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Pizza in Monmouth County

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geedah Jul 20, 2009 07:45 AM

After several days, I still haven't heard any suggestions for good pizza in Monmouth County NJ. Don't know what the problem is. Has no one in Monmouth County has ever eaten good pizza there?r Maybe they don't read Chowhound posts ? Or maybe both? Guess I need to keep driving to Trenton for a good tomato pie

  1. w
    wehungthedj Mar 8, 2012 11:55 AM

    The Red Bank area has two FANTASTIC pizza places, both for totally different reasons.

    In Red Bank proper is Pacini's, which is the best tasting plain slice in town, by far. The rest of their food is delicious, especially the garlic knots, but the plain slice is kiler.

    In Middletown, in the Quik Chek shopping center next to Target on 35 N, is Pasquale's. Go there, get a slice of Buffalo Chicken Pizza and prepare for your world to change. Or Chicken Vodka. Or bacon cheeseburger. Their specialty pies are INSANE and great. Expensive, but great.

    1. a
      aklein Mar 2, 2012 03:09 AM

      No one's talking about Porta in Asbury Park?

      13 Replies
      1. re: aklein
        s
        SusieQQ Mar 2, 2012 03:49 AM

        I did a review of Porta a couple weeks ago and no one responded. They have a great pizza, but certainly not typical Jersey style. I Certainly recommend it.

        1. re: SusieQQ
          JustJake Mar 9, 2012 04:32 AM

          Suzy, as I have a hall pass most Friday nite's (bride visits with her mom), I'll give Porta a try tonight. Sounds like they do Neapolitan pies - if I'm mistaken so be it. One thing with pizza is that I always go in with an 'open mind' with no preconceptions as to typical Jersey shore pie, etc - as it's all about the ingredients (fresh and quality sauce and cheese) and then there's the crust. I'll get back to you.

          1. re: JustJake
            s
            SusieQQ Mar 9, 2012 05:26 AM

            Interested in seeing what you think....if you like salads, too, they have a very nice Bib with walnuts one.

            1. re: SusieQQ
              JustJake Mar 10, 2012 02:47 AM

              Hi Susie - did visit Porta last nite with my oldest son - and he 'treated'. Nice.

              We started with the charred octopus salad appetizer (with baby bliss potatoes, shaved fennel, fresh parsley and capers) which was very tasty. I love octopus and wish it was served in other restaurants (Nikko's in LB is the only other restaurant that has it regularly on their menu)

              Decided on arugula pie and it was interesting. Neapolitan in style the crust was charred nicely yet it was pliable (almost pita like). I don't know that the oven is hot enough to produce a crispy charred crust that I like - perhaps with a couple of dozen pies probably 'on order' while we were there having something to do with it - but it did have a very nice flavor. Fresh mozz, infused with much garlic and finished with a truffle oil was was the pie's 'base'. Slight problem - It came out with the arugula piled high - I mean a really lot of arugula - that it was 'dry' made eating it a challenge. Imagine having a mouthful of dry greens and trying to get it down. I commented that it would have been terrific had they drizzled some EVO (to bathe and mat it down a bit) and maybe just a touch of cracked pepper. I was going to try that later last nite as we brought half the pie home - only to find son had 'glommed' it as he watched his beloved U of Michigan basketball team play (he really loved the pie).

              We did also order the spinach lasagne which was excellent. The 'double' which fed 2 was quite good. May have been the 'surprise' of the evening. A bit pricey for pasta without any sides, but it is what it is in AP.

              I will most definitely return to try another pie - as it is worth checking out. That and I do like Peroni Beer that they have on tap (a nice Italian craft beer that is superior (IMHO) to any of our domestics).

              1. re: JustJake
                s
                SusieQQ Mar 10, 2012 07:25 AM

                Thanks so much for the report. Is is an interesting place, isn't it? I really like their Margherita pizza.
                Good potential.

                1. re: JustJake
                  fershore Mar 10, 2012 12:31 PM

                  Drooling for the octopus salad. Can't wait to try this place.

                  1. re: JustJake
                    m
                    missybean Mar 10, 2012 01:04 PM

                    We were there last night for the first time as well. Sat at the back bar near the ovens, I love watching kitchens in action.

                    We had the charred octopus salad as well. Today Mr. Bean is on a hunt to find octopus so I can try and replicate the dish.

                    We also the Cavolo Nero Salad (Tuscan kale, shaved sunchoke and watermelon radish, spicy garlic crostini, parmigiano reggiano,
                    lemon-garlic dressing) which we enjoyed as well We tcouldnt decide what pizza to get. Katie the bartender/waitperson recommended the arugula pizza or the 14 1/2 but we opted for the Winter Betty which had roasted wild mushrooms, grated truffle pecorino, goat cheese, garlic and thyme. Everything was very flavorthe but the pie could have stayed the oven another minute or two as it just a touch underdone to my taste.

                    Overall, we enjoyed our meal. Katie was a great bartender and server. She gave us some background on the pace. It's owned by the same group that owns the Brickwall and something else that I can't remember. After 10, they push aside the tables and a DJ has the place rocking. They were bringing in teh amps as we were leaving

                    Porta Pizza is open until 2 and the last food order is taken at 1.

                    I expect we will be back.

                    Missy

                    1. re: missybean
                      MGZ Mar 11, 2012 09:10 AM

                      Missy - Point Lobster has frozen octopus now. Fresh, often, in the summer.

                      1. re: MGZ
                        m
                        missybean Mar 11, 2012 12:57 PM

                        Thanks, MGZ. I didn't know that. Does octopus have a "season"?

                        1. re: missybean
                          MGZ Mar 13, 2012 03:00 AM

                          There is no fishing season of which I am aware. Yet, fresh octopus seems to show up in the shop during the "season" when the most boats are out - july through september. Nevertheless, I seem to recall getting some around Easter a couple years ago.

                          1. re: MGZ
                            m
                            missybean Mar 13, 2012 07:21 AM

                            I'll have to stop by and see what I can find out. It may be a case of more boats out and more people in during the summer.

                            Thanks again for the heads up.

                            Missy

                            1. re: missybean
                              MGZ Mar 13, 2012 07:32 AM

                              If nothing else, it's worth the trip to pick up some monkfish tails.

                              1. re: MGZ
                                m
                                missybean Mar 14, 2012 03:39 AM

                                Yum.

          2. o
            omatatp Mar 1, 2012 11:11 AM

            LUIGI'S in Lincroft, hands down the best. The square pie is flavorful, juicy and delicious. Those folks who don't want crust stick to the middle. It is worth stopping whenever you are on the parkway passing by.

            1 Reply
            1. re: omatatp
              m
              Mr. Bingley Mar 2, 2012 06:01 AM

              I agree.

            2. MGZ Feb 25, 2012 06:54 AM

              I've got a new place to add to this compendium - Mossuto's Market in Wall. The pie is not the typical Monmouth Co offering, instead it is baked in a wood-fired, brick oven adding that bit of char and hint of smokiness impossible with any other device. We had two pizzas last night, both Margherita, though to the second hot cappicolla and asiago cheese were added. Simply wonderful.

              The pies are one size, sort of a large, individual offering. They start at eleven bucks and toppings are each a couple more. The oven is legit. I sat watching the guy manipulate the pizzas the whole time I was there. They do not use "sauce," only pureed roasted tomatoes. Also, the only mozzarella employed appears to be fresh.

              Frankly, the pizza was the best "new" thing I've tried in the Mon/OC in a long time. The menu has other offerings available after six and I want to go back soon to try the dry aged, prime ribeye. At thirty-four dollars, I feel it my duty to check it out.

              The place has a full bar now. Liquor and wines by the glass are priced similarly to many other, "fancier" places in the area, but apparently the bottles of wine are the same price as they sell them retail.* Ten bucks for a pint of Dogfish Head 90 Minute was a bit steep, but given the fact that it's a terrible pizza beer, I was just thrilled to see it (as well as the 60 Minute and Ommegang also on tap) offered.

              The place is not particularly large, so, consequently, this is one of those spots that makes you have to be committed to the fundamental purposes of this site to post about. I'd be interested to see any other thoughts from those of you who have been there or soon find the chance to try it.

              *We did not order a bottle or look at a list. This is simply something I was told by someone else who had been there.

              1 Reply
              1. re: MGZ
                a
                amv Feb 25, 2012 07:19 AM

                Aleo pizzeria in lincroft serves up some tasty pies. Their grandma and margherita are excellent. Even the plain slice brings you back to Brooklyn where the crust cracks down the middle when you fold it, not because it is too thin, but because it's that perfect combo of the right dough ingredients and a super hot oven. I can't get out if that place without downing at least 4 slices. Worth a try.

