Crucial wardrobe choice for every pizza enthusiast, courtesy of Chris Postlewaite!
Crucial wardrobe choice for every pizza enthusiast, courtesy of Chris Postlewaite!
Tony’s Pizzeria - Morris Plains, NJ
After Uncle Vinny’s, Paul and I didn’t know where to go to finish up our pizza adventure through Morris County. Katie C. had a few recommendations for us, and Tony’s in Morris Plains was one of them. We figured, how bad could a recommendation be??? The answer? Not too good.
Yet again, Tony’s had a really weak selection of specialty slices. After careful deliberation, Paul got a Margherita and I settled for the substandard-looking buffalo chicken. Or so they say it was. From the first bite, something felt off. I swear that it tasted like BBQ chicken. I made Paul try it for a second opinion even though he doesn’t typically do buffalo, and he agreed. BBQ. Tony’s is either clueless when it comes to labeling pies, or they don’t know how to make buffalo chicken. Either way, this isn’t what I was planning on eating. This aside, it wasn’t a terrible slice. The crust was overly crunchy, but the chicken and sauce they used weren’t bad. I was honestly just really confused by what I was eating.
Paul had an equally mediocre experience with his margherita. For starters, it was beyond thin. Like, the guy had trouble getting it out of the oven because it was practically falling off of his spatula. Because of this, he wasn’t able to fully enjoy the slice until he was about halfway through, which is pretty ridiculous. While the sauce was average, Paul said the crust was good and the mozzarella great, so it wasn’t a complete loss. However, these guys have got to thicken this bad boy up for it to be at all worthy of a repeat visit. Yet another Morris County disappointment that I won’t be jumping at the chance to have again. What a shame!
Uncle Vinny’s Pizza & Pasta - Pine Plaza in Whippany, NJ
The only saving grace Paul and I’s Morris County Pizza Adventure was Uncle Vinny’s in Whippany. We kinda lucked out with this one, as it was the only place out of all five stops with solid slices of pizza after stumbling upon it completely by chance. Anyway, first things first, we were kinda sketched out by Uncle Vinny’s location.
Just look at how many places are in this plaza which, by the way, looked straight out of the 90’s. To make things even more interesting, not only was Uncle Vinny’s located in the BIGGEST shopping plaza ever, but it was also crammed way off in the farthest corner from the entrance where it could easily be missed by your average Joe. Paul was really bothered by this, but it kinda gave me a good feeling, as it brought back fond memories of Angelo’s on Long Island, the king of buffalo chicken.
One problem we had this entire trip was the weak selection of slices every place seemed to have. There wasn’t much past the generic toppings you’d expect, and none of the more unconventional slices really jumped out at either of us either. Uncle Vinny’s had a pretty decent variety, but once again, not much of it looked very appealing. They DID have a pepperoni ricotta slice, but I couldn’t help eyeing the regular pepperoni as it just looked phenomenal, as I’m sure you can tell in the pic up top.
I went ahead and ordered my pepperoni while Paul ordered a white slice and we had a seat to enjoy our slices while watching a little of the World Cup game that was playing on the TV. Upon tasting both my own and Paul’s slices, I definitely thought that Uncle Vinny’s had some real solid pizza to offer to the NJ pizza game. This was more than apparent in my pepperoni slice, as the cheese was that perfect amount of gooey/runny where it creates those long strings of cheese as you tear a mouthful off. I love that shit and was hyped it happened with this slice. The proportion of sauce to cheese was also spot on. Sometimes I dread taking bites out of pizza because I know I’m going to get an unpleasant sauce aftertaste. I remember taking a bite of this slice, fully prepared for that exact taste, and was pleasantly surprised to find it nowhere in sight. It left no aftertaste whatsoever!
I took a bite of Paul’s slice and enjoyed it as well. We both agreed that it had all the keys to a perfect white slice, with perfectly layered ricotta beneath the mozzarella and cheese that didn’t fall off when you picked up the slice. This slice also had a really nice kick to it, that we assume was from some sort of seasoning they put on top. Neither of us could place it, but whatever it was, it definitely made this slice stand out from your average white fare, keeping it from getting bland as you progressed through. Once again, this slice’s main downfall was the lackluster crust, which was just too doughy and tasteless to get our full endorsement.
Overall, I think Uncle Vinny’s is definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area. It’s not worth road tripping for, but they have some good pizza that you will definitely not be disappointed by. Check it out, maybe they’ll have some more exotic slices when you visit!
P.S. how clutch is it that every table had oregano, roasted red pepper, and garlic powder just chillen in case you needed it? SUCH a nice touch!
