Santillo's Brick Oven Pizza in Elizabeth
Last Saturday, we decided to go on a pizza adventure with our friends and their baby boy. Based off of a recommendation by a fellow pizza lover, we opted for Santillo's Brick Oven Pizza, which has received several "best pizza" awards in New Jersey. Determined, we made our way to Elizabeth, NJ. Despite facing a few road closures and detours, we finally arrived and met our friends in an empty and desolate parking lot adjacent to the pizzeria. <Insert drug buying joke here>.
Together we sojourned into the building with our two babies and squished like anchovies into the tiny vestibule. Standing room only, folks! We chatted with the purveyors and decided on a Sicilian pie (their specialty) with sausage and pepperoni and a large round cheese pie to cover our bases. We waited about 15 minutes and watched the locals (addressed by first names) who were smart enough to call ahead and pick up their steaming pies. Since Santillo's doesn't offer an "in-dining" experience, we found a random pub called Al's a few blocks away. "Pub" is a very gracious way of describing this dive, but we were happy to have a place to sit, drink some beers, and enjoy the much-anticipated meal.
So the pizza was very good. You can tell a lot from a plain cheese pizza and this one was great. The crust was thin with zero hints of a pizza flop with the cheese and sauce ratio nearly 50/50. The cheese had that perfect mix of crispness and ooziness where you want it, and the sauce was a bit hearty with essence of oregano.
Their famous Sicilian was thicker, of course, and had that natural oily residue that I love on the crust and at the bottom of the pie. It's definitely a bigger beast to consume with more cheese, sauce, crust, but it was crispy and doughy where it needed to be. All in all, I definitely enjoyed our pizza adventure. Will I be driving out to Elizabeth every week? Probably not, but I'll certainly recommend it if anyone is in the vicinity.