              2. o
                ohthatsgood Jun 16, 2011 07:43 AM

                We have been very happy with Denino's in Aberdeen: http://www.deninospizzaplace.com/ Their chicken parm pizza is awesome. Expect to wait if you want to sit there, this place is ALWAYS busy.

                1. n
                  nanobabes May 17, 2011 01:30 PM

                  I am happy to say that I tried Luigi's in Little Silver the other night, and found their pie to be excellent! A crust with some substance, a nice melty layer of cheese, and a tasty sauce. And I got it delivered! The outer crust isn't *exactly* what I'm looking for, though that might be because I got a small pie, and sometimes pizzerias make the rim of the smaller pies different from how they make the large pies. Either way, it was delicious. I also ordered a caprese salad. Not a complicated dish, but I was content with the generous amount of mozzarella and found the basil to be very fresh. I think this Luigi's will be my go-to for now, but I'm still looking forward to trying other pizzerias to see if anyone can top it, in making that particular style. I think I'll try Grimaldi's next.

                  -----
                  Grimaldi's
                  133 Clinton St, Hoboken, NJ 07030

                  20 Replies
                  1. re: nanobabes
                    Bob Martinez May 18, 2011 08:48 AM

                    The Luigi's delivery pies are square. The ones they sell as slices in the store are round pies. I think you'll like the in-store slices a bit more. They sell them by the slice.

                    1. re: Bob Martinez
                      m
                      MichelleM131 May 18, 2011 01:07 PM

                      @ Bob Martinez, where is Attilio's in Monmouth Beach? Are you thinking of MIchaelangelo's?

                      1. re: MichelleM131
                        Deb Van D May 18, 2011 01:31 PM

                        No, he means the (feh) Attilio's in Ursula Plaza in N. Long B.

                        1. re: Deb Van D
                          j
                          joonjoon May 18, 2011 02:24 PM

                          IMO the Attilios in the ShopRite plaza puts out better food.

                          1. re: joonjoon
                            f
                            fishnut May 18, 2011 03:17 PM

                            There must be a dozen Attilios in Monmouth Cty, most are independently owned. I agree that one in West Long Branch (ShopRite) has better food and pizza. Have been a steady customer for past 20 years when Enrico owned the place. There was a change in ownership a couple of years ago.

                            1. re: fishnut
                              Deb Van D May 18, 2011 03:28 PM

                              There must be, and while I've never had pizza at the one in the Shop Rite Plaza, I thought some of their other food was pretty good (although I haven't been in awhile). The pizza in Ursula Plaza was the worst pizza I've ever had and I can't imagine going there again to try anything else.

                              I'm curious about the pizza at Ruffino's (Office Max Plaza, Eatontown); again, I have had the food there and liked it, but have never tried the pizza. Anybody?

                              -----
                              Ruffino's Restaurant
                              # 36, Eatontown, NJ 07724

                              1. re: Deb Van D
                                o
                                OGguy May 19, 2011 05:14 AM

                                I've had slices at Ruffino's. Better than OK, but not really special.....

                                -----
                                Ruffino's Restaurant
                                # 36, Eatontown, NJ 07724

                                1. re: OGguy
                                  Deb Van D May 19, 2011 05:20 AM

                                  Thanks. They do a brisk take-out, but that doesn't necessarily mean much.

                            2. re: joonjoon
                              m
                              MichelleM131 May 18, 2011 04:00 PM

                              I agree. The food at Attilios in Shop Rite plaza is pretty decent. I also like the pizza at Attilio's in Oakhurst on Monmouth Rd. But the one is Ursula Plaza is not so great. I've had worse (actually at Michaelangelo's in Monmouth Beach!), but what is that saying?

                              -----
                              Michaelangelos
                              72 Ocean Ave, Long Branch, NJ 07740

                        2. re: Bob Martinez
                          n
                          nanobabes May 20, 2011 08:24 AM

                          I'm not quite sure I get what you're saying, Bob. I'm pretty sure the pizza that came to my door was round? lol. Do you mean they're made similarly to the square pies, like a Sicilian? The dough was thicker than other pizzas down here, but I didn't think it was square pie thick. I'm going to wait for your reply before I come off really stupid, trying to figure out what you mean.

                          1. re: nanobabes
                            j
                            joonjoon May 20, 2011 01:30 PM

                            Nanobabes, Luigis of Ocean and Long branch both do a squarish pie that they slice into 16 square pieces. They're not cut into slices, but rather squares. So you'll get some pieces that have no crust, some pieces that have a lot of crust, etc.

                            1. re: nanobabes
                              Bob Martinez May 22, 2011 02:18 PM

                              I agree with what Joonjoon said. The takeout pies I've gotten from Luigi's in Little Silver have all been the square ones that he describes. I like them very much but because they're square the amount of crust on a give slice varies. The round pies all have the same amount of crust. If crust is really important to you then round is the way to go.

                              As far as the great Steamed Crust in a Box controversy goes, I find that the effect of a box varies by the type of pie. Some suffer from boxing, others not at all. I think 90% of pizzas can travel by box with no ill effects. If all boxed pizza tasted bad, delivery pizza would be notorious. It's not.

                              1. re: Bob Martinez
                                n
                                nanobabes May 22, 2011 03:11 PM

                                Ahh, this is a little clearer. However, I ordered from Luigi's in Ocean for pick-up, and I did get a round pie. Their crust was a little thin for my taste though. The one I ordered delivery from was Luigi's in Little Silver, which is not the same owners as the one in Ocean, they have a different type of pizza. I think there's been some confusion between the two. The Luigi's Famous Pizza in Ocean and Long Branch are the same owners, the Luigi's Famous Pizza and Ristorante in Little Silver are separate (and the Luigi's I preferred).

                                1. re: nanobabes
                                  j
                                  joonjoon May 23, 2011 08:23 AM

                                  That's strange Nanobabes...i've never gotten a round pie from Luigis (Ocean) before!

                                  1. re: joonjoon
                                    JustJake May 25, 2011 06:50 PM

                                    Ordered a medium pie w/ 1/2 sausage, and 1/2 plain earlier this week with my youngest (19 y.o) - nice pie. tasty tomato sauce, decent cheese with a nice well baked thin, but pliably firm crust. It was a round guy.

                                  2. re: nanobabes
                                    JustJake Jun 20, 2011 02:56 PM

                                    The Luigis in Little Silver was sold some months back. Now owned by an Indian family from Edison. The one in Ocean is not.

                                    1. re: JustJake
                                      Bob Martinez Jun 20, 2011 08:24 PM

                                      The former owners were Indian too so I don't think they'll be replacing the pizza makers with a crew from Mumbai.

                            2. re: nanobabes
                              h
                              hcentro May 18, 2011 05:15 PM

                              Have you ever tried Abramo's in the A & P shopping plaza in Little Silver? My wife & I both feel they have the best food & pizza that delivers to Little Silver.

                              1. re: hcentro
                                m
                                MichelleM131 May 19, 2011 02:08 PM

                                Is this the new place tucked in the corner next to A &P?

                                1. re: MichelleM131
                                  h
                                  hcentro May 19, 2011 03:23 PM

                                  Yes it is. My wife and I found Luigi's Pizza acceptable, but hated their food. We tried Abramo's on a lark when they sent a menu through the mail and so far have thought just about everything has been good except for one speciality pizza that was exceptionally salty, but it had anchovies and olives so I guess we should have expected it. I think they may somehow be related to the Cafe Vittoia that used to be in Holmdel because that is the name my credit card receipt has for their charges. I was never there before it closed, but several people told me the food was good.

                            3. n
                              nanobabes Feb 2, 2011 04:33 PM

                              Does anybody know if Nunzio's is closed? I'm getting frustrated because I'm new to Long Branch, and have been looking for the "perfect" pizza, and I keep finding myself S.O.L. I called to order from Nunzio's a month ago, on a Wednesday at about 9PM, and they said they were closing. I thought that was odd, but I just moved on and went to try Tuzzio's. Meh. I don't like my crusts that thin, I like them chewy, and the sauce and cheese was spread so thin that it overall was pretty dry. I tried Scala's the first month I lived down here, and they were okay, not quite the cheesy consistency I'm looking for. Tonight, I tried Nunzio's again, this time I called at 8PM, and no answer. No answering machine, nothing. I can't find a website that says what time they're open until, but that other time I called, someone at least picked up, and past 8pm.

