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Nov 15, 2010 05:11 PM

Coal, Coal Fired Pizza, Manalapan

Looked for Marlboro Man's post on Coal (it was excellent) and found it under the lamberti's closed thread. Thought it best to start a new thread for Coal.

We went here late Sunday afternoon after catching a movie. Place is clean and two large flatscreen televisions on each side of the restaurant. Great if your into sports, the Giants game was on :(
Arugula salad with cranberries, shaved parm and lemon vinaigrette was tasty and enough for two as advertised.
Ordered a large sausage pizza and it came out quickly, the red hot oven puts a nice char on the pizza in about 5 minutes.
The pizza comes with plum tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil and olive oil. Of course this one also had a nice amount of crumbled sausage.
Pizza was good, actually very good compared to most local places. What could have made it better?. A bit more bake time would have made the crust more crisp (it wasn't soggy) and the sausage could have been more spicy and flavorful.

We will be back to sample some of the other pies offered. The menu is pretty focused, not a ton of items to pick from.

Coal is better than many places serving pizza in the area. Here is some info and the menu if you decide to go.

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  1. Also tried them out over the weekend. Agree that the pizza was generally better than many of the local spots, but found the crust on the soggier side. Top was nicely charred and bubbly, but it folded in on itself, perhaps due to over-saucing?? Will return but hope they get the cooking balance in check.

    1. Do the owners also own Solo in Freehold? Only reason I think this is because I went on the Coal website and I subscribed my email to the list. Then, when I checked my email, it was from Solo in Freehold thanking me.

      Nice review, Tom. I am really hoping for something like Delorenzo's Tomato Pies closer to my house so I don't have to schlep all the way down Rt. 130!!

      3 Replies
      1. re: Angelina

        Well, I purposely did not compare to Delorenzo's, it would not be fair. The pie is similar in that it is not a "goopy" pie with tons of cheese.
        The place has potential. Another half minute or so in the oven to make the crust a bit more crispy would make a better pie.

        Delorenzo's its not but a good addition to the area. On a positive note, you also won't have a two hour wait :)

        1. re: Angelina

          I didn't make the connection at the time, but now that you mention it, I think I recognized the gentlemen who appeared to be an owner at Coal from Solo.

        2. Yes, same owner as Solo and both places aren't great.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jerseygirl70

            I too tried this place after a friend raved about the pizza but ours was barley warm..? Sause was just ok. The staff was great... really friendly but its small and not a place a can take the kids without having to keep telling them to shush....

          2. Nice review Tom - made me want to try the place, ty.

            Went tonight and was pleasantly surprised to find them busy on this rainy Sunday evening. We split a large plain pie and an order of eggplant. The plain pizza was comparable to a Margarita with fresh tomato, fresh cheese, and fresh basil. Truth be told it was very good, perfectly cooked and tasty. The eggplant was also good and went nicely with the crusts. With all the coal oven pizza joints popping up everywhere, it's about time we had a decent one nearby. We'll be back.

            12 Replies
            1. re: seal

              Happy New Year, seal!

              I agree with you about Coal. We've been there twice. Both times, we ordered our pizza topped with sausage and onions. While I would have liked a bit more of the toppings, there was just the right balance between the appealingly fresh-tasting tomato sauce and the cheese. The crust was thin without being cracker-like and had a nice char without being burnt.

              Interesting to note that the second time, it took an inordinately long time for the pizza to arrive. (Both times, we were there mid-afternoon when the place was just about empty.) When our waitress finally brought it to our table, we asked why the long wait, and she told us that they had to remake the pie because the crust on the first one had been spread too thin so that while baking, it developed a hole in the center. Hmmm... Bagel pizza?

              While I'm not exactly a pizza maven, imo, this is the best in the area.


              1. re: RGR

                OMG! RGR - Welcome Back! You have been sorely missed these past number of months. I hope you are doing well and wish you and Mr. RGR a happy and healthy new year!

                1. re: bgut1

                  Thanks so much for the warm welcome back, b.! I've missed being here with you and my other NJ Hound pals.

                  Mr. R. and I extend our very best wishes to you, Mrs. bgut, and your bgut guys for a healthy and joy-filled 2011!

                  (Note: To those who want to know why I've been silent the past four months, I've posted the explanation on my blog.)


                  1. re: RGR

                    When did they open? I've been out of jersey for a while. Must have been recent... Maybe we''ll go for dinner....

                2. re: RGR

                  Happy and healthy new year RGR - good to have you back.

                  I also like that it's a BYO. I'm thinking about a bottle of red and a pie right now.

                  1. re: seal

                    Thanks, seal! Please extend my best wishes for a healthy, happy new year to Mrs. seal and the kid seals.

                    My one mini-gripe is that their soft drinks menu is too limited. I'm thinking that next time, I'll BYO my own soda.


                  2. re: RGR

                    Oh welcome back RGR!! The Queen of Chowhound is back! I am so thrilled and glad to see you here.

                    I made it to Coal last night, and we were quite pleased! I stand with RGR by stating, it is the best pizza in the area. We only had a plain pie with mushrooms, but it was really good. I like the crust, and the sauce was tasty.

                    I will definately go back and I am glad this is a new addition to the area.

                    1. re: Angelina

                      Thanks for the warm welcome back, Angelina! You are too kind and have me blushing.... :)

                      You are much more pizza-savvy than I am, and I know you like Denino's (which I thought was just o.k.), so I'm happy you were pleased with Coal's pizza.

                      I'm working on uploading, organizing, and labeling my humougous backlog of photos. These are the ones I snapped at Coal the first time we were there in November:


                      1. re: RGR

                        we took out from here last weekend and found it to be quite good. probably even better if you eat in. we had a musroom pizza and one of the specialty ones with meatballs and something else, I forget now. I really enjoyed that although I found the sauce to maybe be a touch too sweet. The meatballs were crumbled which was surprising.
                        We'd return here for an easy bite out to eat.
                        We took a sample menu and I thought to myself "boy this looks familiar" but I couldn't place it. Now I see the SOLO connection, makes sense to me now!

                        1. re: mbw1024

                          Glad you liked it, mbw1024. We've taken home leftover slices, and even reheated, I thought they held up surprisingly well.

                          Were you expecting the meatballs to be whole? I would think that crumbling them makes the slices easier to eat.

                          Have you eaten at Solo? If so, how is it?


                          1. re: RGR

                            most other meatballs I've seen/had the meatballs were sliced.
                            we have eaten at Solo but not in quite a while so I shouldn't comment. it was always the kind of place where we'd "run in" before or after this or that. Not a place we really set out to go.

                            1. re: mbw1024

                              Solo is okay but I've had much better pizza than Coals.