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Pizza & Prices in NJ

Oh well, my thread got locked. And I don't have the key.

I thought Joon Joon brought up an interesting point.

I bought a pie today. Plain large 16" pie. The regular price is $12.95 plus tax, though I saved $2.00 off that because it's a Monday only pick-up special. Another place was $14.00. Pizza used to be cheap. I remember just a few years ago being able to get this same size pie for $8.00.

If I wanted to add toppings to that plain pie, yes, the cost would be approaching $20.00. But at a chain, there's usually a deal where I could get one or two pizzas with multiple toppings for around $10.00. My point is, not everyone can necessarily afford paying "local prices." (Joon Joon aside). :)

The pizza was for my wife and kid. I don't even eat it. :)

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  1. Stefano's in East Brunswick has a Monday night special where the time you order is the price you pay for a pizza. Order at 6:18 and pay $6.18.

    1. The plastic pizza chains are open pretty late, and you can order online without ever talking to anyone. They do quite a bit of business after 10pm. And on a good night, depending on where you live, they can usually beat their own time in under 30 minutes.

      Not saying anything to the quality or taste, but they do have their processes down to a science, and the market is supporting at least two out of the 3.

      And to be honest.. most of their customers probably wouldn't be found on this site.

      1 Reply
      1. re: coldsolderjoint

        And actually.. I didn't get a chance to say in the other thread, but the guy who owns most of the Domino's Franchises in Monmouth County is a local guy. He's built his business up over the past 25 or so years, and he employs' hundreds of local folk. Love it, hate it, or be indifferent. Your really not hurting Dominos in Ann Arbor Michigan, the first pocket hurt is the local guy, his managers, and his drivers.

      2. Actually, coldsoldier, you would be surprised-- (as I was). I'm sure there are chain pizza touters here, because there are very vociferous McD lovers here.

        I once dissed McD's on a thread about french fries, and there was a huge outcry of how great McD's is. (go figure!)

        Personally, even the mom n pop pizza these days is mostly awful, and the chain pizza is even worse. Main thing is the dough, it's thick and soft, horrible for a pizza.

        N.B. Some Mall pizza is up to $4 a slice. I suppose the ingredients cost has gone way up. Remember when bagels were 40 cents?

        1. I about died the last time I was at Maruca's in Seaside for pizza. Slices were almost $3 each (and they are small slices) and a whole pie was close to $30.

          1. Folks, if you want to compare the prices at various pizza places, that's fine, but please don't use this as an opportunity to restart the chain/anti-chain discussion from the previous thread. Thanks.

            1. Dont know area you're from but in bergen county there are a few pizza places that have "specials" 2/16.00 large plain pies,they're not the absolute best here in the area but very good,And for the best places a lg round pie is 11-13.00 per,i Remember 2.50 for a large plain,4.00 for the sicilian pies.the price equals most an hour of work someplace to buy that pizza.Everything is so expensive now...........

              1. My wife and I had dinner at Vic's in Bradley Beach on Friday night. We shared a tossed salad ($6) and a 14" (large) pie with 3 toppings ($20). A pint of Bass was $5. The salad was truly awful, and the pizza only fair - well below what we'd enjoyed on any prior visit. We ate at the bar, the scene was fun to watch - we got a show with our dinner. The place was jammed at 7 when we got there, and jammed when we left after 8.

                1 Reply
                1. re: OGguy

                  Vic's doesn't make a bad pie. I'll walk outta Nunzio's in Long Branch after a large with sausage and peppers along with a round of sodas for $17. Then I throw the original Snookie ( a real sweetheart) the remaining $3 from my $20. Is it the best down here? Nope, but it's a good pie.