                              I'm looking for a soft chewy crust, stretchy and oozy cheese, and to be honest, I like 'em a little greasy. When I was living in North Jersey and Central Jersey, that seemed pretty common, but haven't had luck so far here.

                              30 Replies
                              1. re: nanobabes
                                l
                                livingloving Feb 2, 2011 07:27 PM

                                Nunzios closes for the month of Feb. and when you go there you'll see why it doesn't have a web site. It closes at 8:30 I believe I can take partial credit for igniting the flame of Nunzios. I repeat get a plain with extra cheese and a special and put on a little salt and pepper and its IMHO pizza ecstacsy. Chop chop is a nice old school antipasti cross with iceberg salad it works. Try a parfait and then run 5 miles the next day. Try Luigis of Little Silver for pie get the rectangle with extra cheese

                                1. re: nanobabes
                                  Bob Martinez Feb 3, 2011 04:52 AM

                                  "I'm looking for a soft chewy crust, stretchy and oozy cheese,..."

                                  If you're looking for a crust like that Nunzio's will disappoint you. That said, you should go anyway. The pizza is good and the atmosphere is special.

                                  Luigi's in Little Silver has no atmosphere to speak of but the pies are more in line with what you want. Luigi's would probably work better as a takeout place although it has some tables.

                                  1. re: Bob Martinez
                                    fershore Feb 3, 2011 06:22 AM

                                    Now that Luigi's has expanded as a restaurant into the space next door, it has plenty of tables.

                                    1. re: fershore
                                      n
                                      nanobabes Feb 3, 2011 07:35 AM

                                      Fershore, are you talking about the Luigi's in Ocean or Little Silver? Also, I feel like I keep reading different things on this thread, are these Luigis all the same? They all seem the same by the way some have described them, but I think someone else said they have different owners.

                                      1. re: nanobabes
                                        fershore Feb 3, 2011 09:09 AM

                                        I was referring to Little Silver. I am not certain, but I do not believe that they are owned by the same people.

                                        1. re: fershore
                                          j
                                          joonjoon Feb 3, 2011 11:07 AM

                                          I don't think they're related, other than that they have the same name and put out a similar pie. But both places are excellent!

                                    2. re: Bob Martinez
                                      n
                                      nanobabes Feb 3, 2011 06:31 AM

                                      so... is that "jersey shore pizza" in general? Thin crunchy crusts and sparse cheese? Please tell me I'm wrong, that would be highly disappointing. Can't say anything about Nunzio's yet (though, I'm sorry, but what kind of Pizzeria closes at 8:30?) but I thought Tuzzio's pizza was like the anti-Pizza. Scala's wasn't as dry, but still not up to par. Do people around here really prefer that over a fold-able pizza, with a bubbly surface of greasy cheese and pizza "zits" (what we called the air bubbles as kids) and crusts worth savoring in the end (not just a holder for the slice)? I don't want to sound stubborn and narrow minded, but I don't think I'm looking for a rectangular sort of pizza. The type I'm looking for seems pretty common in other parts of NJ (I grew up in Bergen County and went to Rutgers), and my memory might not be serving me right, but I think most times I've been on the boardwalk at the shore (maybe not this area), I've gotten similar pizzas.

                                      I'm sorry if I'm insulting anyone's taste in pizza or their favorite pizza joints .... but I've just moved down to the area, and have been dating someone who is also new to the area, and he's been insulting NJ/NY pizza and prefers Domino's to a nice family-owned pizzeria! I've been on a quest to show him the pizza I know and love.

                                      I'll cross my fingers for Luigi's though. I don't care about atmosphere, isn't that part of the character of a pizzeria?

                                      1. re: nanobabes
                                        j
                                        joonjoon Feb 3, 2011 06:58 AM

                                        Nanobabes, I'm also in the long branch area (ocean actually) and for me the best pizza in our area is from Luigis in Ocean. Same deal as Luigis Little Silver, just as tasty. they're takeout/delivery only. You should definitely give them a try!

                                        1. re: joonjoon
                                          Tapas52 Feb 3, 2011 07:13 AM

                                          I'm not happy with the Pizza in Monmouth or Ocean county at all, so I usually make my own..pictured.... lol

                                          But If I get the urge to have Pizza out I Always take the short ride down I-195 & go to Trenton ( Chambersburg ) to PAPA's Tomato Pies..... i'll say no more. ; )

                                          http://www.papastomatopies.com/

                                           
                                          1. re: Tapas52
                                            JustJake Feb 4, 2011 09:11 AM

                                            I make my own as well - but I don't make em anywhere as good as Nunzio's, Denino's, nor Vesuvios - and if you haven't tried them, you're missing 'good pie'.

                                            Though I agree, there's not much to speak of in Ocean County - I'd go to Trenton too.

                                            -----
                                            Vesuvio
                                            725 S Main St Ste 3, Forked River, NJ 08731

                                            1. re: JustJake
                                              m
                                              mustlovecats Feb 22, 2011 12:12 PM

                                              Can anyone tell me where I can get a pizza with "sliced sausage" instead of the chunks of sausage......Years ago they always sliced the sausage and it was the best. Thanks anyone who can help!

                                          2. re: joonjoon
                                            n
                                            nanobabes May 6, 2011 05:34 PM

                                            I just checked out luigi's website, and it mentions a second location in long branch, in west end area, right by me. is this new? i'm assuming since it's the same owners it will be the same quality as the one in ocean?

                                            1. re: nanobabes
                                              s
                                              sockster May 9, 2011 06:40 AM

                                              I will tell you they make fantasic pizza, whether or not they are the same owners. They're in a tiny strip center, and it's the cleanest pizza place I've ever been into- almost stark- but their pizzas are excellent!

                                              1. re: nanobabes
                                                j
                                                joonjoon May 9, 2011 07:49 AM

                                                Not sure - I wasn't even aware this location existed! Give it a try and let us know. :)

                                              2. re: joonjoon
                                                j
                                                jfedorko May 10, 2011 08:34 PM

                                                Actually, the Luigi's in Little Silver has expanded into the space next door and opened a dining room.

                                                1. re: joonjoon
                                                  n
                                                  nanobabes May 11, 2011 01:35 PM

                                                  So, I tried Luigi's in Ocean last night. It tasted fine and all, but it still wasn't that type of pizza I'm looking for. Believe me, I love all sorts of pizzas, and the places around this area are fine, but I'm still left craving that particular NY-style pizza. ::sigh::

                                                  1. re: nanobabes
                                                    c
                                                    cantkick May 11, 2011 01:55 PM

                                                    The problem, and it's not just you, it's most people, is that what you are used to is what you think is best, and anything else pales in comparison. If you started out with the Luigi's pizza, chances are your NY-style pizza wouldn't measure up.

                                                    1. re: cantkick
                                                      Bob Martinez May 11, 2011 02:12 PM

                                                      I haven't been to the Luigi's in Ocean but I've eaten at the one in Little Silver many times. I'm a born and raised New Yorker and I thought what I had at the Little Silver venue was the same style i was raised with. Foldable tasty crust that's not particularly thin, , ample (but not excessive) cheese, tangy tomato sauce. Very good indeed.

                                                      Quite similar to what I get in Brooklyn at Pino's in Park Slope and Luigi's (no relation) in Greenwood Heights.

                                                      Here's a secret - New York style pizza isn't what it used to be. There are still plenty of good places around but there's also plenty of places that might as well be at a mall food court. On average, the pizza in Monmouth County is better. Sure you can find bad pizza (I'm talking about *you* Attilio's in Monmouth Beach!) but on average it's better.

                                                      (The Pino's link that was automatically added isn't the one in Brooklyn. The "remove" function doesn't seem to be working.)

                                                      -----
                                                      Pino's Cafe
                                                      225 Newark Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07302

                                                      1. re: Bob Martinez
                                                        n
                                                        nanobabes May 11, 2011 03:30 PM

                                                        Thanks for the tip! I just googled them, and they have a different site from the Luigi's in Ocean, so I guess they're different owners? I'll give it a shot.

                                                        I know I sound like I'm hating on Jersey Shore pizza, and really the quality of the sauce and cheeses are perfectly fine, if not better than other places. It's just that crust that defines it for me. I still thoroughly enjoy the pizza - I mean, it's pizza - but I'm a stickler about the crust, and I'm stubborn with my preferences.

                                                      2. re: cantkick
                                                        n
                                                        nanobabes May 11, 2011 02:25 PM

                                                        I agree, I am definitely biased. To each their own pizza. I'm just a bit surprised that I can't seem to find that particular style in the area, it seems much more common in other parts of Jersey that I've lived in. Also, I'm trying to convince my friend who's from the Midwest that NY/NJ pizzeria pizza is better than Domino's, which he prefers. He isn't a fan of the stiff crust either, so I'm trying to show him the kind of pizza that I know and love.

