the helpful description.) And while I agree that one can most always find and make quality distinctions *within* a genre, I wonder, too, about comparing quality of *different* genres as a whole any way but subjectively.

                        Let's go to the cuisine at hand for an example. Chef Paul and the NJ Monthly reviewer of La Casa Bianca describe Paul's pizza as a "meal in a pan" . Paul thinks of his crust as a "plate" that holds such a meal. This is a specific pizza genre that is not my preference, and I state as much so that a reader knows where I'm coming from. When I wrote reviews of high end audio equipment and music, I was often asked what my favorite music was, and my answer was always the same: 'Good'. I like 'good' music of most any genre. But though I can recognize 'good' country music from bad, I much prefer to listen to good jazz than good country, and certainly to good bagpipes (though I wonder if there is such a thing! :-))) ).

                        So, if someone prefers thin crust to deep dish. No argument. If someone prefers highly spiced food to more bland food, no argument either. But if someone tells me that Sam Scungilli's frozen thin crust pizza available at Wal-Mart for a buck a pie is better than DiFara's or DiLucia's thin crust, that's another story, and I want a very specific and more objectively discernible descriptive discription to back that up.

                        1. re: mmgpsych
                          MGZ RE: mmgpsych Apr 11, 2008 12:38 PM

                          You continue to help illustrate my broader point. By defining the genre, you have helped me to decide whether or not I want to eat La Casa's pizza. As my personal pizza approach tends to be "less is more," the "plate" approach to pizza is not something I am going to rush out to get. However, should I be looking for that type of pie as a change of pace some day, I now have an idea of where I might find it well executed.

                    2. re: agruel
                      The Engineer RE: agruel Dec 18, 2008 03:45 PM

                      Since you mentioned Somerset county specifically agruel, I have to give a shout-out in support of Manville Pizza. Their plain pies and slices are my favorite.

                      Specialty pies, not so much.

                    3. re: mmgpsych
                      ambrose RE: mmgpsych Apr 11, 2008 05:38 AM

                      Finally, an answer to my question!! LOL.

                      I am indeed within striking distance of La Casa Bianca so I'll check it out. BTW, did you notice the sign on the window? "Pizzaria" rather than "pizzeria". Has "pizzaria" become an accepted alternative (not alternate) to pizzeria?

                      1. re: ambrose
                        m
                        mmgpsych RE: ambrose Apr 11, 2008 05:55 AM

                        No. We didn't. But do be sure to call La Casa Bianca when they're closed so you can hear the recording of Chef Paul (all 300 pounds of him) singing his rendition of Billy Joel's 'Italian Restaurant'. It's also a good idea to make a reservation if you're going on a weekend
                        BTW. Though you can BYO, and most people do, I forgot to mention that the house red wine was surprisingly decent and cheap!

                      2. re: mmgpsych
                        ambrose RE: mmgpsych Apr 15, 2008 02:40 PM

                        Mmgpsych, do you mean DeLucia's in Raritan (on First Avenue) or is there actually a place called DiLucia in Somerville?

                        As far as DeLucia's goes, I don't believe they are open for lunch.

                        1. re: ambrose
                          m
                          mmgpsych RE: ambrose Apr 15, 2008 04:27 PM

                          Yup, that's the one. If you're coming from the South on 202 you make a right just before Randazzo's Pastry. Sorry about that. I didn't do all that well in Junior High Geography either. :-))) DeLucia is open for lunch Monday thru Friday from 11-1 PM, and then opens or reopens at 3 PM seven days a week.