                  It's the same with Freddie's, Tony's or Tuzzio's in that same town - a vg pie. Luigi's in Little Silver or Ocean Twp with the latter take out only (and if I recall rated very highly in Genoveese's Star Ledger pizza crawl a few years back). Vesuvio's in Belmar, Brothers in Red Bank, Lobster pie at Val's in Rumson. Sea Bright Pizza when they get back on their feet (fingers crossed)

                  Good pie - fresh ingredients - locals enjoying our own little bit of heaven. It's what makes the Northshore of Monmouth County unique as we're not reliant on chains of any sort (Bobby Flays sucks hindtit when it comes to burgers down here; what we don't have is great ethnic eateries) But thank God, that we're NOT East Brunswick, or that we're not the Route 9 corridor through Freehold. And we're most definitely not Rte 17 in Bergen County. Little towns, quirky characters, and friendly year 'rounders. There's even room for the chains for families with small kids, stoned HS kids ordering for delivery or transplants from Ohio (lmao).

                2. Marlboroman,

                  I bet that was Angelotti's. Anyway Dusal's on Union Hill Rd has a special on Wenesday 2 pies/$15. With a topping on one of them, it comes out to $19 & change. Not bad pizza, not great.


                  3 Replies
                  1. re: joestein

                    You are correct, sir. That Dusal's (there are so many of them) has the BEST meatballs, though. They are just so.. finely textured is the best way I can describe them.

                    Good deal, but often I don't want two pizzas.. I just want one. However, I'll still keep that in mind. Thanks!

                    1. re: MarlboroMan

                      I wish I would have read that before I ordered the 2 pizzas last night. I would have gotten meatballs on 1 of them instead of sausage.

                      I like the 2 pizza deal because I get toppings on pizza and my family only likes plain.

                      1. re: MarlboroMan

                        I noticed my buddy Frank over at San Remo at the corner of 79 & Tennent Rd. sold. He was there for at least 15 years and he made a solid pie.

                        I also like Trattoria Rustica up the road in Matawan next to Starbucks.

                        The place on 79 & 520 in the Wa-Wa plaza (it's been through a half dozen owners in the past few years) is always good for some "exotic" slices etc. And further up 79 near 18 in the strip mall with the post office is a good place as well. Attilio's? I'm not at familiar with the Rt. 9 corridor of options but the Rt. 79 area has several decent options for good pizza.

                    2. This may be a tad OT, but have any of you heard of this before?

                      The Pizza Principle

                      "In 1980, New York patent lawyer Eric Bram correctly predicted that the city’s transit fare would increase. He explained his reasoning to the New York Times: “Since the early ’60s, the price of a slice of pizza has matched, with uncanny precision, the cost of a New York subway ride. Right now, it is impossible for any discerning New Yorker to find a decent slice of pizza for less than 60 cents. The 50-cent fare was doomed.”

                      He was right. In 1960, the fare was 15 cents, and so was a slice of pizza (a regular slice, mozzarella and tomato sauce, no toppings). In the early 1970s, both rose to 35 cents, and the two continued to rise together. By 2002, pizza had risen to $2 in midtown, while the fare lagged at $1.50; sure enough, the fare rose to $2 the following spring, after eight years without a change.

                      In 2003 the subway system switched from tokens to MetroCards, finding them more efficient in a digital age. “Who knows if the fundamentals of economics will hold?” Bram asked.

                      They did. As the price of pizza rose, the fare followed it, rising to $2.25 in 2009 and to $2.50 in 2011. “Don’t ask why,” wrote Clyde Haberman, who tracks all this in the Times. “It simply is so, and has been for decades.”

                      1. Personally, I think that with the price range for pizza, at least the norm, being rather "tight" -- why not just buy what you like (even if it's a few bucks more). What are we talking about here, 10%? 20%? 33%? I am not spending anyone's money or trivializing how much a few bucks might mean to some people, but if you are buying a pie and you consider it a treat -- get what you like.

                        Today, for a pie, anywhere between $12 and $16 sounds about right. Start to add toppings and you are looking at $15 to $22 maybe.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: ELA

                          The "you get what you pay for" category. I'm with you, ELA.

                          1. re: MGZ

                            Especially for your likes, dislikes, etc. For many, it's the "more" -- I drive "more" for food and things I like. I pay "more" for food and things I like. And so on.

                            You can find the exception -- the "great deal" or something of the like. You can find the "bad" deal as well.

                            I think people get hung up on semantics, the exception, and often forget that different people have different likes and dislikes, tastes, etc.