                                                        1. re: nanobabes
                                                          MGZ May 12, 2011 02:48 AM

                                                          Having read all of your pizza-related comments, and taken the time to digest them, I've come to realize your basic thesis: Things are cheesier up North.

                                                          I agree.

                                                      3. re: nanobabes
                                                        JustJake May 20, 2011 04:39 AM

                                                        Nano - even the best pizza will begin to fall off precipteously once it leaves the oven and then gets put into a box (which is what Luigi's is in Ocean - it's all take out here folks). Soggy, cold ok, warm and that's not the way to eat pie.

                                                        Ate at Nunzio's last nite - 1/2 sausage & peppers and 1/2 plain - a very good pie as I've been able to get my wife to go there (she's not a pizza maven - but really likes the overall taste of Nunzios - surprised the hell out of me as she had 3 slices - and that NEVER happens); hell, they're starting to greet me almost as family as we walk in and I'm not even from LB.lol And what's not to like about the real Snookie and what the Jersey Shore is all about being a waitress here - she's the best, then again everyone in there makes sure you have what you need.

                                                        Btw, there's no crime in closing shop at 9pm as Nunzios's does - it's a family restaurant that's patronized by generations of Long Branch families.

                                                        1. re: JustJake
                                                          n
                                                          nanobabes May 20, 2011 08:09 AM

                                                          JustJake, I know what you mean about takeout/delivery, but I don't think I would have changed my mind about Luigi's in Ocean if I ate it on the spot. The sauce was good, but it wasn't the type of crust I was looking for. I also prefer more cheese, or cheese that's more melty and stretchy (I'm not sure how to explain it, I'm obviously not an expert on cheese).

                                                          I did, however, recently order from Luigi's in Little Silver, which offers the style of pizza I've been questing for. And despite it being delivered, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

                                                          Regarding Nunzio's. I never said it was a crime to be closed by 9pm. When I initially called at 9, and they said they were closed, I thought it was unusual, but not especially so. Then someone on this thread told me they close at 8:30, which if that's true, I think is pretty absurd.

                                                          1. re: nanobabes
                                                            JustJake May 21, 2011 02:31 PM

                                                            Duly noted, though Nunzio's is open till 9.

                                                            You should try Vesuvios on 10th Ave. in Belmar before the ladies start getting cranky (i.e. they start getting busy because of Memorial Day and the college yahoo hordes filtering into Belmar and Bradley). S#it service, but once that pie leaves the oven and arrives at your table - it's all worth it.

                                                            Go as it is arguably the best pie around in Monmouth County. I love Nunzio's. I love Denino's. A plain pie is all that you need for that judging.

                                                            -----
                                                            Vesuvio
                                                            725 S Main St Ste 3, Forked River, NJ 08731

                                                          2. re: JustJake
                                                            j
                                                            joonjoon May 20, 2011 01:28 PM

                                                            "Nano - even the best pizza will begin to fall off precipteously once it leaves the oven and then gets put into a box (which is what Luigi's is in Ocean - it's all take out here folks). Soggy, cold ok, warm and that's not the way to eat pie."

                                                            Agreed 100%. IMO the single best way to eat pizza is freshly toasted by the slice at the pizza shop. Even getting a pie is inferior to a single slice - the first slice of the pie may be nice, but every slice after falls off quickly thereafter. Having said that, if I'm getting delivery, Luigi's is still my choice.

                                                            1. re: joonjoon
                                                              MGZ May 20, 2011 01:52 PM

                                                              I'm going to have to respectfully disagree here, joon. The best slice of pizza is usually the second one from a whole pie while in the place. The pizza is invariably too hot when it comes to the table, yet impossible to resist. You slide a slice onto your plate, but the cheese hasn't quite set and the roof of your mouth is destined to get burned. Nevertheless, you go for it . . . "Sh*t! I did it again!"

                                                              But, that second slice, as the little blonde girl said in the bears' house, "Is just right."

                                                              1. re: MGZ
                                                                equal_Mark May 20, 2011 02:09 PM

                                                                The second slice may be difficult to appreciate while dealing with the shreds of burned flesh dangling from the roof of your mouth after the first slice... :-)

                                                                1. re: equal_Mark
                                                                  n
                                                                  nanobabes May 20, 2011 06:48 PM

                                                                  LOL, having the roof of your mouth burnt is like a condition of being a pizza lover. You repeatedly fail to practice restraint because you just want that damn pizza in your mouth already.

                                                      4. re: nanobabes
                                                        equal_Mark May 9, 2011 07:20 AM

                                                        "he's been insulting NJ/NY pizza and prefers Domino's to a nice family-owned pizzeria!"

                                                        There's a tenuous relationship...

                                                        1. re: equal_Mark
                                                          m
                                                          millefeuille May 12, 2011 09:10 AM

                                                          Umberto's in Fair Haven offers a respectable approximation of the classic NY style. I like to order pies well-done to ensure crispness. It's worth a try.

                                                          FWIW, the Grimaldi's in Highlands has been turning out some excellent coal oven pies...

                                                          -----
                                                          Grimaldi's
                                                          123 Bay Avenue, Highlands, NJ 07732

                                                  2. n
                                                    Nanawrite Oct 4, 2010 07:58 PM

                                                    I live for Pete and Elda's thin-crust pizza. Driving tomorrow (from MD) to visit friend at the shore and will make P & E pilgrimmage while I'm there, and probably pick up a pie on my way home.
                                                    It's on Route 35 South in Neptune City. Go early for dinner. Almost always a wait. And don't expect atmosphere or a romantic setting. This is strictly business.

                                                    -----
                                                    Pete and Elda's
                                                    96 Woodland Ave, Neptune City, NJ 07753

                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: Nanawrite
                                                      s
                                                      sockster Oct 5, 2010 07:01 AM

                                                      I have to say this: Had the special pie at Nunzios last night-sausage and peppers- and it was almost the perfect pie. So tasty, and the crust was incredible. So, +1 for Nunzios!!

                                                      1. re: sockster
                                                        Bob Martinez Oct 5, 2010 07:52 AM

                                                        Nunzio's had been on our list for a long time and we hit it twice over the Labor Day weekend. On our first meal we ordered a number of their classic red sauce entrees which were pretty good. The following night we followed up with a pizza.

                                                        We loved the room and the ambiance but the pizza was a bit disappointing. The crust was overdone, clearly burnt in spots, and more chewy than I like. I'd give it another try but I think Nunzio's style skews towards more well done crusts.

                                                        My benchmark for pizza is Freddie's. They've been around since 1944 and their pizza has a crust which is thin but flexible. Unlike a lot of thin crust pizza this crust doesn't shatter when you bite into it.

                                                        The first two pictures are from Nunzio's and the second two are from Freddie's.

                                                        ETA - Thanks to Forunder for spotting a typo. Since corrected.

                                                         
                                                         
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        1. re: Bob Martinez
                                                          f
                                                          fourunder Oct 5, 2010 08:20 AM

                                                          There's currently another thread on why Mom & Pop's don't do better....

                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7382...

                                                          For the record, I have never been to Nunzio's or Vic's....but I have been to Federici's and Pete & Elda's. From the pictures you have provided on Nunzio's, my observation is, as is the same with Federici's and P & E.s, that they suffer from quality control and preparation for presentation of the finished product. The Nunzio's pizza is arguably burnt, which is not so much a problem for me.....the problem for me is they appear to be cheap on the toppings and the finished pie is not appealing to the eye...as opposed to the pictures of the Freddie's product.

                                                          -----
                                                          Federici's
                                                          14 E Main St, Freehold, NJ 07728

                                                          Pete & Elda's Bar
                                                          Highway 35, Neptune, NJ 07753

                                                          1. re: fourunder
                                                            Bob Martinez Oct 5, 2010 08:31 AM

                                                            Freddie's isn't a chain. It's a single location and has been owned by 2 families since 1944.
                                                            http://www.freddiespizzeria.com/histo...

                                                            I tried Pete & Elda's once. It wasn't bad but I thought the crust was a little too brittle. Freddie's makes pizzas in the same style but their crust is thin while still having a little chew to it. If there's such a thing as an al dente crust Freddie's is it.

                                                            -----
                                                            Pete & Elda's Bar
                                                            Highway 35, Neptune, NJ 07753

                                                            1. re: Bob Martinez
                                                              f
                                                              fourunder Oct 5, 2010 08:35 AM

                                                              btw.....*out list* or *our list*......