                        2. re: mmgpsych
                          grampart RE: mmgpsych Dec 12, 2008 08:40 AM

                          My 89 year old mother (she likes her pizza) and I split two small pies at La Casa Bianca last week. A Wild Mushroom (topped with portabella, shitake, domestic, and porcini mushrooms with fresh rosemary, garlic and oil) and a Pizza Margarita (topped with fresh plum tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil). The toppings were tasty and plentiful and I might have ordered a plain cheese to go except for one thing. The crust was not to my liking or expectations. Before I said a word, Mom compared the texture to Norwegian flat bread which she ate a lot of in her early years in the Olsen household. Crackery ....that's what she meant. Somewhat matzo-y, we agreed. Not at all like the NJ bread type crust pizza of the 1950's that we ate at The Union Hotel which lies not 100 yards from where we sat. It's called, I think, Flamingo's now. If they still serve pizza, it wouldn't surprise me if their crust was "crackery" too. It was at Miller's in Annandale when I ate their with my nephew for the first time in over 30 years. What's going on here? Is this the new "thing" for NJ pizzaphiles? I live in Georgia now and have been making my own pizza for a long time. Now I know why old friends visiting from NJ tell me my pizza is the best. Things ain't what they used to be. Voted Best Pizza in Central Jersey for 2008?? Puhleeze.

                        3. JerzeyShore RE: ambrose Apr 11, 2008 05:17 PM

                          Just tried Vesuvio Pizza of PT Pleasant, 1305 Beaver Dam Rd, Point Pleasant Beach tonight for the ifrst time and liked it a lot. Medium crust and nice balance between the cheese and sauce. This Brick place may not be the absolute best but it will give most a run for their money. I will be going back again. BTW I started out going to Joe Spano's Tomato Pies a new place on Bride Ave. a few blocks west of Vesuvio,s but
                          the wait for a pie was one hour. No thanks - another time maybe. I will say that the pies coming out did look delicious. They were thin crust 12 inch pies whcih lean to the tomatoe sauce with very lttle cheese. It seems that everyone in Brick is trying out their tomato pies tonight...

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: JerzeyShore
                            MGZ RE: JerzeyShore Apr 12, 2008 08:12 AM

                            Thanks, Jerzey - just when I thought my list of pizzas to try was complete, I now have to add Spano's! (At least its close.)

                          2. g
                            gudeatz RE: ambrose Dec 12, 2008 09:11 AM

                            On any given day I have a best pizza..Depends on my mood and do I want to travel...
                            Todays best is Emma's in Cranford..Thin crust , San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella,well done for me..Like it plain...

                            1. katydid13 RE: ambrose Dec 13, 2008 06:40 AM

                              Bay Village Pizza in Beach Haven -- the tomato pie.

                              1. t
                                TomDel RE: ambrose Dec 19, 2008 07:38 AM

                                When discussing pizza in Central NJ you can’t not mention Trenton. Everybody’s heard of the two De Lorenzo’s, the one on Hudson St. (now also on Rt. 33) and the other on Hamilton Ave. They are outstanding but the area also has numerous other legendary pizza joints; JoJo’s at five points in Hamilton Twp., the Ivy Tavern on S. Broad St. near the White Horse circle in Hamilton, Papa’s on Chambers St. in Chambersburg and Top Road Tavern on Brunswick Ave. in North Trenton.

                                1. y
                                  yankeefan RE: ambrose Dec 19, 2008 10:59 AM

                                  When talking about the East Brunswick area where I live, it is a struggle to get quality pizza. I have to say the best is Vinny's on Ryders Lane (across from Wawa).

                                  Venturing out (which I often do), Divine in Hamilton, Chuckles in Lawrenceville, Luigi's in Little Silver and Robert's in Newark are all top-notch.

                                  1. f
                                    ftrain RE: ambrose Jul 19, 2009 07:17 AM

                                    We just tried Casa Bianca this weekend. It's great pizza, but not sure it's the best in NJ. I still think Brooklyn Brick Oven in Hackensack is the best I've had. I also was less than enamored of the overall experience. Our server was very courteous, and we could tell that many of the people in the restaurant were regulars, which is a good sign for any restaurant--they must do something right. But it took FOREVER for our food to come. I asked the hostess what was going on and she replied "It's Saturday night and we only have one chef." I'm not sure if that meant they were operating short-handed last night, or if she was just being matter-of-fact that they only have one chef so we can't expect fast service on a Saturday night. Regardless, it took nearly 45 minutes for our pizzas to come out, which was just crazy. This is not Chicago-style deep dish.

                                    We'll give it another try sometime if we're in that area again. It really was delicious. But I would be curious from others if our experience was typical.

                                    Show Hidden Posts