                            1. re: ELA

                              I Agree drive alittle bit more,pay a couple bucks more,because that's what it's gonna cost you to buy from your favorite pizzerias,s*cks prices are so high in these tough times,luckily in northern bergen county my family & i actually have like 5 or 6 favorite places,where we all agree the food is great,the others around are sometimes cheaper with specials to lure you in,others dont bother and their pizza isnt even close to our favorites in taste,so we usually spend the extra 2 bucks and enjoy our pies.

                              1. re: cantbeatgoodfood

                                I remember back in around 1963 when our favorite pizza joint, Central Pizza on Main St. In Somerville NJ, raised their slice price a nickel to 30 cents each. A whole large plain pie had been under $2.00. We bitched and moaned, but we got used to it. 50 years later and things haven't changed much except, back then, there was great pizza to be had all over the place. These days, I make my own.

                                1. re: grampart

                                  Grew up in Queens. I remember that we paid 15 cents for a slice and 10 cents for a coke. Like you, I make my own now.

                              2. re: ELA

                                I remember when I attended Elementary School back in Queens during the 70's that you could go across the street (imagine letting kids out today from school to go across the street) and get 2 slices and a soda for 75cents.

                          2. Prices have and will continue to go up because people pay it. I have less of a problem with the increased cost as I do with the fact that so few pies are worth anything anymore. There are probably 50-100 pie joints within 5-10 miles of my house, and I like the pie from exact 1 of them. Even from that place, it's only the wood-fired with fresh mozz/toma/basil.

                            Love Bleeker Street pies in NYC, but can't find that consistently crackly crust in NJ so easily.

                            1. Good special, and a decent crispy crust pie, which is an anomaly in this area. About 98% of the pizza here sucks, IMO. Nothing like Patsy's here.

                              But at Bob's Thin Crust Pizza, they have a pie for $7.95 on Mon-Wed. Tappan, NY, just steps over the State line.


                              1. Maruca Tomato Pies in Seaside Park, $4.00 a slice!

                                1. The thread that won't die (and I wish it would). As some of the latest posters have indicated, what's the big deal of spending a couple of more dollars or traveling 10 or more minute for a vg pie?????

                                  All that nostalgia as to what a pie cost back in the day is an abdication of memory (yeah, I remember when one could get a large plain for $1.05 at the Hillcrest Tavern up the street from the house when I was a kid - and it was a good pie. Or was it???????

                                  Prices and pizza - destined to go on forever here. Imagine getting $3 for a slice - I do it without thinking for those places that I know have good pie.

                                  Pizza and prices ad nauseum.....who woulda thunk that you would need the jing that a couple of Cadillacs cost in the 60's just to buy a VW Bug today - Imagine that.


                                  29 Replies
                                  1. re: JustJake

                                    I think you're onta somethin', Jake. Inflation indeed sucks, though, you must admit, it's sometimes fun to remember gettin' dollar slices on Monmouth Street or three fingers of weed for twenty-five bucks? Then again, as I subscribe, "you get what you pay for". . . .

                                    1. re: MGZ

                                      Ain't dat da truth MGZ. Some things as you mention, well, they put a smile on your face when one can remember. Most of the time it's just sealed in my silver mine or mind????

                                      1. re: JustJake

                                        "Most of the time it's just sealed in my silver mine or mind????"

                                        Or, both?

                                      2. re: MGZ

                                        WTF is 3 fingers of weed? I've been involved in plenty of shady sh*t in my life, but NEVER have I heard weed or anything besides an elixir, measured in "fingers".

                                        This most be some old money Monmouth County thing going on....I can imagine an 18 yo MGZ "Yo.....give me 3 fingers of weed and a slow pour of 2 fingers Courvoisier VSOP"

                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                          In the 80's, a "three finger bag" was a phrase used to refer to, roughly, a quarter ounce. Most guys who sold were just stoners and didn't have a triple beam. Three fingers was a commonly agreed upon rough measurement.

                                          As to cognac, I'm from the blue collar Manasquan of old. People in this town fixed houses in Spring Lake or Colts Neck, took trains to Red Bank to see movies, fished from row boats, and mowed their lawns themselves every Sunday (some of us still do, actually). My Dad and his wore badges for a livin'. First time I ever tried VSOP was when I was in School and being recruited for a job. I choked it down and asked for a Jameson's the next round.