Suvio’s Pizza Ristorante - Morristown, NJ
Our second stop on our recent Za Venture was a suggestion from fellow Za Blogger Katie C. Since we were already in Morristown visiting Morris Pizzeria, we decided to stop at Suvio’s (located a little passed the Morristown Green). The stop started out promising since Tom found a spot right out front with still 30 minutes left in the meter (how clutch is that?). From the outside Suvio’s looks like a very nice italian restaurant. It has a very homey look.
Upon entering Suvio’s I got a very 90’s pizzeria vibe. They had the classic menus on the wall with the letters you can add or take off. Unfortunately though, the specialty selection was quite poor. All they had available was plain, buffalo chicken, and nonna (grandma) slices. The buff chicken looked extra sketch so Tom went with the plain where I went with the Nonna slice. The plain had a weird sauce, which was watery and did not taste that great. Tom had to put a lot of red pepper and stuff on it, but it did not help. The crust was really crunchy and not very edible (possibly been sitting too long/reheated too long). However, the Nonna slice was not too bad. It was larger than your average Nonna slice size which was a plus. However, the cheese was too heavy and had more sauce than it should have. I am assuming they added the extra sauce to compensate for the cheese. The real downfall for me was the lack of olive oil/garlic on the Nonna. I feel those two are key and Suvio’s failed me.
How 90’s is this? Also, I would not say this is “the real pizza of Morristown” and if it is then god help Morristown.
Forte’s Pizzeria & Ristorante - Route 10 in Randolph, NJ
Sweet Lou already reviewed Forte’s, but I figure EVERYONE wants a second opinion! I was in the area today and stopped here with Brian “3 Minute” Thompson after he got off work. I’ve been hearing for a long time that Forte’s is the best pizza in the area, so I was of course intrigued to try it. They had a pretty stacked selection when we got there, but I eventually I settled on a chicken bacon ranch and Brian grabbed a buffalo chicken.
Forte’s is definitely going for the “gourmet pizza” vibe with their slices. However, I personally think they overdo it a little on the presentation side of things. My chicken bacon ranch was definitely solid, but nothing that blew my mind. Good toppings ratio, good everything honestly, but there was still something missing to give it that little oomph to set it apart from the rest. I will say that the crust was great though!
I also sampled a little of Brian’s buffalo slice. I was wary of ordering one myself because I am not a fan of pizzerias that just glob bleu cheese on top like they do here (it’s the second slice pictured if you’re not sure). Like come on, spread it all over a little more evenly! It just makes the entire slice inconsistent and definitely less enjoyable. As for the buffalo chicken, it was HOT. If you like a buffalo slice with a big kick, Forte’s definitely has it. Honestly a bit too much hot compared to what I generally look for in a buffalo slice, but still a nice change of pace.
All in all, Forte’s left me feeling a little cheated. For all of the great things I’ve heard about this place, I expected better. This is definitely the best spot for a slice in the area, but there’s significantly better offerings elsewhere. $3.35 for a slice is pushing it a bit too! I would recommend this spot for a pizza date though, as it has a real nice restaurant vibe that won’t break the bank. Check it out, but don’t believe all the hype!
Telemark Pizza - Greenpond Road in Rockaway, NJ
Last summer, Sweet Lou recommended me Telemark Pizza, saying that it was some of the most legit pizza in the area. Well, today is the first time maybe ever that I drove down all of Greenpond Road from Rockaway to Jefferson and I figured if they were open, I would stop by for a slice. Surprisingly Lou HASN’T reviewed this place yet, so I figured it was about time! I remembered him telling me they had odd hours though, so seeing as it was 8:45 on a Thursday, I didn’t get my hopes up too much. However, they were still open and serving up ‘za when I pulled into the lot, so of course I stopped in for some slices.
Being in the middle of a 10 mile road connecting two highways, I assumed Telemark would be very backwoods-y, and once I walked in my assumptions proved true. First off, they didn’t have any slices out on the counter, leading me to assume that if you want any kind of specialty slice, you’re getting a whole pie. No biggie though, as I decided to keep it simple with a plain and a pepperoni. I paid my $4 (great price!) and sat down to hopefully enjoy these highly regarded slices.
Unfortunately, I was less than impressed with both slices. The presentation alone had me questioning what it would taste like, and actually tasting the slices confirmed these feelings. Maybe the guy just left my slices in the oven too long, but they were quite overdone to the point where the bottoms of my slices were black. Surprisingly, this didn’t ruin either slice, though it also certainly did not help. It’s sounding like this place was all bad, but that’s definitely not the case. Picking it up, I definitely appreciated the amount of support the crust provided for the pizza. I wasn’t worried about it falling apart at all. The cheese was also heavy in an excellent way and blended very nicely with the cheese, bringing it to the forefront of my tastebuds, but also not being too overpowering. That’s pretty much the extent of what I liked though. Overall I just wasn’t overly impressed, with my entire meal leaving me wanting more. The crust at the end just amplified this, being extremely thin and crunchy in a bad way. I cannot see this pizzeria topping any lists for me, but it really was not bad, and I may have just gotten the short end of the stick with my slices. I’m fairly certain there are no other pizzerias around this one, so while not the best, it is holding it down for Greenpond Road. Check it out if you’re in the area!
