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Trenton Tomato Pies

r
razeup Jan 3, 2012 05:13 PM

Myself and a couple others will be trekking down to Trenton from the New York Metro area to taste some great tomato pie! In particular I need to try out Delorenzo's on Hudson St before it closes next week given its best-in-country reputation, and I also wanted try out Papa's as well. I've done a bit of research on additional places we could hit, but I've hit a wall. Are there any other great tomato pie places in the Trenton area that are worth the time? Any other Italian remnants around there as well? Below are a few I was considering; 2 places on top of Delorenzo's and Pap's would be ideal. I appreciate any help!

- Delorenzo's (Hamilton Ave)
- Mama Rosa's
- La Villa
- Corleone's
- Palermo's

  1. njfoodies Jan 17, 2012 08:11 PM

    I always find it interesting to read the Hudson Street (RIP now) -vs- Hamilton Avenue comments. I've been to both many times, and I just don't get the Hamilton Ave draw. It's OK, but in my opinion, doesn't hold a candle to the old Hudson Street. Crust is different, sauce is different, sausage, etc.... -mJ

    1. s
      stillnotdon Jan 14, 2012 07:32 PM

      In the past couple of weeks. I've been to 4 of the places mentioned in this post. La Villa had a great square tomato pie, but nothing much else to recommend it. Mama Rosa's tomato pie looked fantastic, but was merely ok--the crust was more like a cracker (the eggplant parmesan, however, is to die for),. Palermo's is sometimes great, but sometimes just ok, and as noted above, has the sweetest sauce, but the real surprise was JoJo's bar pie, technically not a tomato pie, I guess, but the best of all we tried, so good we came back a week later to make sure. Corleones is next on my list to try--the zeppole are beckoning.....

      4 Replies
      1. re: stillnotdon
        t
        TomDel Mar 26, 2012 04:28 AM

        Keep it on the QT about JoJo's, they're crowded enough. Just kidding. Try their Delmonico steak sandwich sometime.

        1. re: stillnotdon
          h
          Heatherb Mar 26, 2012 04:58 AM

          stillnotdon, did you ever get to Corleone's?

          1. re: Heatherb
            s
            stillnotdon Mar 26, 2012 05:12 PM

            Never did get to Corleone's... Dominick's pizza in Washington Crossing pa, (related to the one on 29 in Trenton,) sometimes has zeppole, so I get my fix there .As for JoJo's--we were there Sat nite-- and I still think that their bar pie is one of the best around! (Thanks for the Delmonico steak sandwich tip, TomDel--We'll try it next time IF I can get past that bar pie....)

            1. re: stillnotdon
              t
              TomDel Mar 27, 2012 02:05 AM

              Getting past the bar pie is tough. Try it with the small antipasta. It's great too and you'll take a lot home.

        2. jerseybill52 Jan 4, 2012 06:44 PM

          I will be out voted here - no doubt. But my vote goes to La Villa across the river in Morrisville, PA. They have excellent thin crust Sicilian style tomato pies. I love it. An Italian buddy of mine took me here for the first time a few years back. It's a BYOB. Unlike Hudson (which I loved in the 1980's) I find that having a bathroom at a restaurant can be a plus. Delorenzo's on Hudson St is covered by an ancient grandfather clause which exempts them from providing a toilet for customers. One last item you may want to consider is that La Villa has some of the MOST beautiful wait staff you will ever find in a pizza joint. “Did you see that waitress.” is a common comment when we have lunch there. Over the summer I had lunch with a friend brought his 20 year old female summer intern to lunch with him. Neither of us made any comment about our waitress in deference to the young lady with us - but before the meal was over she commented "Did you notice that the waitress is gorgeous?"
          Additionally, my wife loves the thin crust Sicilian here. It really is great.

          http://lavilla-restaurant.com/

          1 Reply
          1. re: jerseybill52
            s
            sadiefox Jan 5, 2012 07:20 AM

            The thin Sicilian is one of my favorites there as well.

          2. t
            TomDel Jan 4, 2012 11:27 AM

            I don't think you can beat JoJo's at 5 points in Hamilton Twp. http://jojostavern.com/

            1. b
              Bryan Pepperseed Jan 4, 2012 07:17 AM

              Not exactly in Trenton, but close - but I would only try these after Papa's and Hudson St. Delorenzos:

              Over the years, there have been a good number of people who prefer the pies at Wildflowers Restaurant in Pennington over Delorenzo's.

              http://www.wildflowersinnrestaurant.com/

              And Conte's in Princeton also has a good number of fans, but I don't recall anyone ever saying they prefer it over Delorenzos.

              http://contespizzaandbar.com/

              4 Replies
              1. re: Bryan Pepperseed
                h
                Heatherb Jan 4, 2012 07:43 AM

                Conte's in Princeton is truly excellent (though, as you say, not better than DeLorenzo's), but I have to disagree on Wildflowers. I just had their tomato pie the other day, and while it was good, it wasn't in the same league as the others mentioned here that I am familiar with. The crust was wonderful, but the tomato pie itself was laden down with far to much cheese. And I LIKE cheese! I've always enjoyed going to Wildflowers, but I was disappointed. I actually remember the pie as being much better there, so maybe they've changed their recipe?

                Another place to consider maybe - a dark horse candidate, I guess you could say - JoJo's at the 5 points intersection in Hamilton. I sometimes find them hit or miss, but when the pie is good, it's really good.

                1. re: Heatherb
                  JustJake Jan 4, 2012 11:27 AM

                  Conte's is nowhere in the altitude that we're talking here. Not even close.

