Author Topic: Pizza Town (Elmswood Park, NJ)  (Read 6380 times)

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Offline PapaJon

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Re: Pizza Town (Elmswood Park, NJ)
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2011, 02:35:35 PM »
Cumulatively speaking, I think this thread has everything you need to reverse engineer this pizza.  I think the only real wrench in the works is consistently re-creating the microblisters. There's lots of theories as to how those are created, but, so far, nobody can come up with a method to re-create them every time.

I seem to be seeing them a lot lately (with overnight ferments), but really can't recreate them on command.

I have no problem doing the experimenting.  You want to propose a recipe?  The best flours I have on hand are listed HERE:)
Jon


Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: Pizza Town (Elmswood Park, NJ)
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2011, 03:50:53 PM »
Scott(s),  what is the likelyhood that those microblisters are created by a heavy dose of oil on the outised of the doughball,  along with a well fermented dough.  It almost looks like non contact frying to me when I see it? ?

Offline PapaJon

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Re: Pizza Town (Elmswood Park, NJ)
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2011, 06:16:13 PM »
This dough was over fermented and so I "reworked it" and balled it after I pulled it out of the fridge.  There is no oil or sugar in this dough.  It was baked at around 600F for 4.5min.  Do I see some micro blisters?
Jon

Offline scott123

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Re: Pizza Town (Elmswood Park, NJ)
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2011, 10:13:07 AM »
I went there last night  ;D Late last night- around 11. I was up since 5 yesterday morning and started getting tired around 8, but, since I ended up having to re-boot a server at an office in the area, I said "what the hell." As they closed at 12:00 and I wanted to get a slice on my way to the office and then a pie on the way home, it was all a bit logistically tricky.

I got there around 10:45 and ordered a slice.  They were cleaning up and the slice pie looked pretty long in the tooth. Regardless of it's age, I knew that I had to try a slice and ordered one. He put it in the oven, and, literally 15 seconds later he took it out.  It was, by far, the faster I've ever had a slice warmed, and just about the only time I've had a slice warmed to an edible temp and not molten cheese napalm- at least, without me having  to ask for the slice to be removed from the oven.

The first thing that hit me- oregano.  The second- more oregano. No real cheese flavor, no real sauce flavor, just in your face oregano and bread.  Good bread-  Good enough that I asked them how late I could order a pie (11:30), went to the office and took care of what I needed to take care of, called in an order for a plain pizza and then went back.   By the time I got there, I'm pretty sure it had been out of the oven for about 5 minutes, so I was expecting it to be marginally cool enough to be edible. It wasn't.  This was probably the hottest food I've eaten as an adult. I tried picking up a slice and the cheese fell off. Needless to say, I knew that I'd have to give it time.  Home was 30 minutes away, so I mapped out a supermarket parking lot 15 minutes away for my feast- the supermarket was open until 1 so I didn't look entirely strange  ;D

The whole pie was a lot better than the re-warmed slice, but it was far from perfect.  It was, again, way too much oregano, but this time I became acutely aware of an in-your-face quantity of a salt. The crust wasn't incredibly flavorful, but it did exhibit a positive trait that I rarely see- after 15 minutes in the box, the exterior had a good crunch, while the interior had a soft, somewhat moist and fluffy crumb. The cheese was just plain wrong. There was very little of it (large sections of only sauce) and what was there definitely wasn't mozzarella. It wasn't creamy and it didn't set up at all when it cooled. I'm thinking cheddar, maybe monterey jack, but definitely not mozz, and definitely not provolone either. There was some parm, although it was the tasteless cellulose-y salty green can stuff, which only added insult to injury.

