Author Topic: NJ Boardwalk Pizza  (Read 225782 times)

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Offline norma427

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #1750 on: July 27, 2013, 09:50:58 AM »
Norma, when it comes to pizza (as well as food in general), my taste buds have a photographic memory.  My most vivid memories revolve around food- around taste.

My local neighborhood pizzeria, Suvios, opened in 1979.  Because they had video games in the back, and because there was a video game arcade a couple doors up, from the moment it opened, I was there almost every non school non sleeping moment. Right now, I can close my eyes and go right back to that taste.  The little bit of char on the undercrust, the almost white incredibly puffy rim, the gummy pink nodules of the crust when you pull the cheese away.  It's seared into my mind.  I can't really remember my first kiss as well as I can remember my first slice  ;D   My closest description would be Best, but puffier and far more flavorful.  Most of my adult life was spent trying to recreate that slice, and, for the most part, I'm confident that I have.

When Suvios opened, for about the first 5 years, they traded county newspaper accolades with a place across town, Pete's.  Pete's was a little more golden brown and had a lot more oregano.  This was all happening when I was in junior high school, so I didn't have access to a car, but I had a bike, and I biked to Pete's quite a lot.  I recall being dropped off at the library once, and rather than studying, walking to Pete's for a slice and Baskin Robbins for a chocolate shake  >:D Pete's was different, but just as phenomenal as Suvios and well worthy of the awards.

The moment I got my driver's license, I was in the family car driving everywhere. My friends and I covered unbelievable ground. We didn't cross over the Hudson River, but we ate pizza all over Northern NJ. And we weren't obsessives.  We were just teenagers, getting into trouble, and grabbing a slice.  Back then, that was pretty much what teenagers ate. Suvios and Pete's were a bit of a pinnacle of the pizza at the time.  The huge slices in Hoboken where in this realm as well, but everything seemed to be a notch below.  But that notch was minimal.  It was like Suvios/Pete/Hoboken were a 10 and everywhere else was 9.75.  You'd be really hard pressed to find anything mediocre.  It wasn't until about 15 years later, when I moved into Manhattan where I first started discovering mediocre, uninspired pizza (midtown!  >:(). At the same time, though, I also discovered Joes.  If Suvios was a 10, Joes circa 1993 was an 11- at the time, Joe's was another universe. 

But 1993 takes us outside of the era presently being discussed. From 1979 through 1990, in Northern NJ (and most likely all the outer boroughs, since the same Italian American population was distributed throughout these areas fairly equally) it was as difficult getting a less than great slice as it is to find a decent slice now- an entire region of 9.75 to 10 quality pizza transformed into almost ubiquitous 2-4 grade pies. Suvios is still around, as is Pete's, but, like everywhere else, it's all taken a turn towards mediocrity.

Scott,

Thank you for telling me your interesting stories about you and the pizzas you loved and all what happened in your life with pizza.  Lol, about you not recalling your first kiss.  I sure can recall my first kiss and it was when I wasn't even a teenager and was ice skating for many miles on a frozen creek.  I knew that guy that was a few years older than me and did know him well because he also lived in the same small town I lived in, but sure didn't think he would ever kiss me.  :o He was talking to me while we were ice skating alone and just stopped, grabbed me and kissed me.  I will never forgot how shocked I was.   :-D

Thank you for telling me your closest description would be Best Pizza, but puffier and far more flavorful.  Is the formulation you posted here on the forum the best pizza you think you have ever made?

Why do you think the great pizzas have gone downhill, except for changing people in the same pizza businesses?

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #1751 on: July 27, 2013, 09:57:31 AM »
Norma,

It appears that the recipe that BenLee posted was a home recipe, not a commercial one. I am using my iPad today and can't show you the dough formulation usig the expanded dough calculating tool, but three cups of flour with 1 1/2 cups of water yields a hydration of over 80%, even when using a high gluten flour measured out with a fairly heavy hand (scooping, shaking, etc.). Also, a full packet of yeast would correspond more to an emergency type of dough. It's also hard to know what to make of the small amounts of salt and oil called for by the recipe at this point.

Peter

Peter,

Thanks for telling me it appears that the recipe BenLee posted is a home recipe and not a commercial one.  Thanks for telling me even though you can't show the dough formulation the hydration is over 80%.  :o I think that recipe won't work out to try to make a Mack's, or Manco & Manco pizza.  I can't even work with an 80% hydration in a Detroit style pizza.