Bruno’s Pizzeria & Restaurant - Clifton Plaza on Route 46 West in Clifton, NJ
It recently came to Paul and I’s attention that there was a Bruno’s in Clifton that, just like the one in Lydnhurst, was known for their killer sicilian. You KNOW the only option we had was to meet up and check it out. I used to live in Clifton and still go there frequently to see my grandparents, so I was shocked that I was not aware that this spot even existed until about a week or two ago. It’s tucked in the back corner of the Clifton Plaza on 46 West and if you didn’t know it was there I don’t know how you’d ever see it. We were hoping for a hidden gem of a spot, but our dreams were unfortunately quite shortchanged.
First things first, Bruno’s DID NOT have specialties slices. Like, nothing. The counter had a glass cabinet with a couple stromboli in it and that’s it. So weak! They had a bunch of “standard toppings” listed on the wall (pepperoni, sausage, meatball, mushroom, etc.) but no mention of chicken or anything of the sort anywhere. I was practically forced to get a plain because you’re kidding yourself if you think I’m going to pay good money for a sicilian.
After this experience though, I wish I was a fan of sicilian because unlike my plain, Paul said it was actually really good. While it was very saucy, he said it wasn’t a big deal because the sauce they used was great. He also was a big fan of the use of parmesan cheese on top of the sauce instead of mozzarella, as well as the crust, which was doughy in a good way and not too hard. I did take a small bite and it did taste potentially good. I just cannot do sicilian!
Anyway, back to my plain, which was an extremely underwhelming slice of pizza. First off, as you can tell in the picture, it looked kinda gross and hardly tasted any better. I kinda felt like I was eating frozen pizza that had been tossed in the microwave and heated up. I did not like the sauce at all and had to practically force this slice down to finish it. I will say that the crust was great, but that did little to help the rest of this unbelievably weak slice of pizza. It got to the point where Paul and I decided to hit up Enzo’s in Montclair AND the better Mr. Bruno’s to satiate our pizza cravings, turning this into another mini Za Adventure. A word to the wise would be to stick to the other Bruno’s, as it is practically unmatched by any other NJ spot. Skip this one though, it isn’t worth the drive.
Vodka Rigatoni slices from Enzo’s!
Some sweet sicilian style slices (drunken and white) from the better of the Bruno’s!
Some Wawa to wash it all down!
I wanted to give this spot a 3, but Paul said the sicilian was worth a 4 and since that’s what this spot is known for, we decided to give it to ‘em. The plain deserves a 3 AT BEST.
A chicken roll from Vinny & Son in Lake Hopatcong, NJ. Looked awesome, tasted pretty mediocre. I’m sticking with their pizza from now on.
M&S 2 - Route 46 in Dover, NJ
How perfect do these slices from M&S2 look? Easily one of my favorite pizzerias in Morris County, these guys are on top of the 2k14 pizza game. Check out my full review!
Piccolo Trattoria - Pennington, NJ
My sister, though only 20 months older than I, is doing significantly bigger things with her life, seeing as she OWNS A HOUSE while I still live at home. Whatever, I’m a fucking punk. I went with my family to visit her today and even though we ate a ton of sweet food at her house, I decided I needed to hit up Piccolo’s down the road, as it has been a minute since I’ve been there. If you guys have no clue where Pennington is, it’s close to TCNJ (The College of New Jersey) where my sister went to school, which is like 45 minutes outside of Philly. They pretend they aren’t, but it’s South Jersey. Even so, they have some A+ pizza.
I keep getting told that they have a buffalo sicilian slice that is killer, but unfortunately they didn’t have any today. Instead, I got this cheesesteak slice that looked reallllly cool. I’m not even that crazy about American cheese, but something about it just pulled me in, and I definitely was not disappointed. The slice had excellent proportions, with a nice, crispy crust all the way through that had the perfect amount of crunch. Like usually the crust isn’t the standout part of a slice, and maybe it sounds kinda weird that it was, but it honestly made this slice so good. Normally I would complain about a specialty slice being $3.50, but honestly it’s pretty worth it. Wouldn’t have minded putting a little hot sauce on top, but it was beautiful out and I didn’t want to go back inside to ask. Pennington may be getting a little close to being outside of the fabled “Pizza Belt,” but they hold their own in the New Jersey pizza game. I can’t wait to go back!