I scorn DiFara's all the time for the lack of attention they give to their crust and the overboard manner in which they approach toppings, but this place, imo, is the exact opposite.  The crust is, for a crispy type, pretty amazing. The toppings, though were miserable. I'm going to have to go with the mercenary card here.  They probably do have to pay a bit more than your average pizzeria for the gas it costs to run an oven at 600+, but that's pretty much the only thing they spend money on.  The cheese is minimal and most likely cheaper than mozzarella. I can see a place like Joe's, with their Greenwich Village overhead, being cheap and stingy with their cheese, but  in Jersey?  You can't cut that corner here. Hype is never good for a restaurant and I'm pretty sure this place has gotten it's fair share.  Hype drives business, which, in turn, tends to cultivate apathy and greed. Anyone putting that little cheese on their pizza is looking more at the bottom line than they are at maintaining quality.

Cheese, big black mark. Sauce, bigger black mark. The oregano and obscene amount of salt were obviously present to detract from a sauce that's so watered down, it no longer tastes like tomato. The crust is good enough that I could probably forgive the cheese and the oregano, but the salt was just too much. I don't think I could ever enjoy a pizza with that much salt. That's my last visit to Pizza Town.

(out of ten)
Crust 9
Cheese 2
Sauce 1
Overall 4

In all fairness, that's 4 rated against my image of a perfect pie. Judging against what I've had in the area, that might move up to a 7 (right now a good slice is hard to find).

Btw, John, the dumpster was overflowing with garbage- and definitely unlocked.  I didn't have time to investigate much further than that, though.

And Jon, for a dough that's noticeably past it's prime, I'm impressed with what you did with it.  It was probably one of your sample unbromated GM flours, right? 14% protein? As protein goes up, the window of viability increases. As pretty as the finished crust is, though, no offense, but I wouldn't touch it. Not after seeing the dough  ;D How did it taste?
« Last Edit: February 28, 2011, 11:48:33 AM by scott123 »

Offline tommy

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Re: Pizza Town (Elmswood Park, NJ)
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2011, 11:33:19 AM »
A friend of mine complains about the oregano.  More specifically, about how it's oftentimes all in one spot on the pie!

They are very sloppy with the oregano.  If they'd get it a little more uniform it wouldn't be as offensive.  Thankfully I don't mind the oregano, and I always have 4 slices to hedge my bet!

Offline scott123

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Re: Pizza Town (Elmswood Park, NJ)
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2011, 11:53:59 AM »
Come to think of it Tommy, there were less oregano-dominated bites than others, which I did enjoy a bit more.

And FWIW, I'm not judging any of the members here who love it.  I can see where everyone's coming from. Salt and oregano can be incredibly subjective, and, as far as crusts go, this is probably the best I've had in a pizzeria in 20 years.

Offline JConk007

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Re: Pizza Town (Elmswood Park, NJ)
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2011, 12:48:53 PM »
Scott ,
I Appreciate your honest and experienced review! Sorry for your bad experience. Did you see them make any pies while you were there for your slice? If it takes more then 1 minute thats a lot! I notice even with my local pizzeria -go there on friday night when they are slammed and guess what It Stinks!  tuesday night 5 pm before rush they have the best pizza around. So its the creator as well. Closing time- just send it out? The cheese at  PT looks like block mozz? ,the slices very thin and they seem to put a good amount on. although its so thin it only looks like a lot ? Then the big pinch (swirl)of the oregano, and a throw it up and see what lands on pie of the parm.  I would give it one more shot 1:30 afternoon, after the rush hour (that can be a disaster as well) with some fresh pies waiting in the racks.. I have had a few bad slices as well there dry no cheese ... but the majority I love! sometines I wait til I see then put in the whole one I want  for reheat then dash up and grab one of those slices. I agree all the hype they should be more consistent if they want to keep the dream alive.
Ok Now Waiting for your review on Lodi pizza now please! its right down the street. very good as well?
John
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Offline tommy

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Re: Pizza Town (Elmswood Park, NJ)
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2011, 04:37:05 PM »
JConk007,

I tried Lodi today.  I was not impressed.  Much thicker and heavier than P-Town, and not very notable to my mind.  Was it better than a lot of the stuff in the area?  Perhaps.  But I don't think it's in the same league as P-Town.  In fact I didn't finish the second slice and drove over to P-Town to finish my lunch. :)

Offline PapaJon

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Re: Pizza Town (Elmswood Park, NJ)
« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2011, 06:31:24 PM »
Much thicker and heavier than P-Town

This was also my experience as you can see from photo's HERE .  It was much better than what I can get locally here in SoCal so I was happy to consume the two slices I ordered, although I did immediately drive on over to PT afterwords and ordered desert (a single slice).  The crusts are so different they are a bit hard to compare.  I preferred the PT crust to Lodi's.  I like to eat pizza and any pizza that will fill a normal person up (notice I didn't say "me") with just 2 slices is a little too thick I believe. 

