Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Pie in the Sky

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Having some "early evening" pizza at Basile's in Hoboken!
On a valiant quest to secure the coveted “Pizzaiolo” badge on Foursquare (check-in to 20 different pizza places), I broke the half-way point this past weekend and decided to reminisce about some of the best and “just OK” so far, because honestly, I’ve never met a pizza I really truly disliked… 

-        Dozzino (Hoboken, N.J; – When restaurants pride themselves on “fresh and local” ingredients it can often mean a limited and boring menu – but fortunately Dozzino’s delivers.  The small pies – with several toppings from red pepper and calabrese salami to pecorino romano, fontina and basil – cooked by a wood fire, make this one of the hottest new pizza places in town.  And they have a bocce court too!  

-        Carmine’s Pizzeria (Brooklyn, N.Y.; – This may look and feel like your typical Italian restaurant, but Carmine’s offers so much more.  Not to be confused with the tourist trap in the city, this Carmine’s is a local legend that keeps patrons coming back – from the Chicken Parm to the Yankees Pie, this place is as Brooklyn as you can get.

-        Rosario’s (Hoboken, N.J.; – The debate between thin/crispy versus thick/doughy pizza has been around for ages (or at least since 1889, according to Wikipedia).  If you’re of the doughy camp, Rosario’s is the place for you.  It’s a friendly, neighborhood joint with five tables and a small TV that will always be playing some local sports team’s game.  The food is reliable, but nothing to write home about, especially if you live around the corner! (Full disclosure: I do…)

-        Gennaro’s (Hamilton, N.J.; – Run by an Italian family in Hamilton that your “mother’s sister’s cousin probably went to middle school with,” Gennaro’s is the place you go when you want home cooking but don’t feel like doing the dishes.  The Italiano Pie – topped with fig, prosciutto, arugula, red onion and goat cheese – is famous in Hamilton and one of the best topping combinations I’ve ever had. 

-        7 Stars (Hoboken, N.J.; – Following a friendly discussion on the characteristics that make a good pie, the term “late night pizza” (© BA) surfaced.  7 Stars may hit the spot after a long day or night spent at the bar, but it’s not the type of place you’d go without your beer goggles securely on first.

-        Napoli’s (Hoboken, N.J.; – Unexpectedly one of the best pizza places in Hoboken - and with more than 20 to choose from, that’s saying a lot.  The Margarita Pie was not too doughy or too crispy and the combination of the sweet marinara sauce and salty fresh mozzarella made it the Goldilocks of pizza!

With only eight check-ins to go, I’m at a crucial turning point where I have to choose whether to continue stumbling into whichever pizza “joint” I come across in my ‘hoods or be a tad pickier and rightfully earn the badge that rewards only the “true pizza connoisseur.” 

This badge has been my most recent foodie adventure – I’m so close I can taste it.  I just need to ponder where my finals check-ins should be, taking me one step closer to this lifetime achievement.  What are your most/least favorite pizza shops?  How would you spend your 20 check-ins?


  1. Your quest to the coveted “Pizzaiola Badge” must include the two places that have an ongoing battle as to which is the oldest pizza place in the USA. Lombardi’s Pizza in
    Little Italy, Manhattan and Papa’s Tomato Pie in Trenton, NJ. Both make awesome
    Pizza/tomato pie!

  2. Nice work! definitely gonna check out Dozzino's.....

  3. Di Fara's in Brooklyn!!!! Hands down THE best!

  4. You need to go to Adrienne's Pizzabar! My personal fav -

  5. The pizze look like so delicious,