Author Topic: Trenton NJ area Tomato Pies - Delorenzo's (Rt#33) Vs Wildflowers (Pennington)  (Read 12528 times)

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Offline petef

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Everyone,
I realize that good pizza is a matter of personal taste, but I must be misssing
something because I tried Delorenzo's Tomato pie twice so far and was not that
impressed. I recently tried Wildflowers Tomato pie for the first time and much
preferred it over Delorenzo's. My reasoning follows:

Delorenzo's Tomato Pie:

I found the sauce to be perfect one time and too salty the second time.
The crust along the oputer edge is just too crunchy for my liking and alone
it is rather bland hard and dry. They cut the slices in a haphazard manner
which only makes sharing it more diffuicult because the sliced are so unevenly
divided. The odd shapes also make it harder to eat. The biggest compalint is
that they don't even get the sauce close to the edge, leaving large portions
of tasteless hard crust. I had to throw out some of the leftover crust which
was so hard and dry it wasn't desirabe to eat.

Wildflower's Tomato Pie:

The crust was perfect. Crunchy and golden brown on the bottom
and very thin. The sauce was very close to Delorenzo's but I'd
need to do a side by side comparison to judge that more accurately.
I can't say which sauce was better, except that Delorenzo's was too
salty the second time I tried them. The topping went very close to
the edge and the crust along the edge was crunchy but still pliable
and not hard and dry like Delornzo's. The distribution of cheeze Vs
sauce seems about the same as Delorenzo's. The slices are cut into
nice evenly divided portions.

So in my opinion, WildFlower's Tomato pies win out over Delorenzo's
in every category I mentioned above. It just goes to show what power
advertising has. Delorenzo's has had a few rave reviews by the press
and you should see the madness at their pizza restaurant.
Delorenzo's doors open at 4pm and people are lined up about 15 to 20
deep when the doors open. By 4:20pm, the place is filled to capacity
and there is an hour wait to get a table and about 45 minutes wait to
order a pie to go. Amazing. And their Tomato pie isn't even that good
compared to WildFlowers.

Can someone please explain what it is that people love so much
about Delorenzo's. After having Wildflower's I feel like I'm missing
something something in my judgement of Tomato Pies.
If anyone here has tried both, I'd love to hear your take.


Directions to Wildflower's Inn

* Take 295/95 South to exit 4 and onto Rt#31 North.

* Go about 1.5 miles on Rt#31 N and just before the circle bear right
to enter the parking lot of WildFlower's Inn.


Directions to Delorenzo's on Rt#33 in Robbinsville/Washinton Twp.:

* Take Rt#130 to Rt#33 East.

* Go about 1/4 mile to the first traffic light to make a RIGHT onto
Robbinsville Edinburg Road. Make a quick LEFT into the Washington
Town Center and park in the center lot. Enter Delorenzo's at the
back entrance.

PS: I have no associations with either Wildflower's or Delorenzo's
My only motive is to find the best pizza and share my opinions.

I LOVE PIZZA! :)

---pete---
« Last Edit: July 05, 2008, 09:28:54 PM by petef »


Offline MTPIZZA

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What you may have experienced at Delorenzo's is what happens to any business that tries to expand and get larger. Delorenzo's on Hudson street in Trenton was the original pizza parlor. The pies are now made by family members in the second generation of the family. Through the years things have changed and perhaps not for the good. They used to use coal fired ovens, different ingrediants etc. I started eating their pies in 1960 and have noticed a change over the years. I will admit you can get a "clunker" pie now and then. I haven't been to the new place in Robbinsville yet so I can't comment on how they are at the new site. But I do feel from the pictures I have seen that they maybe are loosing control over the quality of the pie itself. They have always cut the pies in rectangular shapes its not really a big deal just different. The sauce may not be exactly the same each time as they blend their sauce using a couple different brands. As for the crust, its true that it is a little dryier and not doughy like some other pies-- but again this is a control issue not the recipe, as I'm sure they are trying to make them from the same recipe and ingrediants as the Hudson street parlor. So, from what I gather from your comments it looks as if the guys making the pies are the culprit and because of the newness of the place, it may take some time before they return to the great pie they make on Hudson street. I have never tried or heard of Wildflowers pizza so I can't make any comparison there, but if you like theirs better then thats fine. But I would recommend you try the pie on Hudson Street.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2008, 09:11:17 AM by MTPIZZA »

Offline petef

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......So, from what I gather from your comments it looks as if the guys making the pies are the culprit and because of the newness of the place, it may take some time before they return to the great pie they make on Hudson street.

