Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Jersey Pizza Co

I wouldn't think of Wood-Ridge as "close" to Glen Rock. So when my friend Melissa said she and her husband were going to be partners in a pizza place in Wood-Ridge, I thought, "well, that's kind of far". She invited us to the grand opening set for January 2, 2015. A Friday. We had to work until 6p, but we planned to go after. The thought of taking route 17 to Wood-Ridge on a Friday at pretty much rush hour didn't exactly thrill me.

Well, I was pleasantly surprised. No traffic and we got there in like twenty minutes. It's actually not far at all. So I just wanted to dispel the idea that you would definitely be in for a traffic nightmare if you were to go there from a more upper Bergen area. It's totally worth the trip. It's also a great stop on the way to the Meadowlands. If you are going to something there and want to eat somewhere that isn't fast food, but isn't a whole long, involved thing either.

It's not "just a pizza place". I wouldn't travel just for regular pizza. I just wouldn't. But this is more gourmet. Not complicated, but not your average slice place. They make slices and sell by the slice, but as a non-Italian, I don't know what you'd call this kind of pizza, but it's...fancier. It seems like pizza you'd actually get in Italy. I've never been to Italy either, but it's what I'd imagine in my head the food would be like. For a girl who has a freezer packed with PB&J and who grew up on spaghetti with :::whispers::: ketchup (hey, blame Rita), fancy pizza or fancy food of any kind, is not usually my bag. But I loved it.

They did a great job with the décor. Cool old black and white photos. Nice tables. The seating is pretty intimate, so the grand opening was pretty packed. If you have a large party, maybe you can call ahead? It's also BYOB so if someone gets comfortable with their wine or whatever, it might be difficult to get rid of them. But the coolest thing is the chalkboard in the back. Instead of kids just running amok, the chalk-wall can keep them occupied for hours. It's the whole length of the back corridor by the bathrooms. Close enough so that you're not worried about where your kids are, but far enough that you can eat in peace without being circled by kids like buzzards. There is nothing more annoying than kids running wild in any eating establishment. Here- E was quite entertained. Covered in chalk but happy.

As for the food, I thought it was really great. Even to the point that B asked me if I was eating machine or something. Hi, don't comment on my food intake, thanks. I actually don't usually eat that much at dinner and save a lot to go home. I was snarfing up food like nobody's business. I did only eat half my sandwich but I also sampled everything else we ordered as well. I had the garlic knots with marinara dipping sauce first.

For my meal, I had the Drunken Parm sandwich. It's grilled chicken with vodka sauce and mozzarella. On a long roll. I LOVE vodka sauce. But not all vodka sauce is alike and not all of it is good. This was terrific. It came with chips- the kind of chips that usually come with lobster at a Portuguese restaurant. I don't know what they're called but you should know what I mean.

I saw there were polenta fries too which the table next to me had ordered. They looked interesting. I've become a more recent fan of polenta. We'd already ordered though and I didn't want to complicate things by ordering more. B and E both got pizza. E got plain and B got the "Four Seasons" pizza. The Four Seasons is Kalamata Olives, Artichokes, Mushrooms and Ham. B said his was awesome. E ate his which says something right there, for a kid who eats basically nothing. He also ate his weight in those chips.

Nutella pizza
For the finale- we ordered the Nutella pizza. Now, THAT, is something to try. We've only had it at Amano in Ridgewood. This was a little different. It was nutella spread on the dough, with white chocolate chips and almond slivers. It was great because it wasn't super sweet but satisfied the dessert craving. It also didn't have the feel of blowing a week's calories on it. It might be three thousand calories, but it didn't feel heavy or greasy. Rob asked me what I thought of it- I think it's heaven. Although, now that I think about it- I bet it would be good with powdered sugar too. Not that it's necessary- I'm eating it with or without extra sugar. B and I ate two slices each. E ate one and saved one for the next day's dessert. Don't think he forgot about it either, like he usually does with any dessert he brings home. No, no. He was waiting for that last slice.

Edit: Rob saw this & texted me. Powdered sugar coming right up. Damn. Talk about customer service!

They had a limited grand opening menu just to test stuff out and get it going. I'm really looking forward to trying some of the other stuff. They do have a full menu with amazing sounding salads. I'm always good for a mozzarella Caprese salad, which is on the extended regular menu. I think E would like to try the sliders. I also love a big menu with a lot of options. Even if I order the same thing every time, I like that there are choices available. And there actually are a decent amount of things this picky eater would want to try. I already know I love the vodka sauce so a penne vodka might be next up also.

There is a catering menu too, if you're in need for a party. That's always good to know. While I do like to be loyal and I am a creature of habit, it's always good to have another place in your back pocket to try when you need to go large.

Lastly, I think you get a large portion for your money. They aren't overpriced. I've been to many an overpriced pizzaria. I think their prices are very fair, especially for what you get. They definitely don't skimp. My sandwich was enough for me to eat half for dinner and take the second half for lunch the next day. Without feeling like I was going hungry. There is no way I could've eaten both halves in one sitting, even if I hadn't sampled a piece of E's pizza, had some chips, and ate the garlic knots.

It's a really lovely place and I hope they do well there. Rob's best quality is that he really wishes nothing but the best for everyone else. I sincerely hope that feeling boomerangs back on to them. E got to hang with his girls, Brooke & Lauren so that was a pleasure. Rob was inspecting the pies like he should've been wearing a lab coat and taking notes. He didn't like the first Nutella pie that came out for us so he trashed it and had a new one made. Now, that's someone who knows how important a first impression is and how paramount customer service needs to be, especially in a new restaurant. He certainly didn't have to do that for us, and even if it didn't look great, we would've understood that kinks need to be worked out. But we definitely appreciated his attention to detail! Thanks Rob! Thanks Melissa for asking us to come check it out. We never know where to go to eat except for our old chain restaurant stand-bys. Last time we were in that area and didn't know where to eat, we just ended up at Boston Market. I'll take Jersey Pizza Co instead.

E & the girls. As usual. He never even asks why
there are never any boys around...

Jersey Pizza Co
200 Hackensack St
Wood-Ridge, NJ


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