Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Review: It's Nutts - Trenton Style Tomato Pie

I enjoy all styles of pizza, but Trenton tomato pie (read my primer HERE) is my favorite. Among pizzerias that offer a real Trenton pie, DeLorenzo's is the Holy Grail. But even after they relocated from their smallish original Trenton location to a much larger space in suburban Robbinsville, getting a DeLorenzo's pie remains a challenge. It's never as bad as trying to get into DiFara or Pizzeria Bianco, but weekend waits are typically more than an hour.

Thus, it's great to see that even as so many of the old-line tomato pie makers have closed shop (Joes, Maruca's, Sam's Roma, Nate's), new ones are popping up in the burbs around Trenton. One of the best ones is La Villa in Morrisville, PA. After hearing a lot of positive reviews, I recently got to stop in at It's Nutts in Titusville, NJ.

For decades, the Nutt family ran an ice cream stand at this Delaware River location on Route 29 between Trenton and Lambertville. In 2005, they expanded into a full-service sit down restaurant. The interior retains the casual feel of a counter-service place. I stopped in for lunch on a weekday and the place was nearly full of very happy diners.

On site, I ordered the fried chicken platter ($7) for my lunch and chose a large tomato pie with sausage ($15.40) to go. The fried chicken was very good, but short of amazing. The sides were excellent, and the service was efficient. 

I took the pie home to re-heat for dinner. It was a large 17" round pie with a good distribution of genuine Italian sausage that had been applied uncooked before the bake.
From www.hiddentrenton.com

The crust was, in texture, a classic Trenton pie. Very thin, very crisp yet chewy, and almost brittle at the narrow cornicione. It seemed to have less oil and less salt than a La Villa or DeLorenzo's pie. It had a uniform dark golden color underneath, but no char spots. 

The cheese had a wonderfully distinct flavor, and it was right in line with the DeLorenzo character. I wonder if there is some cheddar in that blend? The sauce had a rich tomato flavor, but it was not chunky as often found on a tomato pie. Both the sauce and cheese adhered nicely to the crust, melding into one fabulous gestalt.

The sausage was also a standout. Even on a second reheat several days later, this pie was giving me a lot of Trenton tomato pie satisfaction. For my tastes, it could be better with more salt in the dough and more oil in or on the pie. Bottom line, wonderfully authentic Trenton tomato pie, modest prices, good service, no waiting. For certain, Nutt's is making destination pizza.

1 comment:

  1. HiddenTrenton.com just completed its comprehensive evaluation of Tomato Pie restaurants within a 10 minute drive of Trenton City Hall. It's Nutts didn't make it (it's about 15 minutes away) but we announced 4 finalists and 12 Semi-Finalists. Overall winner will be announced 11/15. http://hiddentrenton.com/tomato-pie/