The first time I went to the Rt#33 Delorenzo's I was a bit dissapointed and I was
hoping that it was due to the fact they were only open a week or so and still
adapting to the new place. I did some research online and found someone raving
about the new Rt#33 location saying it's just as good as the Hudson St. location.
Then when I tried the Rt#33 location for the second time many weeks after my
first visit, it was basically the same so it seems they have consistency.

As for cutting the slices at Delorenzo's, I watched the process on the take
out pies. The cashier doubles as the pizza cutter. As the pies come out of
the ovens they place them by the cashier on a metal plate. He uses a very
small knife what appears to be a steak or pearing knife and hastilly cuts
from the center to the edge about 8 times to make the slices. I was shocked
because it seems like the wrong tool for the job and an inefficient method.
He presses so hard it makes me think the guy will have some kind of repetitive
stress hand or wrist injury if he keeps that up for long. So that seems to
account for the unevenly sliced portions.

I'm just a bit baffled about all the fuss people make over Delorenzo's and
having had Wildflowers' tomato pie which seems so much better to me.
Hopefully an experienced tomato pie lover here in the forums who had
tried both Wildflower's and Delorenzo's can shed some light on this
topic. :) 

Is it possible that Delrenzo was the first to make this style pie
and he got all the press & hype, and since then, other's in the
area have duplicated the recipe and even improved upon it?

---pete---


« Last Edit: July 06, 2008, 12:37:38 PM by petef »

Offline beaunehead

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I've never been to Wildflowers...nor had I ever heard of it until I read this.....and I consider myself pretty knowledgable/experienced about places in the "pizza belt"....Boston-Philadelphia.

But, as you say, pizza is a very subjective thing.

The cutting issue is, to me, a non-issue; sort of a silly one to focus on. If anything, it is a remnant from the type of artisanal, mom and pop enterprises that almost all pizza places used to be 40-50 years ago, before everyone expected triangles/pie wedges.

Delorenzo's gets all the hype because it is the best out there, IMO. Both places, Trenton and Robbinsville: there's no appreciable difference-- are tops in my book of all the places I've ever been: including the ones in Boston, all of them in New Haven, New York's best, Freehold and Philadelphia. Year after year.

It is simple, pure pizza/ "tomato" pie made artisanally, in a non-formulaic way. So, there are inconsistencies. But, that's what good food is about:  simple ingredients, differences in the artists' hands, family-owned authenticity. Both Delorenzos are packed for a good reason: they make consistently great pies and almost everyone who has had them wants more.

Sure, one can pick nits and over-analyze what they are: artisanal breads with tomatoes and cheese and a few basic toppings. And, there are always places people like better, for different reasons, including aesthetic (where the sauce ends on each piece; how they're sliced.) And, there is no "answer".

I'll look into Wildflowers......some day...maybe. For now, I'm plenty satisfied to have Delorenzo's an hour away from me to look forward to, whenever I can justify the gas usage.

Stuart

Offline petef

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I'll look into Wildflowers......some day...maybe. For now, I'm plenty satisfied to have Delorenzo's an hour away from me to look forward to, whenever I can justify the gas usage.

I'd be very interested in your opinion on Wildflower's tomato pie since
you have the Delorenzo standard to go by. In the meantime, what is it
specifically about the Delorenzo Tomato pie that makes it's the best?

---pete---




« Last Edit: July 06, 2008, 05:53:38 PM by petef »

Offline beaunehead

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The artisanal simplicity of it; the lack of uniformity, and , above all, the crust: thin and crunchy, without being cracker-like compact.

And, they do nothing but pizza and soda (and, in the new place salads and an antipasto). Very focused on one item, as you can see.
Stuart

Offline petef

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Delorenzo's gets all the hype because it is the best out there, IMO.

With my job I go to many peoples' homes and as I'm chatting with them I often
ask; "Who makes the best pizza in this area?" One of my customers recommended
Wildflower's and commented that he liked it better than Delorenzo's. That's
how I found them.

In the Trenton area, I also tried tomato pie a couple of times at Pete's Steak
House on Olden Ave. It was pretty good too, but not quite the same thin
crunchy style as Delorenzo's.