                                                            2. re: fourunder
                                                              c
                                                              cantkick Oct 5, 2010 08:31 AM

                                                              While I agree too skimpy on the toppings can be a problem, sometimes you can go too far the other way. Last weekend I had a veggie-lovers pie. This place's pies are usually excellent. However, this pie was so loaded that you could not pick up a slice. Even folded it flopped. The flavor of the crust was lost. It was a jumbled mess. Very disappointed.

                                                      2. JustJake Aug 15, 2010 07:49 AM

                                                        You know what's really great about this never ending thread? How good we have it here at the north shore. Long Branch, Asbury Park, Red Bank and all of the other places serving good pie......It could be far worse folks.

                                                        We could be living in Somerset, Hunterdon, or Burlington Counties where there may be a good place or two. LB (including West End), one has a choice of Tuzzios, Nunzio's, Tony's, Freddies, or Scalas. All pretty good, though I do find Freddies to be be quite hit or miss of late and which if was 'sited' in any of the aforementioned counties, could possibly be a 'go to' for those locals. How can you beat that?

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: JustJake
                                                          m
                                                          MichelleM131 Aug 15, 2010 08:43 AM

                                                          I concur. It's great that the problem is not, "Where can we find good pizza?" but "Which good pizza do we want to eat tonight?"

                                                          1. re: JustJake
                                                            MGZ Oct 28, 2010 11:35 AM

                                                            Finally had a chance to try a Nunzio's pie a couple weeks ago. We thoroughly enjoyed a "half meatball.". I certainly agree that it is one damn worthy pizza and that we are lucky to have so many delicious, albeit simple, offerings in the local "cheese melted on bread" scene.

                                                            In fact the night we stopped at Nunzio's, the decision to do so was based upon the fact that we were on the eve of a trip to San Francisco. I had compiled a massive list of "wanna tries" for our trip - none of which included pizza - just figured "why?"

                                                          2. MGZ Aug 14, 2010 04:40 AM

                                                            I've probably hijacked this thread enough, but I've still got about 6 or 7 hours to decide . . .

                                                            1. Tapas52 Aug 13, 2010 09:21 AM

                                                              We had a few slices of the Margarita Pizza at Scalas in LB on Brighton Ave last week simply delicious shady outdoor tables also , thin, garlic, fresh basil, ohhh so good !

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: Tapas52
                                                                MGZ Aug 13, 2010 09:43 AM

                                                                Thanks, guys.

                                                                We're meeting some family members for an early dinner in LB and they asked me to pick a place. The truth is that I could probably choose any place in town - the only restrictions being my natural aversions to waiting for tables and Pier Village. I just thought old school Italian might be fun, acceptable to everyone, and give me a chance to try a pizza respected by some fellow 'hounds.

                                                                1. re: MGZ
                                                                  Tapas52 Aug 13, 2010 12:37 PM

                                                                  Dont rule out Piancone's Italian Restaurant on Broadway in LB for good Italian food also...

                                                                  http://www.johnnypiancone.com/menu/

                                                                  591 Broadway
                                                                  Long Branch, NJ 07740

                                                                  Phone: 732-229-0300

                                                                  1. re: MGZ
                                                                    j
                                                                    joonjoon Aug 13, 2010 08:04 PM

                                                                    Scalas. It's nicer than most pizza joints and it's in a fun part of LB. (if you're looking for Pizza)

                                                                2. s
                                                                  sockster Jul 19, 2010 08:11 PM

                                                                  Got to tell you.....based on recs from this post, tried Nunzio's tonight...it really was an excellent pie!! Going to back and have dinner this Friday and will report on the food then. Good call Chowhounders!!

                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                  1. re: sockster
                                                                    MGZ Aug 13, 2010 07:45 AM

                                                                    OK. I seek advice, rather quickly . . . So, here goes:

                                                                    Of the Long Branch pizzas that have been put forth as worthy of adding to the ongoing Vision Quest, which is served in an establishment that might be conducive to meeting a few family members for a casual, yet non-regrettable meal? Ages from 14 to 70 and it is problably safe to assume that something to eat beside the pie will be sought. Thanks.

                                                                    1. re: MGZ
                                                                      seal Aug 13, 2010 08:32 AM

                                                                      I like Nunzio's, but no atmosphere at all and byo. For a sit down with drinks, I like Tuzzio's.

                                                                      1. re: MGZ
                                                                        s
                                                                        sockster Aug 13, 2010 09:07 AM

                                                                        We like Nunzio's pizza the best in LB, but Vic's in Bradley Beach is our favorite. The BYOB at Nunzios is a plus...the food is not fantastic...but OK, but the pizza really really is great and consistant.

                                                                        1. re: MGZ
                                                                          Bob Martinez Aug 13, 2010 11:22 AM

                                                                          Freddie's would work. It's by no means fancy but it's nice enough. I see large groups there regularly. It can get crowded at times. It might be good to give them a call ahead of time. I'm not sure if they take reservations but it would be worth a shot.

                                                                          The pizza is excellent.

                                                                          1. re: MGZ
                                                                            JustJake Aug 14, 2010 05:15 AM

                                                                            You want Nunzio's then. It's a shoebox of a place, very family friendly and I find the non-pizza offerings to be a bit better than Tuzzio's.

                                                                            Went there last evening, and another restatement that they do make one of the best pies here at the north shore. To the person who commented about their having great crust (yes they do), but found the pizza to be flavorless, that's an indication of their using fresh ingredients. I never salt my pizza in most places as the ingredients, especially the cheaper mozz's make for a salty enough pie; that I may have to very lightly do so here, isn't the problem. The sauce, the cheese in combination with the crust makes for an outstanding pie.

                                                                            And that sausage & pepper pie last nite had nice chunks of fennel flavored sausage. Brought some home, and even luke cold, my wife commented how tasty it was (and I can't ever get her out to go for a pie)

                                                                            1. re: JustJake
                                                                              m
                                                                              MichelleM131 Aug 14, 2010 12:04 PM

                                                                              That was me. I was looking for a little garlic, a little spice, a little something. I would def go back, though, and try a sausage pie. That probably perked it up quite a bit. I use fresh ingredients when I make my Sunday Sauce at home, but it still has flavor. As we say here, opinions are like... everybody's got one!

                                                                        2. Heidi61 Jul 3, 2010 11:43 AM

                                                                          I'd recommend Crust and Crumble in Asbury Park, especially since they offer some excellent vegan or vegetarian options. I don't know if they offer a traditional tomato pie, but the owner is very accommodating and would probably make one for you if you asked. Keep in mind, the crust is fluffy compared to standard "foldable" NJ pizza.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Heidi61
                                                                            d
                                                                            dannan Aug 17, 2010 12:58 PM

                                                                            I second Crust and Crumble...nice alternative pizza's and also great baked goods. Their apple turnovers and cookies are delicious!

                                                                          2. Tapas52 Jul 3, 2010 06:49 AM

                                                                            My Vote goes hands down to SCALA'S Pizzeria I88 Brightion Ave Long Branch NJ,

                                                                            http://www.scalaspizzeria.com/

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: jjm323
                                                                              s
                                                                              sockster Jul 16, 2010 12:02 PM

                                                                              Just heard about Freddy's in Long Branch. How does that stack up vs Nunzio's or Tonys??

                                                                              1. re: jjm323
                                                                                Tapas52 Jul 16, 2010 12:40 PM

                                                                                Like I said in another post there is no Best in Pizza or Hot dogs.....I enjoy Scalas Sicilian pie light and airy crust...but in no way to me does anything compare to the Tomato Pie at "PAPAS" in Chambersburg (Trenton) NJ...or where I grew up in Coney Island at L&B Spumoni Gardens in Bensonhurst Brooklyn NY.

                                                                              2. JustJake Jul 2, 2010 06:31 AM

                                                                                The troika that exists there on that block of Nunzio's, Tuzzios and Tony's may be the Holy Grail of pizza joints in all of NJ...yes folks....all three places on the same block....unheard of and all flourishing.

                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: JustJake
                                                                                  Deb Van D Jul 2, 2010 06:41 AM

                                                                                  I'm curious about Tony's, always being drawn into Tuzzio's like a magnet. Friends love Nunzio's and recommend it, but I'd like to nose into Tony's and get the feel of the place. This could be the weekend . . .