Scott123's detailed review leaves me wondering about the other aspects though.  I may have had my rose colored glasses on or I might have just got some lucky slices.  As you can see from the 4th picture I posted above, my first stop at PT the cheese/sauce was molten and slid right off my slice, almost like the hair off the guy behind the counter.  The second slice was fairly similar so maybe I had a more "crust" oriented tasting.

My second trip the following afternoon for desert after Lodi's, there was only a lady behind the counter with a full head of hair, subsequently she reheated my slice perfectly with no cheese lose action.  I didn't pick up on the flavor notes of the cheese and sauce that Scott did, but like I said, I may have gotten lucky, or perhaps my pallet hasn't developed quite as far yet.

Jon

Offline JConk007

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Re: Pizza Town (Elmswood Park, NJ)
« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2011, 09:59:47 PM »
Only been to Lodi 2x both great (pizza gods?) but do  P Town 3-4 x a month = many good slices.However I have also had a few bad ones too! I  Hope scott can get there again, However as mentioed for all the hype does need to be consistent!
JOhn
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Offline scott123

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Re: Pizza Town (Elmswood Park, NJ)
« Reply #30 on: March 07, 2011, 11:13:50 PM »
John, I can definitely see time of day/work schedules playing a part.  At my local spot in Morristown, there's only one guy that knows what he's doing, and he's only there a couple of nights a week. Tbh, though, the crusty older gentlemen that made my pie for me seem to be the real deal.

As far as Lodi goes... pan pizzas are against my religion  ;D I don't know... perhaps if I'm in the area. 

Even though I may not see eye to eye with everyone on p-town, I do respect all of your opinions tremendously. John, Tommy (and anyone else in the area)- if you run across any other great places, please bring them to my attention. I'm basically looking for puffy/chewy (not that crispy), a relatively pale rim (no gbd), a slight amount of undercrust char, a short bake time, and a prominent tomato note to the sauce. That's not too much to ask, right?  ;D

Jon, until I find great pizza here, as far a I'm concerned, to get the best possible slice in the area, you'd need a time machine.


Offline scott123

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Re: Pizza Town (Elmswood Park, NJ)
« Reply #31 on: November 07, 2011, 02:23:22 AM »
Update:  I found a fun little video of Pizza Town

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nk-BM6ChLmU" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nk-BM6ChLmU</a>


Apparently, they tout themselves as the first place to sell slices in NJ.

Offline PapaJon

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Re: Pizza Town (Elmswood Park, NJ)
« Reply #32 on: November 07, 2011, 03:16:35 AM »
Damn... it's past midnight and now I'm hungry :)
Thanks John  :-D

I was in NJ last month but had suits in tow and didn't have time to drive by PT.  Next time though for sure!
Jon

Offline JConk007

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Re: Pizza Town (Elmswood Park, NJ)
« Reply #33 on: November 07, 2011, 05:25:36 PM »
Scott . Thanks Yes think I have seen that one . Shes still there the daughter and still tough I have asked many questions  with 0 response. I do Like PT be still looking
I stopped at La Fiamma ? in Ridgewood the other day Mugniani WFO , flour mix  fresh mozz , too little sauce and 4-5 min bake. But  it was very good ever been there ?
John
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Offline tommy

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Re: Pizza Town (Elmswood Park, NJ)
« Reply #34 on: November 08, 2011, 08:51:47 PM »
La Fiamma is good?  The last restaurant there (from the same owners) made some pretty mediocre pizza.  Maybe they stepped up their game?

