Author Topic: Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)  (Read 27383 times)

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Offline robert40

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #140 on: September 22, 2007, 01:06:43 PM »
I'm not sure if this has been mentioned elsewhere. But Alexander "Chick" DeLorenzo passed away yesterday.
I can't seem to post a link to the obit but it can be found at nj.com.

Truly sad news.


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #141 on: September 22, 2007, 03:03:59 PM »
Robert40,

Thanks for the truncated link. After a few more posts you should be able to post complete links.

To preserve the article on "Chick" DeLorenzo, I have copied and pasted the article below:

'Chick' DeLorenzo, purist for tomato pies, dies
Founder of famous Chambersburg pizzeria
Saturday, September 22, 2007
BY MICHAEL RATCLIFFE

Alexander "Chick" DeLorenzo, founder of the famous DeLorenzo's Tomato Pies pizzeria located on Hudson Street in Trenton, died yesterday at his home in Borden town City. He was 85.

A U.S. Army veteran of World War II, he founded his eatery in Chambersburg in 1947, about the same time two of his brothers -- Pasquale and Americo "Ricky" DeLorenzo -- founded their own tomato pie restaurant, also called DeLorenzo's, on nearby Hamilton Avenue.

Pasquale DeLorenzo died in January 2006 at the age of 79.

Chick DeLorenzo and his wife, Sophie, ran their small but popular restaurant on Hudson Street for nearly 50 years before retiring in 1995 and turning over the business to his daughter and son-in-law, Ei leen and Gary Amico of Hamilton, and grandson, Sam Amico.

Sophie DeLorenzo died in 2004 at age 83.

"A pizza could be any pie. But tomato pie is the real name for pizza. It's whole tomatoes, as op posed to sauce, and the emphasis is on the tomatoes, not the cheese," Chick DeLorenzo once told a Times reporter.

When the Hudson Street eatery first opened, Sophie DeLorenzo canned New Jersey tomatoes at home for use on her husband's pies, which back then were baked in a coal-fired brick oven.

Later, they began using toma toes shipped from California.

During an interview with The Times in 1996, shortly after he retired, Chick DeLorenzo recalled how he once flew out to California in a panic when he heard that his sole tomato supplier was going out of business. Thankfully, he said, it turned out to be a rumor.

Chick DeLorenzo and his wife shared a tomato pie each of the six nights their restaurant was open, according to The Times' archives.

In the early days of the business, customers could buy a small pie for 25 cents and a large pie for 50 cents. The pizza was wrapped in newspaper so patrons could carry it home.

Over the years, the prices went up and boxes were introduced, but the popularity of
DeLorenzo's creation never seemed to dim. The restaurant was featured in a 2005 documentary, "Pie Eyed: The Movie." Chick DeLorenzo loved the opera and Atlantic City, but most of all he loved spending time with his family. He is survived by a large number of relatives.

Calling hours will be tomorrow from 4 to 8 p.m. at Brenna Funeral Home on Hamilton Avenue. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 9:30 a.m. Monday at St. Joachim's Church on Butler Street, with entombment to follow at St. Mary's Mausoleum in Hamilton.

Offline MTPIZZA

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #142 on: September 22, 2007, 07:20:27 PM »
Thanks for posting that Peter, it wasn't too long ago I had a great time with Chic. He hobbled in from the back kitchen with his cane and sat down next to us. When you were in his pizzeria you were considered family. He told me a funny story about the Roebling family who were a wealthy business family and involved in the politics in Trenton. Apparantly Chic used to supply the political meetings with pies something in the neighborhood of hundreds of pies from his coal pizza oven. The Roeblings as I heard were involved in making commercial wire/cable for bridges etc..and they also must have been in the coal business as their family supplied Chic with his coal for his ovens. Chic almost ran out once and called Mrs. Roebling to say he needed more coal that they were running out. So she said Ok..we are going to place a rail track in your back yard and we can back up a coal car and you have all you want... Chic then told me he said... "Oh my God no --where will Sophie hang my underwear and clothing to dry??? (nobody had dryers back then obviously)...he chuckled loudly as I sat there laughing with him putting a piece of tomato pie in my mouth.
I then asked him if just a plain tomato pie was his favorite.. and he said will no it wasn't -- he loved a tomato and clam pie... Then as I turned around in the booth to finish my pie, I felt the tap of his cane on my shoulder and he said to me... So, hows your pie...crispy enough for ya?... I smiled and said yes and of course he knew why I was smiling... just the best... I'll never forget Sophie and Chic... wonderful wonderful people. God bless them...

