I went there last night
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
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)
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
How did it taste?