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Oct 27, 2011 12:54 PM

L&B Spumoni Gardens type pizza in NJ?

I have been searching forever for a pizza that tastes like l&b Spumoni Gardens (brooklyn) in New Jersey. Does anybody know of a place that serves anything like that?

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  1. I assume you're talking about "the square". I have never found a pie like that one anywhere else. Closest thing we have here in NJ is a good grandma pie or sicilian. Let me know if you find one.

    10 Replies
    1. re: seal

      Yes, there is a place called Piazza Pizza in Spotswood. Haven't been there for a few months, but the square pizza was excellent last time I had it.

      1. re: tootsnj

        I was at L&B last month let me tell you the pizza there doesn't taste anything like it used to years ago by any means...and I should know I lived 3 blocks away growing up...very Square Pizza I've had around here in NJ was at Scalas in Long Branch West End.....

        1. re: Tapas52

          tapas - so glad to finally read someone who feels similarly to us about L and B. We drove from Rockland on Father's Day for some pizza to find out what all the hoopla was about - and we couldn't figure it out. Pizza was good - nothing great - and yes - spumoni was a nice touch - but really folks........

          1. re: smilingal

            smilingal sorry to hear that........... whenever I'm in Brooklyn in my old neighborhood I go to Tortonno Pizza in Coney Island... Excellent.... (pictured)

            Here at home if I yearn for pizza I drive to Trenton and always go to PAPAS Tomato favorite !


            I've given up on Square......Scalas in Long Branch I enjoy when in the area....otherwise its a L&B memory of years ago....that has sadly disappeared. :-(

            1. re: Tapas52

              Not that it reminds me of L & B square, but I had a really nice and different square pie at Aleo in Lincroft last night. It had the doughier, thick crust of sicilian and was topped with just sauce and a breadcrumb/olive oil mixture. It reminded me of something I ate in Rome. They called it Pizza Rustica. Have to add that it is just as good reheated which is rare in any pizza.

          2. re: Tapas52

            I had a patient tell me not too long ago that Spumoni Gardens had been sold in the last year or so, to non-Italians who don't quite get it. That may be why it was such a disappointment when you went there.

            1. re: Tapas52

              Tap, I happen to like Scalas, but this place in Somerset blows away anything that I've tasted of late. Just wow.

          3. re: seal

            Can someone please tell me what's happened to pizza in NJ?

            I grew up there (18 years) in the 70s and 80s (Ocean County) and we had two kinds of pizza- regular (round, thin crust) and Sicilian (square, thick crust).

            When did people stop calling Sicilian slices "square" slices? Or is a "square slice" something different entirely?

            And what's this grandma pie that's showing up all over the place these days? And tomato pies? People say these are New Jersey pizzas, but it's not the pizza from the New Jersey I knew.

            Granted, I haven't lived there since 1992.

            Is this something I totally missed during my time in NJ, or is this some recent revolution in NJ style pizza?

            Mr Taster

            1. re: Mr Taster

              Pizza has gotten a bit more complicated in the NY metro area in the last 18 years.

              At most places, you'll find the traditional thin crust and thick crust Sicilian, but Brooklyn Sicilian (L&B style, not quite as thick as traditional Sicilian) and Grandma style (less thick than Brooklyn and sometimes as thin as thin crust) have made inroads. A 'square' can now mean three different things. I would say that for 95% of the pizzerias, though, what you remember is still in effect. Grandma's and Brooklyn Sicilians are still pretty unique and confined to a small list of places. They are growing in popularity, though.

              The term 'Tomato Pie' gets thrown around a bit, but it's generally accepted to be Trenton Style. Trenton is basically thin crust NY style with the cheese put down first. It's popular in Trenton, obviously, but it's made it's mark on the Jersey Shore as well, especially further South.

              As far as changes go, though, these are pretty insignificant compared to the biggest change of all- that NY style pizza is not a fraction of the quality that it used to be. Hundreds of great pizzerias have taken a noticeably mediocre turn and the new places that open are garbage. The pizza you get here, for the most part, is what you get anywhere in the U.S.- and that's incredibly sad.

              1. re: scott123

                How interesting.

                Honestly, it's a bit ground-shaking to think that the eternal paradigm of the thin and round pizza or the thick and square Sicilian is being turned on its head. Who is responsible for this?

                The first time I heard the term "square slice" bandied about was circa 2005 when I had my first DiFara slice, and Chowhounds/Slice blog were referring to Dom's "square slice". I wanted to reach out and throttle my monitor, shaking it violently while screaming "It's Sicilian, you putz!" I went through six monitors by the time I got over it.

                I've been away for too long, and now my world doesn't make sense anymore.

                Mr Taster

          4. Brunos In Clifton has the L & B type of square pie (cheese under the sauce).

            1 Reply
            1. re: wblorch

              Bruno's just opened a new location on Rt. 10 in East Hanover. Not as good as La Sicilia in Belleville IMO, but still pretty good.

            2. La Sicilia in Belleville has a square that is very close to what you're looking for.

              There is another place, though, that I just have to get back to one of these days. I used to work within walking distance to Vittorio's in Englewood and fell in love with their square. The sauce on top of the cheese was very garlicy and fresh tasting, lots of fresh herbs. If they are still doing it the same way it may be a contender for an even better slice. Just something to keep in mind if you're in the nabe.

              1. Pronto II Pizzeria in Middletown has in my opinion the closest to what L&B was when I was growing up a few blocks from there. In fact they make the best crust I've tasted from a normal pizzeria, other than coal or wood fired. The food there is spot on!


                1. I just had a delicious square slice of what you're looking for. Piazza Orsillo on Cedar Grove Ave in Somerset. Amazingly good.

                  Piazza Orsillo
                  120 Cedar Grove Ln, Somerset, NJ 08873

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: JustJake

                    Mario's in Maywood has L&B styled square pie with sauce on top. It called Grandma's style and it is excellent.