Norma
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Offline Fire-n-smoke

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #1752 on: July 27, 2013, 10:22:13 AM »
Just about everywhere was better then  ;D And this isn't old man rose tinted "things just aren't what they used to be" glasses I'm wearing, either. Pizza was way better.

I agree.  When I had Mack's when I was younger (atleast a hundred years ago it seems   :-D) it did seem to be better.  could be the change  - even if slightly - of manufacturing processes for ingredients or even new employees not following the ingredients list to the letter that makes them seem different.  Or Norma is right in that making our own pizzas has changed the way our taste buds think!

I feel the same way about some of the places I had eaten years ago, two of them being Tacconelli's and Lorenzo's in Philly.  I loved Lorenzo's when I was younger; we would go to 9th street to get fresh churned "vat" butter, spices and vegges then stop off at Lorenzo's before heading home.  Man I always looked forward to Saturday shopping!!! :drool:
Also Taconelli's seems to have changed.  Used to be a very good pie when I played for a neighborhood baseball team; we would eat there almost all the time since our coach lived down the street and the school/church sponsor was around the corner.  Seems that the pies now are more like cardboard (they are hit and miss) and the atmosphere has changed where you can have a pleasant experience or get a waitress who is out of her mind!  Seems like the experience itself can change the "flavor" of the pie.

Then again, I still miss those days but as for Mack's I was just there this week and between the pizza, the seaguls screeching, the noise of the crowds and the smell of salt air I still had one great time!

tom
« Last Edit: July 27, 2013, 10:23:55 AM by Fire-n-smoke »

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #1753 on: July 27, 2013, 02:21:13 PM »
Why do you think the great pizzas have gone downhill, except for changing people in the same pizza businesses?

Norma, over the years, I've bandied around a few theories as to the cause of the deterioration of NY area pizza, including a move towards younger, less experienced help (that couldn't stretch the dough thin), cheap pizzeria owners that wanted to save on gas bills and ran their ovens cooler, and the influence of chain pizzerias.  While I still believe these to be valid theories, I've continued to wrack my brain on this topic and, in recent months, a slightly revised theory, a theory that I strongly believe in, has come to me.

The root cause is the chains, but it goes deeper than the independents getting their behinds beating by the chains and chainifying their pies in order to compete.  It's the reason why the independents got their behinds beat in the first place.  Television. I watch a load of TV now, but I believe I was one of the last generations of kids that weren't planted in front of a TV.  Dominos knew that they could never produce a crust on par with the independents, so they came up with the idea of loading up their pizzas with everything but the kitchen sink and advertising the living daylights out of it. In order to accommodate these heavy toppings, they had to increase the thickness factor for a sturdier crust.  They didn't care if the increased TF made for a crappier crust- they weren't selling good pizza- they were selling an image of what people might think to be good pizza, while cutting corners in quality and lining their coffers with gold.

And they pummeled this image into the minds of children with TV babysitters from sea to shining sea, year after year.  And it worked- in a massive way.  These pied pipers walked all these children right off a cliff- and are continuing to walk these now grown up children off the cliff every day- soul after unsuspecting soul plummeting towards pizza quality calamity.

The independents couldn't impact the public psyche in the same way.  A steaming meat lovers pizza flashed on the screens of millions and millions started salivating like zombies leering at brains, groaning,"me must have". "Me MUST have." And one by one, the independents made the tragic calculation that in order to compete they must sell something similar. It didn't make any difference that they could have likely kept on being just as profitable selling world class pies, they drank the kool aid just like everyone else.

Corporations are here to make money.  Making money rarely goes hand in hand with providing the best food for customers.  Corporatization and globalization have brought quite a few advances to society, but we've also paid/are paying the price in good food. In the past, the French have understood this better than anyone.  French farmers used to riot at McDonalds.  For decades they fought food globalization like it was a life threatening virus bent on world destruction.  They fought so valiantly and for so long.

But, alas, there's TVs in France  :) And where there's a TV, you'll find a kid in front of it.

"Maman, pouvons-nous aller à McDonalds? S'il vous plaît?"