Offline bakerboy

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #143 on: October 23, 2007, 07:03:37 PM »
pizzabrewer, hope you got my email.  please introduce yourself if you stop by.
Pete, your right on.  Blacklab breads is my gig.
Abatardi, i will gladly give the recipe and technique i use for the focacccia in the pics.  there are 2 versions.  one uses only a natural sourdough starter and the other is a commercial yeast version.  I'll post both, hopefully with pics, in the sicilian pizza section.
sorry to be so late getting back.

Offline petef

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #144 on: November 17, 2007, 11:08:28 PM »
Opps, I saw this thread too late.
I should have posted my review here of Pete's Steak House - Tomato Pie

See my other post titled... Pete's Steak House - Tomato Pie
Which is located in Ewing/Trenton New Jersey



Offline abatardi

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #145 on: November 18, 2007, 12:22:16 AM »
bakerboy, wow, thanks - that would be great.

- aba
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Offline pizzoid

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #146 on: December 09, 2007, 04:59:57 PM »
Big thread, a lot to digest.

Does anyone have recommendations (or dis-recommendations), if one is barreling down I-95 on a tight schedule and can't tolerate adding an hour of time detouring for lunch, which one of the locations to try in Trenton, or if it's preferable to wait for Alfred's in Blackwood? I'm thinking about local knowledge of parking, traffic congestion, etc., or one of the places always takes an hour to get your order out. We'll be passing by on Saturday.

Pete's Steak House, Top Road Tavern, DeLorenzo's are one's I'm considering around Trenton.

Thanks, Al

Offline BenLee

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #147 on: December 09, 2007, 11:58:39 PM »
delorenzo's, but I don't think they open til 3 pm

Offline petef

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #148 on: December 10, 2007, 02:39:44 AM »
Pete's Steak House, Top Road Tavern, DeLorenzo's are one's I'm considering around Trenton.

If on a tight schedule, geographically, Top Road Tavern is easiest to get to from I-95,
so try them first and see how long the wait is. If the wait is too long, go a few blocks
south and make a RIGHT to go west on Olden Ave. Go about 1 mile to the intersection
of Rt 31 and Olden Ave. where you will find Pete's Steak House.

Maybe call to find the wait time...

Top Road Tavern & Pizza
1042 Brunswick Ave
Trenton, NJ 08638
(609) 393-5911

Keep us posted :)

---pete---


« Last Edit: December 10, 2007, 02:44:21 AM by petef »

Offline mmarston

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #149 on: January 11, 2008, 09:35:43 AM »
Many years ago my high school friends and I used to get tomato focaccia from a bakery not far from Fisherman's Wharf in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco. We could get a very large piece, like a large baking pan to share for around $2. It was delicious, filling and cheap. I cannot recall the name but I think it was on Taylor Street. I'm sure it's no longer there as the neighborhood changed dramatically and a commercial bakery could probably not afford to keep the space.

I had mostly forgotten about it until I saw this thread and now I'll have to try making some.

Michael
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Offline beaunehead

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #150 on: June 12, 2008, 04:35:18 PM »
http://www.delorenzostomatopies.com/images/dtp-shoot08-untouched/index.htm

Some photos of the new DeLorenzo's. The pies are as good as the original, Hudson.
Stuart

Offline MTPIZZA

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #151 on: June 12, 2008, 05:31:44 PM »
You have made me so hungry with those pics...and you are making me  :'( cry cry cry for one of those pies!! I'm going through withdrawal. I haven't been to the new place yet...its looks a lot safer than Hudson St.
Thanks for all the great shots... (did you ask for the dough recipe??)...lol...

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #152 on: June 12, 2008, 06:36:43 PM »
beaunehead,

That's a really great set of photos. I just finished looking at the enlarged versions and there are some great views of the dough balls, and the way the skins are made, dressed and baked. I was somewhat surprised at how little sauce is actually used on the pizzas. I haven't gone back to read what sizes the pizzas are (I recall some vagueness on this point), but do you know? I wasn't sure whether the peel was a 12" or 14". I would think 14" for a pie that looks around 12".

Thanks for posting the link to the photos. I hope it doesn't disappear on us.

Peter

Offline beaunehead

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #153 on: June 13, 2008, 07:48:48 AM »
Peter,

I look forward to learning anything you learn from that that you care to share with other "grail searchers".

And, I look forward to visiting both Delorenzo's places for the real deal.

P.S. The Rolls in the photos is a friend's. He happened to stumble onto the scene during the shoot...from  an hour away. So, they figured it fit in,  I guess.