                                          1. re: MGZ

                                            See point made, us Middlesex County kids could only buy "dime bags".

                                            Courvoisier, Jameson's etc. blehhhhhhh. Nothing worse then when someone thinks they are doing you a big favor by buying you a snifter of Louis.......save yourself about $70. and pour me a nice 150 year Grand Marnier.....that's more my speed.

                                            1. re: jrvedivici

                                              In Hunterdon County, when we talked of buying quarters, it meant 4 ounces.

                                              Louis and the old Grand Marnier are both wonderful.......when it's someone else pouring/buying. Kinda partial to the Dew myself.

                                                1. re: grampart

                                                  I'll go out on a limb and safely assume the "Dew" is not a reference to Mountain Dew, of late scrutiny for the most "racist" commercial ever made. (Side note, can a commercial or anything for that matter, be racist, if it was created by a person of the same race they are lampooning in the commercial?)

                                                  This is a reference to Tallimore(?).........never had it but that's the closest I can come up with.

                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                        I'll drink Jameson's, but find the Dew much smoother/softer going down.I'd like to give the Black a try.

                                                        1. re: grampart

                                                          And the real folks drink Bush Black ... ;-)

                                                          1. re: grampart

                                                            I'm cool with most any Irish after dinner. Paddy's is my favorite, though.

                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                      Well, I'll meet you on the GM after a big dinner.

                                                      Lately, the mention of Middlesex County always makes me think of White Rose. Can't you figure out a way to set up an outlet of that place in the Manasquan Diner? I promise to get at least two burgers and a pork roll sandwich each week - plus whatever Mrs. Z is willin' to eat. Moreover, I will post the most influential comments on this Site that the NJ Chowhound Board has ever hosted. Oh, and I have local friends . . . .

                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                        Are you suggesting to take the Committed Pig head on? I've had their pork roll egg and cheese and it's pretty solid, I've also heard many good things about their burgers, although I have never been for lunch.

                                                        Were you at the breast cancer benefit at the Firefly this past Saturday?

                                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                                          Well, I think you're right about the competition. It ain't my money, so it's all just sh*ts and giggles to me. As a 'hound, I'd say I much prefer the burgers at White Rose to those at the Pig. As to PR sandwiches, there are five places in town that make 'em. Not gonna be a money maker. Telll you what, next time you come to Manasquan, bring me two or three White Rose cheeseburgers, with onions, and I'll never mention this subject again, OK?

                                                          As to your other question, we donate to benefits routinely, but almost never attend. That one was no exception. The thought of seeing Julianna Racid in person almost made me wanna stop drinkin' my tequila . . . . Almost.

                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                            The Indecisive Hog, we'll serve exclusively turkey bacon! (I know what you're thinking, nope I wasn't a marketing major)

                                                            1. re: jrvedivici

                                                              I recently was "return the favor"-ed with dozens of hours outta the water scallops. The fisherman says he's lookin' for a "direct to restaurant" deal since the wholesalers are only offerin' diminishin' returns. What about a Jersey Po' Boy Diner? Nothin' but fresh local seafood for the sandwiches - scallops, oysters, lobster, fluke, and striped bass? It might be hard to find the right bread, but I'm sure it's possible.

                                                              We could do pizzas as a loss leader;. Charge like $5 for a pie? I mean, when's the last time you had a solid, white, scallop and lobster pizza? I've made a red sauce pie with striped bass. Hell, I even once wrapped a fluke filet around some chopped lobster meat, added fontina and fresh oregano for a calzone. (I guess we gotta charge a bit more, but come on, doesn't it make you hungry?)

                                                              Oh, and we'll need solid Boardwalk fries - I've got that covered. Also, If you make it worth my while, I'll perfect my "corned beef into pastrami" recipe and barbecue thirty pork shoulders a week. Think about it - the rueben calzone? The pulled pork Po' Boy?

                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                ***Sigh***.......sounds like someone has been giving this a LOT of thought.