The good news is that people can wake up.  If you see something delicious on the TV, go to the fast food restaurant and get crap, over and over again, you can start to learn that corporations aren't looking out for your best interests. I think this is part of the appeal of Neapolitan pizza- it has a pure, authentic, rustic, pre-corporation, pre-commodification, pre-gentrification artistry. The fact that NP is gaining such popularity, without any advertising whatsoever, is incredibly encouraging.  All we have to get across to people is that NY style, in conscientious hands, can have that exact level of artistry, of authenticity.

I don't think we'll ever go back to the golden age of NY area pizza, but, if we make world class pizza, help others make it and shout our undying love for this pizza from the rooftops, someone's going to listen.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2013, 02:40:21 PM by scott123 »

Offline slybarman

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #1754 on: July 27, 2013, 07:29:28 PM »
Scott,  in a lot of areas,  though not necessarily nyc, i think fast delivery, low price, a wider delivery area, and later hours made the chains popular. The quality of the pie took a backseat to those other factors.

Offline redox

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #1755 on: July 27, 2013, 07:58:22 PM »
The steep decline in pizza quality in my town is what led me to hunt for better ways to make pizza at home. Of course, that led me here. The very last pizza place in Toledo that I  liked, started to go downhill and I was panicked that I'd have nowhere to get good pizza anymore. Yea, pizzamaking.com. Even if I never make another new pizza style or version, I'm still set for life for high quality pizza.

Offline Ronzo

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #1756 on: July 27, 2013, 09:18:44 PM »
The steep decline in pizza quality in my town is what led me to hunt for better ways to make pizza at home. Of course, that led me here. The very last pizza place in Toledo that I  liked, started to go downhill and I was panicked that I'd have nowhere to get good pizza anymore. Yea, pizzamaking.com. Even if I never make another new pizza style or version, I'm still set for life for high quality pizza.
It's what led a lot of us here. When I moved to Austin, TX from upstate NY, there were very few decent pizza joints here. Thankfully, that's changed a lot in the past 8 years I've been on the site. Still... I've learned a lot more about pizza and what I like in pizza than I ever had before I got here.
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Offline norma427

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #1757 on: July 27, 2013, 10:05:01 PM »
Scott,

I agree with your post and the following posts by Steve, Jay and Ron.

Norma
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Offline BKK_Mick

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #1758 on: August 03, 2013, 01:21:59 AM »
I am glad I found this thread, this the same kind of pizza that I grew up eating in Adelaide, South Australia.
A thin crust with a little bit of chewiness and a slightly crispy thicker rim with some air bubbles.

My current favorite takeaway in Bangkok also does a similar pizza but unfortunately the pizza in the photo below had a little bit less air bubbles and the rim was thinner than usual. They properly rolled out the trapped air bubbles, which I don't like as much.

Next step is to try and replicate it when I next fire up the oven.


Offline norma427

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #1759 on: August 03, 2013, 08:14:32 AM »
I am glad I found this thread, this the same kind of pizza that I grew up eating in Adelaide, South Australia.
A thin crust with a little bit of chewiness and a slightly crispy thicker rim with some air bubbles.

My current favorite takeaway in Bangkok also does a similar pizza but unfortunately the pizza in the photo below had a little bit less air bubbles and the rim was thinner than usual. They properly rolled out the trapped air bubbles, which I don't like as much.

Next step is to try and replicate it when I next fire up the oven.

BKK_Mick,

I am glad you think this thread will help you made the style of pizza that you grew up eating in Adelaide, South Australia.  I hope you will post some photos or let us know when you fire up your oven if you can achieve the style of pizza you want to create.

What type of flours do you have available in Bangkok and what kind of oven do you use?

Norma
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Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #1760 on: August 03, 2013, 05:27:09 PM »
It's what led a lot of us here. When I moved to Austin, TX from upstate NY, there were very few decent pizza joints here. Thankfully, that's changed a lot in the past 8 years I've been on the site. Still... I've learned a lot more about pizza and what I like in pizza than I ever had before I got here.

Ronzo, where did you live in upstate NY?
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Offline BKK_Mick

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #1761 on: August 04, 2013, 07:21:03 AM »
BKK_Mick,

I am glad you think this thread will help you made the style of pizza that you grew up eating in Adelaide, South Australia.  I hope you will post some photos or let us know when you fire up your oven if you can achieve the style of pizza you want to create.

What type of flours do you have available in Bangkok and what kind of oven do you use?