                                                                                  1. re: jjm323
                                                                                    m
                                                                                    MichelleM131 Jul 16, 2010 04:53 PM

                                                                                    I went to Nunzio's for the first time last week with the kids. It was very good. Haven't been to Tony's yet. Freddie's is good too, more Pete and Elda style thin crust. Nunzios was the best pizza crust I have ever had, but the pizza needed a little more flavor for me. I've only had the regular pizza at Scala's, and I wasn't a fan, but my friends all rave about it, too. I went to a place called Maurizio's yesterday, on route 66 in Neptune, in the same shopping center as Shoprite and Home Goods. Very good pizza and an amazing assortment. They had to have 15 different types of pizza at lunchtime. The food looked delicious as well.

                                                                                    1. re: MichelleM131
                                                                                      Tapas52 Jul 16, 2010 08:16 PM

                                                                                      When I see 15 kiinds of pizza in a place that when I walk out .....these places put just about anything on top and call it pizza!!!?....I guess I'm old school, just give me fantastic simple ingredients ....great crust, best tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, & fresh basil...to me less is more in the pizza game.

                                                                                      1. re: Tapas52
                                                                                        m
                                                                                        MichelleM131 Jul 17, 2010 10:26 AM

                                                                                        Yes, yes, I see your point, but they did have many "regular" pizzas i.e., pepperoni, sausage, sausage and peppers, mushrooms, meatball, veggie, etc. Two nice looking white pizza, one with vegs and one without. They had a beautiful one with eggplant, broccoli and tomatoes with fresh mozz, and another good looking margherita that came out of the oven as I was leaving. The more trippy stuff: the buffalo chicken, pineapple, etc. was there as well. To each his own, right?

                                                                                2. MGZ Feb 25, 2010 08:09 AM

                                                                                  I submit that the Lobster Pizza at Val's Tavern in Rumson is a real treat.

                                                                                  1. JustJake Jan 19, 2010 02:19 PM

                                                                                    Can't help but revisit this thread. Interesting that Pete Genovese and his Munchgang visited Luigi's in Lincroft (a good one), Freddies, and Vesuvio's and was reported in last week's Ledger. They raved of the pie at V's. I hope that the hordes don't begin invading this place.

                                                                                    And I wouldn't be surprised if it grades out amongst Jersey's Top 5 if they do cite "A BEST OF" in a couple of weeks as they intimated. Found another real good spot down here also by the name of Luigis' In Little Silver right near Contemporary Motors (Benz dealership). Real nice pizza.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: JustJake
                                                                                      s
                                                                                      scrappyone Jan 20, 2010 06:53 AM

                                                                                      Please don't highlight Luigi's in Lincroft too much. The rectangular pie with pepperoni is my personal favorite and I don't want too many people to know about it. It's already a 30-40 minute wait for pickup.

                                                                                    2. r
                                                                                      RobertDeBord Nov 14, 2009 11:08 AM

                                                                                      I haven't tried most of the places mentioned (and to be honest, I'm from Wisconsin so what do I know) but my wife and I really like Dons in Belmar. Anyone else?

                                                                                      1. l
                                                                                        livingloving Sep 15, 2009 08:55 PM

                                                                                        I read and heard that 4 new pizzerias are opening near term in red bank. lets hope and pray collectively someone(S) gets it right. Since I work there I'm happy. Here goes my current favorite taking the mantle held by Nunzios in Long Branch in for about the last 8 years or so to Frankie Feds. I believe all pizza needs to be eaten right out of the oven your mouth blisters are temporary remember that..Feds is cracker thin yet chewy with a little pull to it. it also has a slightly wetter feel to it than Pete and Eldas which I like but feel its over hyped. mad hatter Sea Bright similar story. I do like Jimmies Asbury park Vals, Brothers try the white with fresh sliced tomato and garlic trust me. Also if your in a i wanna be indulgent try a New England at Luigis Little Silver...Mr Pizza have to mention wife and kids love I'm neutral...Like front Street Trattoria try the mexican if again your in the non neopolitan or sicilian. I also have to mention Ciao Bella Navesink Ceaser and Paulie Lubrano formerly of Lubranos two of the nicest restauranteurs you'll meet Ceaser will spin pies and talk Yankees or politics sometimes both at the same time.. try the chicken vodka sauce or chicken alfredo but don't miss the sicil;iian with extra cheese. Have to finally mention Vesuvios Belmar Ruvolos welcome newcomer to the highlands area good luck to all the above and all chowhounders in their search for the perfect pizza or meal

                                                                                        15 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: livingloving
                                                                                          angelo04 Sep 21, 2009 06:31 PM

                                                                                          Any idea if Nunzio's is any relation to the infamous and Excellent Nunzio's of Staten Island?

                                                                                          1. re: angelo04
                                                                                            Tapas52 Sep 21, 2009 07:22 PM

                                                                                            I grew up in Staten island Nunzio's was the best around...But a few months ago I stopped in and was sorely disappointed in the quality of the pizza...it is definitly not the same anymore from years gone by.

                                                                                            1. re: angelo04
                                                                                              l
                                                                                              livingloving Oct 7, 2009 10:20 PM

                                                                                              no it isn't its been around since the 50's and looks like the pizza place in the opening Sopranos credits. i like the plain with extra cheese IMHO the regular is a little light on the cheese. there was a rumor that it used to be a place that took numbers back in the day and they started making pizza as a cover. Gotta love it jersey mob/pizza lore.
                                                                                              get the chop chop salad and the extra cheese and say hi to snooky the owner/wife

                                                                                              1. re: angelo04
                                                                                                c
                                                                                                CeeCee1 May 23, 2010 06:13 AM

                                                                                                They are no relation. I know the family in Long Branch well. This is their only restaurant. It is run/owned by brother and sister, Louie & Snooky. Nice family!

                                                                                              2. re: livingloving
                                                                                                MGZ Nov 7, 2009 09:06 AM

                                                                                                After significant reflection and deep soul searching (but mostly the resurrection of this thread), I hereby submit my 40 to 1, "give me an exacta wheel," "trust me I know a guy," long shot entry for the best pizza in the Mon/OC and, perhaps, the totality of the Jersey Shore.

                                                                                                This is a pizza that, from the bottom up, works. The crust is a bit thinker that that offered by the other seaside classic. It's still crisp, yet retaining an al dente type chew.

                                                                                                The red suace was savory, garlicky, not hint of added sugar polluting the tomatoes' inherent sweetness. Moreover, it was well dispersed and ladelled with a nod to moderation. I don't know if it's any good on pasta - don't really care. It's a very good pizza sauce.

                                                                                                The cheese, like the sauce, was both properly distributed and quantitatively correct. The melt was right as well with points where the cheese had just browned. There was a buttery flavor to the cheese, suggesting that a harded cheese, perhaps pecorino or provolone, had been mixed with the mozzarella. Ordinarily, such a diversion from pizza purity might offend, but on this pie it truly works.

                                                                                                Now, to add to the delicious magic of this pizza, is the atmosphere of the joint. Yes, sir, this place has formica tables, aqua colored, vinyl upholstery, plenty of booths, autographed photos of celebrities, EVERYTHING! It was decorated when LBJ was still running the Senate from a men's room stall and it hasn't changed much since.

                                                                                                Here's the amazing part. I have walked, driven, bicycled, even skateboarded past this place hundreds of times over decades and never gone in. Hell, I never even thought of it. No idea why.

                                                                                                What twisting of the fates led us to finally try the place, I cannot comprehend, but we did. We loved it. We went back the NEXT NIGHT! It's my new go to pie.

                                                                                                Oh yeah - It was Vesuvio Restaurant, 10th Avenue, Belmar.

                                                                                                1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                  j
                                                                                                  jfedorko Nov 7, 2009 07:58 PM

                                                                                                  Gee MGZ, with your poetic pulchritude of praise I'm going have to try that place just on your writing. It makes my mouth water just reading it! (Or, maybe I'm just hungry <grin>)

                                                                                                  1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                    JustJake Nov 7, 2009 08:23 PM

                                                                                                    Now. I now know that you know what you're talking about (see our Thai exchange/Manows)..

                                                                                                    Vesuvios remains theeeeeeeeeee best pizza eating that one can find here in Monmouth County. I've said it for years and all that you hear down here is "Carmen's (i.e. Pete & Elda's which is so damned pedestrian and 'weak', I don't even want to further comment on this spot)

                                                                                                    But back to Vesuvios: Service sucks, you get treated like $#!t if you're not a regular. The women in their pompodour 50's cuts are just way over the top, and the interior decor as you cite, the aqua naugahyde and plastic flowers sort of makes this dining experience a cross between 'Blue Velvet and the best damned pizza experience one is likely to find.