A buddy of mine introduced me to Delorenzo's on Hudson St a few years ago
and at the time, I had no idea of the great reputation they had. At the time
it didn't strike me as the best pizza I ever had. Then after I found
pizzamaking.com and read all the hype here and also all the rave reviews
on the Interent, it changed my impression about Delorenzo's. The next time
I had their pie it tasted FANTASTIC. So I'm wondering what affect all the
hype & positive reviews has on the Delorenzo customer. Only a blind taste
test would reveal the truth. :)

---pete---







Offline #1tomatopiefan

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I have been going to Delorenzo's in "The Berg" of Trenton since the 1960s.  My mom and her parents were going there long before that.  We all loved it.  All they ever served was tomato pies and soda - no salads, no subs, no pasta just tomato pies.  They were always cut into irregular shapes and we loved them.  We each usually ate an entire pie - at least one per person.  We introduced our children to Delorenzos and they shared the passion with us - always looking for a pizza that could compare - and there was none.  Unfortunately for everyone the area of Trenton where the original store is located has gotten so bad because of violence it is near impossible to go there. 

I grew up and live in the tomato pie wasteland of upstate NY.  We get decent pizza, but the people here have no idea what you are talking about when you montion tomato pie.  We have not tried the places in New haven that supposedly compare.  We have, however, found another place in a better area of Trenton called Palermo's.  It's in Ewing.  They have wonderful tomato pies.  We were just there today - when 5 of us ordered 4 pies the waitress looked at us like we were crazy, but it's that good!  They also have a whole menu with really good food. 

I have not heard of or tried Wildflower Inn.  But you should try Palermo's.  Today I heard disappointing reviews of the new Delorenzo's from my family in NJ.  It's very sad.  We would never have felt the need to look elsewhere had the neoghborhood not gotten so bad.  But we have great memories!!

Offline petef

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I have not heard of or tried Wildflower Inn.  But you should try Palermo's.  Today I heard disappointing reviews of the new Delorenzo's from my family in NJ.  It's very sad.  We would never have felt the need to look elsewhere had the neoghborhood not gotten so bad.  But we have great memories!!

I'm kind of glad to hear that your family is reporting that the new Delorenzo's in Robbinsville
is not up to par because I was there twice and dissappointed myself, so I was beginning
to wonder if my standards were off skew.

We have a Palermo's here by me on Rt#206 in Bordentown and I've heard good things
about their Tomato pies but I've never had it yet. Thanks for the tip on Palermo;s
in Trenton, I'll be sure to check them both out and report back here.

In the meantime, tell your family about Wildflowers and see how they like it.
I'd really like to have the opinion of people who are a aligned to the Delorenzo
of Trenton standard.

---pete---

Offline beaunehead

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I've been to the new Delorenzo's 4-5 times since it opened in January. Frankly, I don't see any difference between it and the old place (which is still open Thurs-Sunday). The new place certainly lacks the barebones, old feel of the original, but it seems like a friendly, classy place, with nice restrooms (the old place has none.)

The pies at the new are a little less charred, on purpose. Some people aren't that attuned to the old place's custom of heavier charring, so the new place is walking a thin line. I ask for the "regualar char". The personnel are interchangeable. The same owners, the same piemen and even the same waiters, go back and forth.

The ingredients are obviously the same.

I prefer the old place for sentimental reasons and because it's about 15 minutes closer; I live almost and hour from it. But, the new place is open for lunch during the week and that makes it more appealing to me, as my family isn't into taking long rides for pizza.

Not sure what disappointed you??? Please tell.

Still the "holy grail" of pizza...for me and those I know. The one to measure all others against.
Stuart


Offline petef

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Not sure what disappointed you??? Please tell.

I was dissapointed at Delorenzo's becasue the outer edge crust was rock hard
and the sauce & cheese did not go close enough to the edge, leaving about
1.5 inches of hard dry crust in some places. I bit into one slice and got
overwhelmed with salt. If I had not known the fantastic reputation of
Delorenzos Tomato Pies, I would have never guessed that they made a great
pizza. I really need to visit the Hudson St. restaurant to see how they are
making theirs.

---pete---


Offline Esterrick

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Never in my life have I read such misguided jibberish.

