Slice of Jersey – The Winner
So 10 weeks and 20 pounds later, here comes the hard part. Picking a winner.
Even after making the choice, I know full well that the debate will continue. It always does. However, remember this, these were your selections. We chose the biggest vote getters and visited the top 10 as voted by you.
My numbers 3, 2, and 1 are as follows:
Santillo’s - 639 South Broad St. Elizabeth, NJ 07202
What can I say? Al, God bless him, is old school, has the old school oven going full tilt and takes a lot of pride in what he makes. His place is a throwback to some of the first pizzerias to open here in New Jersey.
I highly recommend his Lasagna Pie!
Check out the video:
Esposito’s – at the intersection of Routes 34 and 79 in Matawan.
There’s a reason why Jim and Renee have placed 2nd in the Slice of the Northeast Pizza completion and in the Slice of Jersey as well. Their pizza is like eating a hot, crunchy loaf of seeded Italian Bread, like it's just out of the oven. By the way, Yes, you read that correctly, I said, “seeded”! His signature creations have sesame seeds around the crust, giving the pizza a special aura.
I highly recommend the Pie 4 or so I called it, which features a base of mozzarella, arugula, parmigiano reggiano, prosciutto di parma, and Jim’s homemade virgin oil seasoning that he allows to marinate for 3 months.
Check out the video of our visit.
**And as an aside, notice the kid in the video, spitting image of his grandfather, no? Ok, maybe not so much!
Finally, to the TOP!
Del Ponte’s 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! And that’s the difference. The coal fired heat of the oven. It adds a little something extra to the flavor The pizza was very simple and very basic!
Each pie was round, with a paper thin crust and best of all, they were not loaded with too many ingredients! Del Ponte’s Margherita is a throwback to Totonno’s of Coney Island, nothing more needs to be said about it! Then there’s the pie named after his father, Vinny, which includes ricotta, basil, sausage, mozzarella, and pesto. We then moved 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.
Again, everything was very simple and very basic but very good.
Here’s the video of our visit:
There you have it, the Top 3! So now, let the debates continue amongst yourselves.
An extra special thanks to all our hosts who were most hospitable and gracious in allowing us to have lunch or in my case, breakfast, on them.