Norma


Hi Norma,

I'm currently using Gold Medal Better for Bread which seems to work well for NY style crusts and I also have some Divella Farina Tipo "00"

I have a built a gas fire oven which I posted about here:
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,26688.0.html

I'll definitely post some pics in the next few weeks

Cheers, Mick

Offline norma427

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #1762 on: August 04, 2013, 08:44:26 AM »
Hi Norma,

I'm currently using Gold Medal Better for Bread which seems to work well for NY style crusts and I also have some Divella Farina Tipo "00"

I have a built a gas fire oven which I posted about here:
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,26688.0.html

I'll definitely post some pics in the next few weeks

Cheers, Mick

Mick,

Gold Medal Better for Bread flour is a good flour.  I used that flour before.  I did see your Dry Stacked Brick Gas Fried Oven, but didn't associate it with your forum name.  Looks like a cool oven.  8)

Norma
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Offline Ronzo

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #1763 on: August 05, 2013, 10:45:43 AM »
Ronzo, where did you live in upstate NY?

Orange County.
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Offline norma427

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #1764 on: August 17, 2013, 09:51:56 AM »
Video of Wildwood pizza tour and results for 2013.  Mack's didn't make the cut again.  Mack's was voted 10th in the line-up of all the pizzas tasted.

http://www.wildwoodpizzatour.com/pizza-tour-2013/ 

I like the results spreadsheet.  http://www.wildwoodpizzatour.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/PizzaTour2013Results.png 

Norma
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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #1765 on: August 17, 2013, 10:59:19 AM »
I see Olympic Flame still managed the #2 spot...their pie must be pretty special. Have you tried very many of these places Norma? I love the looks Wildwood!  8)
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Offline norma427

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #1766 on: August 17, 2013, 05:45:17 PM »
I see Olympic Flame still managed the #2 spot...their pie must be pretty special. Have you tried very many of these places Norma? I love the looks Wildwood!  8)

Bob,

I looked at Olympic Flames pizzas last year when I was in Wildwood and they didn't look especially appealing to me.  They only had a few slices sitting there and no one was making any pizzas.  I only tried Sam's pizza, besides Mack's. 

Wildwood is a neat place and they have beautiful sun rises and sunsets. I love the ocean and ocean air too, plus many other things at Wildwood.  Wildwood even got a Johnson's caramel corn this year.  My daughter brought me some home when she visited.  I love their caramel popcorn. :drool:  Since she was on a diet she didn't eat any.  My mother and I ate the whole container.   :-D

Norma
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Offline Papageorgio

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #1767 on: August 31, 2013, 01:40:56 PM »
Norma,

I very much enjoyed reading about your quest for the right cheese. I too have been looking for a certain recipe. My research uncovered a source that may be helpful. There is a distributor that supplies many of the best rated pizzerias in the Monmouth county area and they deliver throughout the tri-state area.. Perhaps you want to contact them and see what you can find out. There's a good chance these guys deliver to them.

http://www.destefanofood.com/index.html

Take a look at the product list. maybe that have the cheese you are searching for.

A solution I came up with and an unseen secret was blended Asiago finely grated blended into the tomato sauce. So the sauce looks like plain old tomato sauce...but it's not.

When cooked the two cheeses blend together to create a different flavor.

Hope this helps!








Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #1768 on: August 31, 2013, 05:28:27 PM »
Norma,


A solution I came up with and an unseen secret was blended Asiago finely grated blended into the tomato sauce. So the sauce looks like plain old tomato sauce...but it's not.

When cooked the two cheeses blend together to create a different flavor.


I have one good pizzeria here in wasteland. They do Chicago thin pizza. They do the cheese blend you mention Papa...it is sublime.  :chef:
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Offline norma427

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #1769 on: August 31, 2013, 09:10:15 PM »
Norma,

I very much enjoyed reading about your quest for the right cheese. I too have been looking for a certain recipe. My research uncovered a source that may be helpful. There is a distributor that supplies many of the best rated pizzerias in the Monmouth county area and they deliver throughout the tri-state area.. Perhaps you want to contact them and see what you can find out. There's a good chance these guys deliver to them.

http://www.destefanofood.com/index.html

Take a look at the product list. maybe that have the cheese you are searching for.