The "tomato pie" at Wildflowers in Pennington does not even remotely compare to the tomato pie at EITHER Delorenzo's location, nor the pies at Palermo's (a VERY good pie BTW) or Pete's Steak House (also quite good but often excessively oily).  It is not a bad tomato pie, mind you, but just not in the same league with the other aforementioned places

Having eaten at both Delorenzo's locations recently, there is virtually NO difference between the pies made at either location, quite an accomplishment.  The insistant complaining from PeteF regarding Delorenzo's leads me to believe that there may be another agenda afoot here, and perhaps even internet shilling.  As Shakespeare once wrote:  "Methinks he doth protest TOO much".

Offline David

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A buddy of mine introduced me to Delorenzo's on Hudson St a few years ago
and at the time, I had no idea of the great reputation they had. At the time
it didn't strike me as the best pizza I ever had. Then after I found
pizzamaking.com and read all the hype here and also all the rave reviews
on the Interent, it changed my impression about Delorenzo's. The next time
I had their pie it tasted FANTASTIC. So I'm wondering what affect all the
hype & positive reviews has on the Delorenzo customer.
---pete---

The above quote speaks volumes IMO ( about other establishments also ! ) I am intrigued to know how long Wildflowers has been around though,if it has been with the same ownership and if it is comparable to what many consider the best of it's style,why so little is known of it?
NJ is one of the most densely populated areas in the country and there has been exhaustive lists and debates on the best pizzerias in the state and I never recall having seen Wildflowers on any of them,which seems odd at the least?

I found this comment elsewhere on the net:

Jan 17 2008,

I had the Wildflowers tomato pie over the summer and found the crust althought crisp on the bottom, , too doughy to be considered a true tomato pie. Good flavor, good composition, but really just a better version of pizza.

Rich Pawlak

Food Writer, Philadelphia Daily News
« Last Edit: July 26, 2008, 10:07:24 AM by David »
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline petef

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The "tomato pie" at Wildflowers in Pennington does not even remotely compare to the tomato pie at EITHER Delorenzo's location, nor the pies at Palermo's (a VERY good pie BTW) or Pete's Steak House (also quite good but often excessively oily).  It is not a bad tomato pie, mind you, but just not in the same league with the other aforementioned places

Esterrick, I sincerely appreciate any opinion on this topic as long as there are no personal
attacks and that the person back up their opinions with acurate details. If you read my posts
carefully I give specific reasons why I felt positive or negative about any of the different
tomatoe pies.

I have been here at pizzamaking.com for some time now and have established my record
with a number of posts on various topics so it's absurd to sugest that I have some hidden
agenda. On the other hand, you have only 1 post. I would suggest that you stick around,
and contribute to the forums to establiish your own reputation and credibility.

The whole purpose of this thread was to express my opinion about Tomato Pies in
comparison to Delorenzo's or WildFlowers and to see what others in this area
thought who have had the Delorenzo experience.

So far you have stated that Delorenzo's Tomato Pies are not in the same league
as Wildflowers or Pete's Steak House. I am very interested to know exactly why
you say that.

---pete---





Offline petef

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I found this comment elsewhere on the net:

Jan 17 2008,

I had the Wildflowers tomato pie over the summer and found the crust althought crisp on the bottom, , too doughy to be considered a true tomato pie. Good flavor, good composition, but really just a better version of pizza.

Rich Pawlak

Food Writer, Philadelphia Daily News

Very good. Before I posted this topic, I spent some time researching Wildflowers to see what
others were saying and I did come across the opinion above. I think it was posted on another
public forum. However, I couldn't find many more opinions which is why I started this topic.
Bottom line, I just don't see what all the excitement is over Delorenzo's and I'm trying to
get other opinions and details.

Rich Pawlak, makes a comment similar to Esterrick suggesting that WildFlowers is not
in the same class as Delorenzo's and this is exactly what I'm trying to find out. I don't
quite understand what makes Delornzo's style a "true tomato pie" because I found
Wildflowers to be very similar in style with it's thin crust and the arangement of
toppings.

The way I found Wildflowers was by praising Delorenzo's to one of my customers
who in return told me that I need to try Wildflowers because he felt they made a
better tomato pie for someone who liked the Delorenzo style pizza. They are both
marketed as tomato pies and have similar characteristics so it seems fair to make
the comparison.

BTW: I have no associations with any pizza businesses.
I'm simply a pizza lover with a passion for making pizza at home
and finding the best pizza that money can buy in my local area.

---pete---




Offline petef

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.........I am intrigued to know how long Wildflowers has been around though,if it has been with the same ownership and if it is comparable to what many consider the best of it's style,why so little is known of it?