Offline scott123

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Re: Pizza Town (Elmswood Park, NJ)
« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2012, 07:04:09 AM »
Update, I was in the area for work, so I decided on taking another trip.

Bottom line- much better than my first trip.  Far less oregano and far less salt.  Really really good. Not Joe's 1990 good, but still, for what's available now, phenomenal.

I went around lunch time (before was close to closing), so, as John proposed, this could be a time of the day thing.  I watched as the guy was topping the skin and, apparently, the oregano is one single throw- on mine, the distribution was perfect, but I can see how this method might produce uneven areas.

When they back off the oregano, a really clean uncluttered tomato taste shines through. I tend to prefer somewhat sweet sauces, but I really enjoyed the tartness of the tomato combined with the sharpness of the romano. I think this combo works a tiny bit better with San Marzano's (L&B), but this was still pretty sublime.

It's interesting, in many ways, this is a very similar pizza to Best.  It's basically Best + a little more cheese (Grande) + a little oregano.  And that little bit of oregano makes such a world of difference.  Best has a slightly better crust, so if they ever got their toppings straight, they'd win hands down, but, as the pizzas stand now, pizza town is a clear winner.


Offline PapaJon

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Re: Pizza Town (Elmswood Park, NJ)
« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2012, 12:10:05 PM »
Scott, glad to hear you made it out to PT and more so that you weren't disappointed!  It is on my list for sure if I'm ever in the area.

-Jon
Jon

Offline JConk007

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Re: Pizza Town (Elmswood Park, NJ)
« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2012, 02:15:08 PM »
Great news Scott!
Glad you finally got a good slice. It's still by far one of my favorites in the area. I also enjoy the cleanliness of the sauce Did you get to time a bake ? Next I am wanting to try their fried calzone I will post here supposedly they are great as well.
John
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Offline communist

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Re: Pizza Town (Elmswood Park, NJ)
« Reply #38 on: April 22, 2012, 10:21:32 AM »
It was cloudy Saturday afternoon in Northeastern Pennsylvania and I was depressed.  I had to work Saturday morning, and I need a good slice of pizza to change things.  Problem was I couldn't think of a place.  Sure, I am near "Old Forge, pizza capital of the world", but don't believe it.  Except for some very different and flavorful odd-ball pies such as Victory Pig ( unique crispy/greasy crust with onion sauce ) good pies are hard to find in this area.  I grabbed my wife and kid and raced 2 hours out to Pizza Town.  Barely alive after my wife pulled a Dukes of Hazzard lane change on Route 80, we pulled into the parking lot.  You've got to be kidding me!  A faded red, white and blue facade with stern metallic Uncle Sam scowled at me.  Along with the cockroach, this tin barn would survive nuclear war.  We walk into the joint cautiously looking left and right, surveying the population.  O.K., relax, it's just New Jersey.  We order a whole pie at the counter, and spy Bruce make  pie.  But a baked pie pops out in a minute and we get that one.  Fast.  Nice looking pie!  This is a thin crust pie!  Scott123 always preaches about thickness factor and NY pies.  A bite is worth a thousand words.  I strut when I crank out a .07 pie - this may be  even thinner!  Tasty sauce, nice cheese flavor, crust rim a little dense and bottom crust floppy, but flavorful.  A great New York pie.  The real thing ( or as real as you can get being 10 miles outside the city )  I joked with Bruce Tomo about his heavy hand with oregano, and he confessed to a rock toss technique with the spice in contrast to his sister's gentle high release well above the pie resulting in an evenly dusted pie.  We order a pie to go, half pepperoni, and I clock a 3:45 cook time.  We jump in the car and bang over a curb in the parking lot.  Don't stop on these highways.  Keep moving.  Wow, this place is the real thing - one of the finest New York pies out there!  Highly recommended.  Pics ( hopefully ) to follow.

Offline communist

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Re: Pizza Town (Elmswood Park, NJ)
« Reply #39 on: April 22, 2012, 11:31:08 AM »
pics


 

pizzapan