                                                                                                    When we took a friend last year to V's, he commented that it was the best pizza he had tasted since leaving Brooklyn some 15 years earlier.

                                                                                                    1. re: JustJake
                                                                                                      MGZ Nov 8, 2009 07:03 AM

                                                                                                      I can see how the service at Vesuvio's might be pretty local-oriented. We were there weeknights in the off-season so they were pretty glad to attend to us, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if Flo and Alice get a little cranky when they have too take too much time between cigarettes.

                                                                                                      (BTW - I Mapquested Four Seasons before looking at this thread! Looks like there's a trip across the Driscoll in my near future.)

                                                                                                      1. re: JustJake
                                                                                                        seal Nov 8, 2009 10:52 AM

                                                                                                        Lol. Once again in my never ending quest for awesome local pizza I took my family off to Belmar to Vesuvios. And once again we did not find what we were looking for....sigh.

                                                                                                        I guess that's what the old man at Keste meant when he said that it is almost impossible to convince anyone else that your best pie should also be their best pie. But it was a nice day for a drive and then a walk around Belmar.

                                                                                                        1. re: seal
                                                                                                          shabbystorm Nov 8, 2009 12:48 PM

                                                                                                          Amen brother.
                                                                                                          Enjoy life - share opinions - realize it is all good fun - and don't take life or pizza too seriously. Know it is difficult when money, time, and pride are involved but a wise man once said, opinions are like assholes everyone's got one!
                                                                                                          Peace out.

                                                                                                          1. re: seal
                                                                                                            JustJake Nov 15, 2009 11:11 AM

                                                                                                            What exactly were you looking for? Honest question. Where do you go for your pizza that is 'just exactly perfect'?

                                                                                                            I'll keep Vesuvio's near and dear to me while the hordes visit Pete & Elda's.

                                                                                                            1. re: seal
                                                                                                              w
                                                                                                              white light Jan 20, 2010 05:30 AM

                                                                                                              I agree... Vesuvios is terribly overrated in my opinion.

                                                                                                              1. re: white light
                                                                                                                JustJake Jan 20, 2010 01:51 PM

                                                                                                                Say what??? I trust you were referring to Pete & Eldas whitelight as no one touts Vesuvios down here. A hidden gem which I'd like kept that way.

                                                                                                                1. re: JustJake
                                                                                                                  w
                                                                                                                  white light Jan 20, 2010 06:18 PM

                                                                                                                  Vesuvios gets "touted" quite a bit by locals I'd say (it's mentioned multiple times in this thread alone). I really wanted it to be good, I grew up eating pies from there as a kid living close by but hadn't had it in probably a decade. Recently went back and excitedly got a pie (it was take-out so that may have been part of the problem) and both my wife and I were completely underwhelmed. Nothing stood out; the sauce was okay but the cheese was lackluster and the dough was terrible.

                                                                                                                  1. re: white light
                                                                                                                    JustJake Jan 21, 2010 03:37 AM

                                                                                                                    Never, ever have a pie put into a cardboard box. That was the first roadblock to your enjoying a fresh pie. Sit your keister down and have one right out of the oven in order to properly assess.

                                                                                                                    To each his own and I'll respect your opinion (even if it is in the distinct minority) as I don't believe anything has changed in Vesuvio's since the Eisenhower Administration.

                                                                                                                    Bon Apetiti.

                                                                                                                    Off to Pithari's today for lunch (for the first time). Let's see what the hubub is about for this solid Greek.

                                                                                                      2. ellen4441 Sep 15, 2009 08:33 PM

                                                                                                        My favorite (thus far) is EMILIO'S in Manalapan on Route 9...
                                                                                                        good chewy cheese, garlicy flavor, doughy crust..
                                                                                                        just the way I like it!!

                                                                                                        1. m
                                                                                                          meohmy Sep 15, 2009 08:28 PM

                                                                                                          Vic's. No contest. Though a close second is probably Bruno's in Neptune City. And third is TJ's in Asbury.

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                                                                                                            ParadiseWaits Sep 4, 2009 11:24 AM

                                                                                                            It is what it is. Tomato Pie, the best remains to be found in 3-4 spots in and around Trenton.

                                                                                                            As for pizza, my favorites in this order are: Vesuvio's (Belmar), Vics (Bradley), Freddie's (LB), Brothers (RB for the margharita), Frankie Fed's (Fhold), Squan Tavern, Tuzzios (LB), Val's (Rumson).

                                                                                                            1. Angelina Sep 3, 2009 12:23 PM

                                                                                                              I have just been so delighted with the thin crust pizza at Frankie Fed's in Freehold. I posted about it a few days ago.

                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Angelina
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                                                                                                                MichelleM131 Sep 4, 2009 09:06 AM

                                                                                                                Mr. Pizza slice in Red Bank has the best pizza! You have to eat it there, though, because the take out pie is really small. Get the fries while you are there, too.

                                                                                                                I enjoy the Grandma pizza from Sea Bright Pizza as well. There regular pizza is good as well, but has a tendency to be undercooked so I ask for it well done.

                                                                                                                1. re: MichelleM131
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                                                                                                                  xny556cip Sep 13, 2009 10:23 AM

                                                                                                                  A new Coal / Gas fired pizza place called Pazzo is slated to open in Red Bank @ 141 West Front Street (Feb 2010 ).Apparently with a Woodstone Oven, which uses coal and gas It will be "specializing in Neapolitan coal fired pizzas”.
                                                                                                                  For a restaurant that is "Specializing" It seems that already they haven't researched this too well as Neapolitans never use coal in thier ovens.
                                                                                                                  I won't hold my breath on this one.

                                                                                                                  1. re: xny556cip
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                                                                                                                    lend63 Nov 7, 2009 05:09 AM

                                                                                                                    coal fired artisan pizza never said neapolitan

                                                                                                                    1. re: lend63
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                                                                                                                      xny556cip Nov 7, 2009 11:04 AM

                                                                                                                      Quoted from the website pizzablogger.com:

                                                                                                                      "I had a brief correspondence with one of the owners of Pazzo. The restaurant will utilize a Woodstone Firedeck 9690 Oven, which uses a coal and gas set up similar to Coal Fire Pizza in Ellicott City. He mentioned that “we are a restaurant and full bar specializing in Neapolitan coal fired pizzas”.

                                                                                                                      You may have been wrongly quoted by pizzablogger.....but as I said,I'm not holding my breath in anticipation.

                                                                                                                    2. re: xny556cip
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                                                                                                                      lend63 Nov 13, 2009 05:05 AM

                                                                                                                      THANKS FOR THE INFO ON ETIQUETTE I APPOLOGIZE TO ALL I AM NEW TO THIS PLEASE EXCEPT MY APOLOGY

                                                                                                                2. ambrose Aug 11, 2009 07:04 AM

                                                                                                                  Keep your eye on nj.com's Munchmobile blog:

                                                                                                                  http://www.nj.com/entertainment/dinin...

                                                                                                                  They have recently reported on the "best" pizza in Union, Essex, Hunterdon, Somerset and Middlesex counties. Perhaps they will report on Monmouth soon.

                                                                                                                  Based on my limited pizza expertise, the top rated places in Hunterdon and Somerset and very good.

                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: ambrose
                                                                                                                    ambrose Sep 3, 2009 12:16 PM

                                                                                                                    Looks like The Munchmobile's evaluation pretty much corroborates what has been said here and elsewhere - good pizza is hard to find in Monmouth County.

                                                                                                                    http://www.nj.com/entertainment/dinin...

                                                                                                                    1. re: ambrose
                                                                                                                      MGZ Sep 4, 2009 08:54 AM

                                                                                                                      Intesting choices to try . . . wonder how those were selected?

                                                                                                                      BTW - to Joan: Clueless was Alicia Silverstone. We would have also accepted Brittany Murphy.

                                                                                                                      1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                        ambrose Sep 4, 2009 09:57 AM

                                                                                                                        I believe places are recommended by people who read the Munchmobile blog. An appropriate number, usually five or six, are then selected for a visit. Hardly a scientific sampling but it's rare that a really well know spot gets left out.

                                                                                                                        As for Joan, I don't think she was referring to the movie, just that LL was clueless!

                                                                                                                        1. re: ambrose
                                                                                                                          MGZ Sep 4, 2009 12:51 PM

                                                                                                                          "Thanks for the clarification," he muttered, almost growled.

                                                                                                                          He shook his head in puzzled disbelief. "Why does this keep happening?" he thought. It had been a series of similar reactions. "Why?" First the NFL diabtribe, now this.

