Oh my God…where to begin!

It’s as though my ancestral home has followed me to this little hamlet by the sea.

About a couple of blocks away from the shore lies Del Ponte’s Coal Fired Oven Pizzeria in Bradley Beach.

Everything you’d imagine from a joint billing itself as “coal fired”…right down to the anthracite chunks in the bin below the oven.

Not too dissimilar to the oven I found in Santillo’s of Elizabeth…only smaller…and, yes, coal fired!

But what pies!

Little Patsy is named after his grandfather, who used to have a bakery on Avenue U in Brooklyn a couple of blocks away from my family’s place (Rome Bakery at 432 Ave. U!)

They then opened up a couple of other bakeries not too far away; and eventually moved to Jersey (as many of us have!); and took their baking skills with them.

Little Patsy, as he’s called, named after his grandfather, runs the pizzeria…there’s also a bakery next door that has some of the finest looking cakes, breads, rolls and pastries you’ll find anywhere in Jersey.

Hands down!

But back to the pizza.

Very simple…very basic!

Each pie was round, with a paper thin crust….not loaded with too many ingredients!

Anyone who’s from Brooklyn would remember Totonno’s of Coney Island…a little “hole in the wall” joint two blocks away from Nathan’s on Neptune Ave and West 16th Street.

A neighborhood originally inhabited by folks from Sorrento.

(The reason I know this is because that’s where my mom was raised, and my grandfather was from Sorrento.)

The owner of the place was irascible! He’d only make so much dough, and when he ran out, he’d chase you out of the store.

His son Jerry was no better!

But you couldn’t beat the pizza!

And that’s the standard by which all pizza I’ve eaten has been judged.

Hence Patsy’s Margherita is a throwback to Totonno’s…nothing more need be said!

Then there’s the pie named after his father, Vinny, which includes ricotta, basil, sausage, mozzarella, and pesto.

Onto the Calamata olive pie featuring some tomato, calamata olives, prosciutto, garlic, mozzarella, and arugala.

The tri-color pie has mozzarella, spinach, roasted peppers and is lightly drizzled with spices.

I’m still in awe…especially since they feature something not to easy to find here in New Jersey…the Manhattan Special.

It’s espresso soda, which you drink over ice, and makes a nice compliment to the pizza.

By the way, Patsy’s pies come in large, and personal size…they don’t sell by the slice.

Yes, a “sit-down-and-eat” kind of joint!

And “sit-down-and-eat” you will.

Check out the video:

Start your meal off with some freshly made buffalo mozzarella and juicy Jersey tomato slices dressed with some basil; and top it off with some freshly made pastry and gelato from the bakery next door!

The Del Ponte’s Pizza and Bakery Empire…in Bradley Beach! Just off Main St…a block away from the train station.

Stop number 8 in our Slice of Jersey competition!