Tuesday, June 28, 2011

De Lorenzo Tomato Pie

530 Hudson Street
Trenton, NJ 08611
(609) 695-9534

My first out-of-the-city mission in the Chevy Camaro courtesy of "Driving the Northeast" was for a slice of world famous, Trenton-style tomato pie. I have never been into Trenton-proper, I've only ever driven through - as there is really no reason for me to be there - unless, of course it's for the pizza.

There is a decades-old rivalry between two "tomato pie" places in Trenton: De Lorenzo and Delorenzo. Yea, it's ridiculous. Luckily when I was driving around the terrifying hole that is Trenton, I felt well protected, for one - I think most of the shady characters thought I might be driving an actual Transformer, and two - because I could handily beat about every other vehicle I had seen all day.

The Camaro was a bit clunky at first, as I was used to my city car, but it started to grow on me immediately. The sound alone when you start it up, a low growl that is powerful without being too overbearing, makes you immediately smile every time you get into the cockpit. Yes, by the way, it's not so much a driver seat as a cockpit. Anyway, after I had inadvertently driven past Delorenzo's and realized they were closed for the week, I whipped the SS around and headed to De Lorenzo's. Luckily there was a spot directly across the street, as I had already grown quite protective of this car and Trenton is not the kind of place to leave a fine piece of machinery such as this unguarded.

The interior of this place is old school Italian. Celebrity pictures, Yankees paraphernalia (gag) and a single oven. Questionable taste in athletics aside, the interior is inviting, and the staff is all very friendly. It's as though you walked into your neighborhood pizza place that your parents were introduced to by your grandparents.

There are no menus, and only pizza with limited toppings to choose from. I hedged my bets and got a small plain and a small sausage and pepperoni for two people. Some Kolsch beer helped satiate our thirst while we waited.

The tomato pie came out first, sparse sauce and cheese on a perfectly baked crust. Things were looking good. The sauce is simply crushed tomatoes with some salt a bit of spice. Simple, perfect. The cheese was just enough, and let the real star of this dish sing.

Why is it that out of all the pizza places in Philly, there are a only small handful that get it right? The crust at De Lorenzo's was amazing. Thin, crispy with plenty of air bubbles and a well done crunch to it.

They cut the pizza with a knife, which lends to an unorthodox division of slices.

The pepperoni and sausage came out soon after. I was initially worried that it would be too much, but it turned out to be just enough. This sausage was sooo good. And the high heat of the oven crisped up the pepperoni to the point of almost burning. It was just what the doctor ordered. Not too greasy and an incredibly crispy crust. Thin crust perfection.


This crust is still crisp after more than ten minutes outside of the oven.

Look at the perfect air pockets.

The pizza master at work.

The nice older lady working the old school cash register had to get up from eating her own pizza to cash me out. Don't worry, there was no pizza left for me to bring home.

A couple of things you should know before you go. This particular location was apparently opened before the state required bathrooms, so when you go, keep in mind that there are NO BATHROOMS. Seriously, it's also nearly impossible to find somewhere to relieve yourself in Trenton. So plan ahead. Also, they are obviously cash only, and close around 9. They do not take reservations, and did I mention that they have amazing pizza?


Poster Nutbag said...

de lorenzo tomato pie on hudson street in trenton is my hands down favorite pizza place in the entire world. having grown up in philly, i was a tacconelli's loyalist until i had my first de lorenzo. words cannot describe how good this pizza is. perfect combination of sauce, cheese, and crispy crust. better than tacconelli's. better than sally's in new haven. better than john's in new york. just simply the best.

Pizza Quixote said...

Nice review and I agree entirely! I'm ranking pie joints on my blog ("Pizza Quixote") and DeLorenzo's nudges out Brooklyn's DiFara for number one. http://mainlinepizzaquest.blogspot.com/

Evan said...

That pizza looks INSANE!! ... I'm talking Danielle Staub insane!!


I apologize for all of those exclamation points. I've also never been to Trenton.

CELee said...

they let me use the bathroom! great review. that's some good pizza.

Nate said...

Must comment on this! LOVE De Lorenzo Tomato Pie. Grew up near by and ate this pie once a week. I'll only order sausage at De Lo's, it is a magical thing. Philly has nothing that compares.

You really gotta coerce them to let you use the bathroom, I'm talking emergencies only, but that aside, this place is an institution.

BoozeMuse said...

Love De Lorenzo tomato pies!! I'd heard the Hudson Street location was closing some time ago so I haven't been back in a while. This is inspiration to make the trip. This is pie worth a 45 minute drive for sure! They also make a mean white pie with garlic and clams that's to die for. Gotta go back ASAP now...

Nicholas Ciotola said...
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