                                                                                                                          Maybe ol' Doc Thompson had it right up in Woody Creek. Maybe they can't handle it, perhaps they've all lost any semblance of a sense of humor. A group reaction to psychosis and the impending doom? Hard to say. Maybe it's Oprah's fault. Probably.

                                                                                                                          "Easy, boy - gotta let go of the loathing. They'll laugh again, see subtlety, appreciate irony. For now . . . . tequila, lots of it - and PIZZA!"

                                                                                                                    2. re: ambrose
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                                                                                                                      ParadiseWaits Sep 4, 2009 03:39 PM

                                                                                                                      Somerset and Hunterdon can't hold a candle to the places in Monmouth. I grew up here and I've happened to work in Somerset for the last 20 years. There is nothing in Somerset that even comes close (not the Chimney Rock, not Stans, not anything in Sommerville).

                                                                                                                      I have a dozen spots within 10 minutes of me here in the RB-Belmar corridor that are as good as anything you'll find here in NJ (cept' the gold mine that Trenton continues to be)

                                                                                                                    3. j
                                                                                                                      jerseytomato120 Aug 10, 2009 12:26 PM

                                                                                                                      I still haven't found a pizza doesn't makes me want to go running back to Staten Island every time I want seriously good pizza. When you find it let us know. Check NJ Magazine - this month they are reviewing restaurants and they name a place in Asbury but I can't remember the name

                                                                                                                      11 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: jerseytomato120
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                                                                                                                        stickman731 Aug 10, 2009 04:07 PM

                                                                                                                        Grew up in Bayonne. I know what you mean. The best thin (not paper thin) pie that I have found is Luigi's in Lincroft; Luigi's Famous Pizza, 650 Newman Springs Rd Lincroft NJ 07738.

                                                                                                                        Some people with recommend Pete and Elda in Neptune or Vic in Bradley Beach - they do not meet SI or Hudson County standards in my opinion.

                                                                                                                        1. re: stickman731
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                                                                                                                          Freeholdtwsp88 Aug 10, 2009 06:49 PM

                                                                                                                          Pete and Elda in Neptune lol what a joke

                                                                                                                          1. re: Freeholdtwsp88
                                                                                                                            seal Aug 11, 2009 03:24 AM

                                                                                                                            Yesterday I sat in a pizza place on Bleeker St in NYC diagonally across from John's Pizza next to an old Italian man and we chatted while we ate our pizzas. I'm no slouch in my pursuit of great pizza, but this old man seems to have eaten pizza everywhere. I will try to paraphrase his wisdom:

                                                                                                                            Pizza is the most subjective food there is. The best pizza is what YOU think is the best pizza. When you find one you like, do everything you can to support the place who makes it. Never try to convince anyone that your best pizza should be their best pizza - you will only get frustrated.

                                                                                                                            I am sure I agree with him, so typing with a grain of salt, I like Frankie Fed's here in Freehold. Their sausage pie just does it for me. The cracker thin crust is similar to PnE's and Vic's, but I like FF's better. I am still searching for my local go-to square pie, either grandma or sicilian.

                                                                                                                            And, for the record, the place in the city is called Keste, and they may currently have the best neopolitan pizza around. But, remember, just because me and the old man liked it doesn't mean you will ;o) I wish you the luck of Columbus in your search for your best pie.

                                                                                                                            1. re: seal
                                                                                                                              MGZ Aug 11, 2009 03:51 AM

                                                                                                                              Such a simple substance, with just three essential elements - crust, sauce, cheese (unless one includes nostalgia). Yet minor variants produce such strong opinions. Having spent time living in sych exotic locales as Wilmington, DE and Reading, PA, almost any pie in Central NJ would be a welcome treat upon visits home.

                                                                                                                              Now, I don't know if pizza is more or less subjective than other foods, but I do know that there wouldn't be so many pizzas available if not for disparate tastes. (Someday, we need to have a "census" of the pizza places in strip malls on Route 9 from Middlesex through Ocean couties. I bet there might be close to 500! Closely followed by nail salons, dry cleaners, and Chinese take-outs.) Personally, my present favorite is Coal Fired Oven in Bradley Beach - their pie is a deviation from the local, thin crust favorites using less cheese and a higher cooking temperature.

                                                                                                                              Ultimately, I agree with Seal's new friend. In my words - "Quit bitchin' - keep eatin' . . . You'll likely find one you like!"

                                                                                                                              1. re: seal
                                                                                                                                tuxedo Aug 11, 2009 06:41 AM

                                                                                                                                What a great piece of wisdom! Seems we could apply that to all foods.

                                                                                                                                1. re: seal
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                                                                                                                                  harrison Aug 11, 2009 07:30 AM

                                                                                                                                  Seal - love this (and loved Keste too).

                                                                                                                                  For me, Vics is a bit of nostalgia remembering trips down the shore as a kid - day at the beach, dinner at Vics, then playing Fascination and eating waffles and ice cream on the Asbury Boardwalk - maybe that makes the pizza taste even better to this day.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: harrison
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                                                                                                                                    mustlovecats Feb 22, 2011 12:03 PM

                                                                                                                                    My favorite is still Vics but my problem is I am still looking for sliced sausage instead of the chunks.......you know like sausage pizzas used to be....always sliced.....never chunks.... can anyone help me........where can I get a good pizza that still slices the sausage? Thanks for your help!

                                                                                                                                  2. re: seal
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                                                                                                                                    xny556cip Aug 11, 2009 06:55 PM

                                                                                                                                    Glad you enjoyed Keste seal.It's a very different style of pizza than you'll find almost anywhere else,but if you fall in love with this style it becomes an obsession! Your dining companion was very wise.I've given up trying to convice people that the style I like is the "best '. I just try to introduce them to it and invariably they get hooked.The only place in NJ that is doing anything like it is A Mano in Ridgewood.

                                                                                                                                  3. re: Freeholdtwsp88
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                                                                                                                                    purplepamera Oct 5, 2010 09:39 AM

                                                                                                                                    Are you kidding? I've lived a few minutes from P&E's and I'm obsessed with their pies. It can't be compared to other pizzas. Sure if you eat a whole XXL you won't enjoy it. If you looking for thin crust, not super thin as P&E's, I like Squan Tavern. I'm not a huge fan of Vic's the cheese is a little too gooey, kinda slides of the slice. Not that I'll turn down a slice.

                                                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                                                    Squan Tavern
                                                                                                                                    15 Broad St, Manasquan, NJ 08736

                                                                                                                                  4. re: stickman731
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                                                                                                                                    Mr. Bingley Sep 17, 2009 05:36 AM

                                                                                                                                    i agree on Luigi's, but make sure you get the large square pie.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: stickman731
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                                                                                                                                      MarlboroMan Nov 13, 2009 05:46 PM

                                                                                                                                      Braved the Nor'easter and tried Luigi's tonight. Wife and I both thought it was good, but not great pizza. Lobster bisque was pretty good. Wife loved her order of fried raviolis. Cannoli tasted a little off to me.. something not quite right... filling was fine, but the shell tasted stale or rancid, perhaps.

                                                                                                                                      Do be aware that they do not offer refills on their small sodas.. each one is $1.40.. my wife had 3 Diet Cokes... oy.

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                                                                                                                                    AmySer0821 Jul 30, 2009 11:28 AM

                                                                                                                                    I moved to Monmouth County from Hudson back in October- still looking! Eagerly awaiting replies, too. Good luck!

                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: AmySer0821
                                                                                                                                      tuxedo Jul 30, 2009 12:50 PM

                                                                                                                                      agree with harrison - post your question on mid-atlantic board -

                                                                                                                                      1. re: AmySer0821
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                                                                                                                                        fourunder Jul 30, 2009 06:23 PM

                                                                                                                                        The tomato pies in Trenton are over-rated.....

                                                                                                                                        geedah and AmySer0821,

                                                                                                                                        your search is over.....

                                                                                                                                        http://www.deninospizzaplace.com/

                                                                                                                                        1. re: AmySer0821
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                                                                                                                                          ParadiseWaits Sep 4, 2009 03:35 PM

                                                                                                                                          Tell us what spots that you have tried out. While Monmouth isn't like many places up north that still have ethnic enclaves and thus good pirzzarias and Italian, we DO HAVE VERY GOOD pizza joints.

                                                                                                                                          Tell me where you've been.

                                                                                                                                        2. h
                                                                                                                                          harrison Jul 21, 2009 10:08 AM

                                                                                                                                          Post on Mid-Atlantic and you'll get some replies I'm sure.

                                                                                                                                          My $.02 - Vics in Bradley Beach. Gets mixed reviews here but my favorite for 30+ years

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