                  I will recommend Joey's out in Hamilton (and who are related to the Marucca family - I believe). They're out on Whitehorse Pike not too far off Rte 195, Exit 3. As I recall, very very good pie

                  1. re: JustJake
                    Foody4life Jan 4, 2012 02:05 PM

                    sorry Heather and BP but I've gotta agree with Jake.

                    If the OP wants to venture to Princeton, go to Osteria Procaccini in Kingston or Nomad in Hopewell for this area's absolute best (and I'd say better than any of the 3 Delorenzo locations). Conte's is run of the mill.

                2. re: Bryan Pepperseed
                  jerseybill52 Jan 4, 2012 06:47 PM

                  I must give thumbs down to Wildflowers. I live next town over in Ewing and I don't think the pizza is worth the trip.

                3. h
                  Heatherb Jan 4, 2012 06:26 AM

                  Out of curiosity, what made you include Corleone's? It was still new when I left the area so I never tried it, but the reviews I've seen here haven't been promising. I actually like the DeLorenzo's on Hamilton Ave quite a bit (don't see why the Hudson St. one always got all the glory), and Mama Rosa's pizza was quite good when I tried it, but I used to go there more for their pasta dishes (total comfort food). I recall liking Palermo's quite a bit, but I also remember thinking their sauce was very sweet - not a bad pie at all though.

                  Unfamiliar with La Villa - that's in Morrisville, right?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Heatherb
                    r
                    razeup Jan 4, 2012 06:52 PM

                    La Villa is indeed in Morrisville. This site put me onto it, and considering online reactions and the fact that they sell by the slice makes it a good option for me: http://hiddentrenton.com/?p=1262

                    I saw some good reviews elsewhere for Corleone's which made me consider it. After reviewing what's on here, I'd rather not chance going there. JoJo's I neglected to mention in my original post. Some of the reviews on it that I've seen are mixed though.

                    Conte's I know about but I'd rather stick to the more immediate Trenton area. Same thing with Nomad; another time. Wildflower's I will add to my list for the future.

                    Did not know Papa's opens at 5pm now; I thought it was 4...

                    Papa's and Delorenzo's are the reasons I am going. La Villa is also a definite, and I'm wavering between Palermo's, Hamilton Delorenzo's, and Mama Rosa's. Any additional feedback between which of those 3 makes the best pie and is most worth a visit?

                    Thank you so much everyone for the info! Expect a followup after this happens

                    1. re: razeup
                      h
                      Heatherb Jan 5, 2012 05:10 AM

                      I think Hamilton DeLorenzo's is kind of more of an "experience" than the other two, with superior pizza - haven't been there in some time since I'm living in Colorado now, but you've got the retro decor, the waiters in bow ties, the Frank Sinatra on the sound system such as it is, etc. Most people will say the Hudson St location serves better pie, but only by a hair. Overall, I've always found Hamilton DeLo's to be just a fun time.

                      Mamma Rosa's is also in a former residence and has a kind of retro feel. I really enjoy their entire menu (very Italian-American comfort food), and haven't had their pizza in a long, long time. I just remember finding it to be excellent, but I was at the local Italian American festival and drunk off my tush.

                      Palermo's, as I said, I remember having a sweet sauce. It's also located in a rather dingy strip mall. Not bad, but I wasn't dying to go back after trying it. I would choose either of the other two and maybe hit Palermo's the next time. This is just my opinion - I'm sure others will disagree.

                      1. re: razeup
                        s
                        sadiefox Jan 5, 2012 07:19 AM

                        La Villa is great -- I think their pies are best very fresh though, which might eliminate the by-the-slice option. Also, they make a wide variety of pies ("traditional" pizza as well as Trenton-style tomato pies) so be sure to sample the Trenton style pies. I really like their thin sicilian pie.

                    2. s
                      SonicReducer Jan 4, 2012 06:17 AM

                      There's another tomato pie, and my second favorite Trenton tomato pie in the world, and it's not even in Trenton. Maruca's Tomao Pies on the Seaside Heights boardwalk, open year-round, makes a most delicious (and larger) version of the Trenton tomato pie. The Seaside Maruca's opened after their first location in their hometown of Trenton. The Trenton place closed, and they've sinced stuck with the Seaside location, and tried franchising, etc etc. But I can't go anywhere near Seaside without stopping at Maruca's for a slice. It's got the crispy crust, the simple tomato and quality cheese that you look for in a real-deal Trenton-style tomato pie.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: SonicReducer
                        Tapas52 Jan 4, 2012 05:19 PM

                        After Papas my second choice is Marucas also ...their blend of Mozzarella & White cheddar makes for a unique super delicious Tomato pie...The Trenton location is long gone.....and a few years ago "the twins" sister closed her Pizza business on rt 37 in Tr also as did the brick franchise store next to Kmart...sad...but the Seaside location is always a stop for me.

                        side note: papas opens at 5pm ;-)

                        1. re: SonicReducer
                          r
                          Ryder45 Mar 25, 2012 01:20 PM

                          I have lived in Connecticut for years and have never found a Pizza that could match the one I use to get at Maruca's in Trenton back in the 60's. The Maruca's in Sea Side seems to have been rated well and presumably is run by the children of the original? Does anyone know how they compare. How does the Maruca's in Seaside compare with other favorably mentioned pizza's in Trenton or other parts of New Jersey. I will eventually get back to New Jersey and would like to try to find a good pizza.

                        2. Tapas52 Jan 3, 2012 08:03 PM

                          I would say Papas tomato pies should be first on your list my Trenton favorite !

                          http://www.papastomatopies.com/

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