Nonna’s Pizza: (Grandma’s) extra thin crust pan pizza layered with mozzarella and spotted with a flavorful herbed San Marzano tomato sauce. ($15.95)
I’ve had many a good pizzas in my life, and I think I’ve narrowed it down to what makes a pizza great for me. Well there actually isn’t much to narrow down. Pizza is essentially broken down into three parts anyway…
The crust– Most pizzerias (those that sell $8 pies or $1 slices) tend to have dry and chewy crusts. Ever shell out $15-20 for a pie? I love crusts that are crunchy on the edges, yet soft enough to retain some moisture on the inside.
The cheese– The stringier the better. The more the better. Heck, just give me a Bianca pie sans tomato sauce and I’ll be perfectly content.
The sauce– This is a new one. Only until recently have I warmed to tomato/marinara sauce (ketchup is different!). But as I’ve explored different pizzerias, I’ve realized that the sauce really does make a difference. Good quality sauce is not only flavorful with hints of herbs peeking through in each bite, but it has this sweet tasting touch to it that compliments that saltiness from the cheese quite well.
So Nonna’s? Jon raved about it while he was working with me and I asked him- “How good could it possibly be?” The first time we went to Nonna’s, it was with my group from work. We ordered Grandma’s pie, which is the house pie. Even without any toppings, it was so good that Esther and I went back.
Can you guess what we ordered? The same thing! It’s a whopping huge Sicilian pie with cheese bubbling and oozing from the edges. The sauce is slightly sweet and even though they pile it on, there’s enough cheese to compensate. We ordered it with half mushrooms and half sausage. Here’s our take:
- The crust! Ah, it’s so amazing, especially when you get a corner slice! Words can’t even do it justice. Just the fact that you’re biting into a crispy slice with the sauce and cheese oozing down the slice is enough to make me want to go back this very instant for more
- The sausage! Clearly, the meat side was better than the vegetarian side but it’s probably because of how much sausage they lay on. It’s thin, but there’s enough to decently cover most of the surface area.
- It’s bang for your buck! For a large and with 2 toppings, we escaped paying $11/person including tip. We couldn’t finish it all so I think we even took back four slices or so. Okay, maybe that’s a bit expensive for pizza, but have you ever had pizza in the city? You have to pay an arm and a leg for thin crust!
The only negative part is that if you wait long enough, the center slices aren’t as good because they get a bit soggy. Oh wells! I guess it’s the price you pay for eating the good slices first!
The service at Nonna’s is awesome. They immediately bring your water and take your drink order. The runner brings out the bread within a minute and they’re only glad to give you more. Even when you leave, the pizza guy inside the open-faced kitchen thanks you and waves goodbye! Overall, a very solid pizzeria and I’d definitely come back again to try the rest of their pies.
176 Columbia Turnpike
Florham Park, NJ 07932