I don't have the answer to that question but oddly enough the few people I've mentioned
Wildflowers to recently have told me that Wildflowers has been there for many many years,
but they were not familiar with their tomato pies.  I suspect that the tomato pie served
today is different from what may have been served there in previous years. Perhaps we
can find someone here in the forums who knows more about Wildflowers.

---pete---




« Last Edit: July 27, 2008, 05:10:03 AM by petef »

Offline David

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Pete,
It was previously called The Wayside Inn,but when it changed to Wildflowers I do not know?
I ,in no way question the reasoning behind your comments and agree that you should raise them if that is your opinion.I admire your honesty about the hype etc. maybe influencing your opinion.It's amazing how publicly so few are prepared to do this and yet privately I have heard the misgivings of the reputed best.It's a constant gripe of mine.People change.Quality changes.Tastes change.These are man made products and as such we should recognize the fallibilities,however the hype tends to overpower even reasonable minds sometimes.
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline petef

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I admire your honesty about the hype etc. maybe influencing your opinion.It's amazing how publicly so few are prepared to do this and yet privately I have heard the misgivings of the reputed best.It's a constant gripe of mine.People change.Quality changes.Tastes change.These are man made products and as such we should recognize the fallibilities,however the hype tends to overpower even reasonable minds sometimes.

I agree, and ultimately I'd like to see several "pizza oriented" (for lack of better words) folks
from this forum try out both Wildflowers and Deloranzos and give their honest opinions. I am
also aware that people very loyal to Deloranzos may have a closed mind to anything other,
so the most valued opinions would come from someone who never tried either one previously.

---pete---




Offline beaunehead

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Petef,

I think the "problem" with your view that people are "close-minded" is that on the say-so of one guy..or even two, it hardly seems worth the effort to compare it to Delorenzo's...either one.  Delorenzo's has a 23+ year track record for me. People always have their favorites...for one reason or another. But, I doubt most people care to make comparisons  based on one or two praises for a place like Wildflowers. (And, the heading of your thread "Delorenzo's vs. Wildflowers" presumes that someone is interested in that comparison, just because it interests you. YOu can call it close-minded; I would call suggesting such a comparison presumptuous. When, that place gets as much praise as, say, Delorenzo's, Patsy's, Totonno's, Tacconelli's, the places in New Haven, etc.....I might be interested in checking it out. But.....not based on one or two or even three people's say so....or praise for one unknown place.

Just suggesting the comparison is asking a lot of someone, IMO.

I've tried just about all the "known" places on the "pizza belt" from Boston to Philadelphia. I happen to think Delorenzo's is better "pizza" than any of them. New names to try, for now, are just that. But, I am skeptical that some undiscovered full-service restaurant is in its league. I guess I'll wait til someone more motivated who has never tried either place comes along. I'm not holding my breath, though, that such a person will show up.

Fun stuff.
Stuart

Offline petef

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I've tried just about all the "known" places on the "pizza belt" from Boston to Philadelphia. I happen to think Delorenzo's is better "pizza" than any of them. New names to try, for now, are just that. But, I am skeptical that some undiscovered full-service restaurant is in its league.

This is what I'm talking about. You might not be the best person to objectively evaluate
Wildflowers because you openly adimit your bias for Delorenzos and quite frankly you seem
offended by the mere suggestion that there could be another that is better.

I think I'm a good candidate to make the comparison becasue I've only had Delorenzo's
about 3 times and Wildflowers just one time. Where I'm lacking is my experience with
Tomato Pies in general because it's something relatively new to me. That is an important
factor that I think everyone should be aware of.

In the past, I avoided ordering Tomato Pies because I thought they were pizza with
sauce only and no cheese. When I came here to pizzamaking.com and read about
Delorenzo's Tomato pies it caused me to try out tomato pies for the first time.
Actually I did have a Delorenzo Tomato Pie years ago on Hudson St., but i didn't
realize I was eating "Tomato Pie" at the time, and I was also not aware of their
reputation.

Bottom line, to be fair to both Delorenzo's and Wildflowers, we need someone
else who is not biased to make the camparison. I would certainly value your
opinion or anyone familiar with Delorenzo's, but we have to recognize that
anyone extremely loyal to Delorenzo's, may have a bias towards Delorenzo's.

Hehehe, I never imagined I'd be in such a serious debate over pizza,
but here we are. Good talking!  Fun stuff indeed. :)

---pete---


 

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