                                                                FYI, I make a surf and turf pizza....thin sliced (think carpaccio thin) filet mignon, lump *crab meat, drizzled with bernaise and topped with crumbled blue cheese. This will slightly exceed the $5.00 price mark.

                                                                *Edit, crab not as previously posted "grab meat"

                                                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                  I've never had "grab" meat, but I'm into the idea of that pie!

                                                                  And, so you know, when it comes to food, I always give it "a LOT of thought"'

                                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                                    lol thanks for the nonchalant head's up to my typo. (I had a few "grab meat" comments which I've refrained from ;-)

                                                                    Is the place in question still available?

                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                      Yep. Makes me sad to see it empty every morning when I walk by.

                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                        Now employing the guilt trip approach......I hate to see people sad.

                                                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                          So, what about a pork roll and fried scallops sandwich. It would be like the Jerseyfied fusion of bahn mi and a po' boy. We need a baker!

                                                                          Call the place "Leave Your Expectations at the Door".

                                                                          Back on point, I got a bar pizza the other night at Maria's for five bucks. Nice happy hour special. Filled me up fine.

                                                  1. re: jrvedivici

                                                    Keep in mind, when I went to RBC, the old man only paid around $1,500 a year. In those days, it wasn't the fancy school your kids go to today. The Nuns could swat us and the girls had to wear nasty polyester skirts. However, since there were almost three females to each male, I didn't much mind the train rides (or the girls who couldn't wait to get outta them itchy skirts). God Bless those poor mama's boys who got driven to CBA every mornin' - I'm sure they're makin' big bucks on Wall Street today, but I wouldn't trade those years with 'em for anything.

                                                2. re: JustJake

                                                  Very good points. Agreed. Ice cream, pizza, and so on -- different people like different things. Some will pay more for what they like, others will buy anything, convenience, shop for price, and so on.

                                                  I travel further every time I go for pizza and I also pay more. That's me. I don't begrudge anyone else who doesn't.

                                                  1. re: JustJake

                                                    What, exactly, is "an abdication of memory"?

                                                  2. Mancini's Brooklyn Pizza, in East Brunswick --- I don't care what it costs - it's hands down the best pizza EVER!!! - the thin crispy crust lets you appreciate the wonderfully fresh ingredients on the pie.... and their other entrees are also fresh and delicious. I have found the service to be very friendly and accommodating.... this place has spoiled me so that I don't want pizza from anywhere else!

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: foodieiam

                                                      When I first read your post, I thought you were referencing Michaelangelo's over there by Edgeboro in EB - which makes a good pie. Their Grandma's is my favorite.

                                                      While I will do anything NOT to travel this highway', there are times when it can't be avoided.

                                                      Tice's Lane & #18 - I'll definitely by pass my only taste of pie in EB and try this place.

                                                    2. Been away from NJ longer the I can remember but still have dreams about the pizza the old man brought home from some dive close to the New Brunswick train station whenever he had a winner from the horses and went to cash in his tickets... Say what you will about NY pizza and well you should but a good NJ plain pie is what I still pine for. Is there any place left in NJ for that awesome, cheesy, oil dripping down your arm pizza still to be had?

                                                      1. Go to Manhattan .This was a couple of years ego and I don't know if the war is over.
                                                        "In the amped-up war of commerce and 75-cent pizza on the Avenue of the Americas in Midtown, a perilous moment is approaching. Circumstances suggest that ravenous New Yorkers might soon witness 50-cent pizza, 25-cent pizza or, yes, free pizza" NYT march 30, 2012

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: angelopat

                                                          Can't say I'd likely consider a $30 round trip to Manhattan even if the pizza slices are free...

                                                        2. Seriously speaking, A Mano in Ridgewood has a buy one get one free on pizza and panini on monday and tuesday.
                                                          I thing this is one of the best deals around considering the quality and the fact you can bring your own wine.This is Neapolitan style pizza cooked in a 1000deg wood burning oven.You won't see this advertised anywhere.Just call and ask

                                                          1. Last Night went for a pie,a New High GEEZ $17.00 for a Sicilian Pie!! Prices are out of control,Soon they will hit $20 bucks for a pizza,Thats Crazy!