A solution I came up with and an unseen secret was blended Asiago finely grated blended into the tomato sauce. So the sauce looks like plain old tomato sauce...but it's not.

When cooked the two cheeses blend together to create a different flavor.

Hope this helps!

Papgeorgio,

Thank you so much for the link to Destefano Food, Inc.  I see on page 7 they do sell 40 lb. blocks of cheddar cheese.  I had talked to a distributor in Vineland, NJ and they told me they were the distributors for Mack's and Manco & Manco cheddar and explained me they age the cheddar for up to 3 months before Mack's and Manco & Manco uses the cheddar.  Their mild white cheddar comes in big blocks too and comes from Nasonville.  I tried Nasonville cheeses I had sent to me from their store.  The cheddar I purchased from Nasonville never exactly had the right flavor when baked, but the tasted good.  I also purchased a big block of Nasonville cheddar from Bova Foods, but that didn't have the right taste either.  I really have no idea why that Nasonville cheddar was not right unless it wasn't aged first.

You may be right though that Destefano Foods, Inc. might be a distributor to Mack's and Manco & Manco.

I found a mild white cheddar that comes in 40 something lb. blocks near me and right now I am satisfied how it tastes.  It isn't quite as tangy as Mack's cheddar is, but it does have a tang.  The price is good too.

I like how you found out about the cooking two cheeses together to get the right flavor profile you wanted.  I know I use Parmesan in my sauce when I make it, but never heard of using Asiago finely grated blended into the tomato sauce.  Sounds like a winning combination to me.

Norma   
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Offline norma427

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #1770 on: September 03, 2013, 10:16:25 PM »
I really didn't think this looked like a Mack's pizza, but I just took the photos because it was the first pizza of the morning.  The rim crust was really a little browner than the first photo shows.  I had 3 people that went by my stand at market and stopped to looked at the pizza in the display case.  They said it looked like a Mack's pizza and I just looked up and smiled and said nothing more.  They all decided to try a slice and all of them said it tasted just like a Mack's pizza.  That was something I have been waiting for 3 people in a row to tell me.  I then said I had studied about Mack's pizza for a long while and Mack's was also my favorite pizza since I was a child.  At least they thought my pizza tasted like a Mack's pizza.  They said they have eaten Mack's pizzas for many years too.

Norma   
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Offline RockyMountainPie

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #1771 on: September 10, 2013, 02:55:15 AM »
I'd buy a couple of those slices in heartbeat Norma!  Who needs the Jersey shore when you're around??  :P

--Tim

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #1772 on: September 10, 2013, 07:00:08 AM »
I'd buy a couple of those slices in heartbeat Norma!  Who needs the Jersey shore when you're around??  :P

--Tim

Tim,

Thanks for saying you would buy a couple of those slices in a heartbeat!  The Jersey shore sure has a lot more ambiance than market does.  :-D I love the ocean, ocean air, people watching and walking on the boardwalk.  Mack's pizza can be great at times too.   

Norma
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Offline Chaze215

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #1773 on: September 10, 2013, 12:29:47 PM »
I went to the Sawmill on Seaside Heights boardwalk over the weekend which was one of my favorite boardwalk pies. And I have to tell you....it stunk! I guess after making my own pies for a few years now, I've become a pizza ssnob. And the funny part is that my wife is one as well...lol The crust was tasteless. Sauce eh. My wife described it as a saltine cracker without the salt.
Below is a pic I took. Certainly looks and tasted like a same day dough. The slices are still HUGE, but that doesn't make it taste any better!  ;)
Chaz

Offline Fire-n-smoke

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #1774 on: September 10, 2013, 05:22:15 PM »
I went to the Sawmill on Seaside Heights boardwalk over the weekend which was one of my favorite boardwalk pies. And I have to tell you....it stunk! I guess after making my own pies for a few years now, I've become a pizza ssnob. And the funny part is that my wife is one as well...lol The crust was tasteless. Sauce eh. My wife described it as a saltine cracker without the salt.
Below is a pic I took. Certainly looks and tasted like a same day dough. The slices are still HUGE, but that doesn't make it taste any better!  ;)

Chaze215
I went to the sawmill during the summer and what I had was no where near the pics you posted.  I wonder if they changed crews for making the pies but the pizza my wife and I had we're good....not as good as Mack's though.  :). Btw, were they still offering the slice and beer deal?
Tom