Beaune
Stuart

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #154 on: June 13, 2008, 09:17:14 AM »
Beaune,

It's always difficult (at least for me) to tell dimensions of things from photos. For example, a fairly standard size for a polycarbonate/ABS dough box is 18" x 26" x 3". If the dough boxes shown in photo #3159 are of that size, it would seem that the dough balls would have to be fairly small. The dough balls also seem to be quite extensible when stretched out. That can suggest either a fairly high hydration or an advanced stage of fermentation that caused the dough balls to slump and expand outwardly as they warmed up in the dough boxes or on the bench. The skins also look to be around 12", or maybe a bit larger (I believe that two sizes have previously been mentioned), and fairly thin. From the appearance of the baked pizzas, I would guess that the dough is made from all-purpose flour. I think the numbers I used for the dough clones I made may be in the ballpark. However, it would help to get a better idea as to actual dough ball weight.

Peter

Offline beaunehead

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #155 on: June 13, 2008, 12:26:14 PM »
They definitely use "all purpose" flour, Peter. That they've told me over the years.

my guess is a fairly high hydration...i think they make their doughs with no real pattern.....whenever needed...sometimes that day.

the dough is quite "extensible"....watching them stretch it make me wonder how the heck they can do it with all-purpose flour. They aren't that gentle with it.

http://www.delorenzostomatopies.com/images/dtp-shoot08-untouched/pages/100_3228_JPG.htm

http://www.delorenzostomatopies.com/images/dtp-shoot08-untouched/pages/100_3180_JPG.htm
Stuart

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #156 on: June 13, 2008, 01:07:40 PM »
Beaune,

It was photos like you referenced that prompted my comment about extensibility. However, it is also possible to get that degree of extensibility with a dough with a hydration in the mid 50% range if the dough is far out on the fermentation curve. The amount of oil in the dough may also be a factor.

I meant to comment in my last point on the robustness of the dough as exemplified by the two photos you referenced. That is something we are unlikely to get with consistency in a home environment with standard mixers. However, as noted at Reply 56 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3985.msg39803.html#msg39803, I was able to do it with all-purpose flour and a hydration of 65%. I was able to stretch the dough out to 24" before the dough skin started to tear. But that degree of robustness is not common in a home setting.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #157 on: July 06, 2008, 06:11:15 PM »
Looking at these photos, http://www.delorenzostomatopies.com/images/dtp-shoot08-untouched/pages/100_3154_JPG.htm, http://www.delorenzostomatopies.com/images/dtp-shoot08-untouched/pages/100_3155_JPG.htm and http://www.delorenzostomatopies.com/images/dtp-shoot08-untouched/pages/100_3159_JPG.htm, it is possible that DeLorenzo's is using dough boxes from Doughmate, a New Jersey company: http://www.doughmate.com/productTrays.htm. The dimensions for a basic dough box are 24" x 16" x 3". These dimensions in relation to the dough balls as shown in the photos suggest rather small dough balls.

Peter
« Last Edit: July 06, 2008, 06:18:43 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline beaunehead

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #158 on: July 06, 2008, 06:22:59 PM »
OK.....do you think these balls look like they've been refrigerated, Pete.....or , asked another way, how long do you think they might be around from mixing to oven? Any sense...

They say there....they have no specific pattern on that...
Stuart

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Philly/Trenton-area tomato pie (Split Topic)
« Reply #159 on: July 06, 2008, 06:55:42 PM »
OK.....do you think these balls look like they've been refrigerated, Pete.....or , asked another way, how long do you think they might be around from mixing to oven? Any sense...

They say there....they have no specific pattern on that...

Beaune,

Several of the photos in the set of photos you originally posted show the dough to be quite extensible. That can mean that the dough balls were fermented at room temperature or that the dough balls were cold fermented but given a long warm-up time before using. To know which approach they are using, you would have to see them remove the dough trays from the cooler. Most pizza operators who use cold fermented doughs like to use one-day old dough, possibly two. That would fit the profile of using all-purpose flour. It is also possible that DeLorenzo's makes emergency dough if they run out of their regular dough. An emergency dough can be made and used within a few hours. A lot of operators have two dough recipes--their regular one and an emergency one. The difference is usually the amount of yeast and the water temperature. Maybe that is why you were told that there is no specific pattern. The statement could also mean that they don't have a fixed warm-up time. Once the dough balls warm up, they are usable for about 3-4 hours longer, even if they start to overferment a bit.

Peter


 

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