May 12th, 2017
We were excited to see another New Jersey pizza place break on to the 2016 101 Best Pizzas list, in part because it meant that we wouldn’t have to drive across the country to try it! Santillo’s is located in Elizabeth, NJ, not far from Newark airport, and it took us about half an hour to drive there last Friday after work from our house. I made Eric drive, because I always manage to get myself lost driving around Newark airport.
Santillo’s Brick Oven Pizza has probably the most unique menu we’ve seen. Instead of specialty pizzas and toppings, they list the style of pizza by date, giving you a pizza timeline. There is the 1948 style tomato pie, with no mozzarella and just grated cheese. You have the 1964 classic style, which gets a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of parmesean that was popular back then. The 1990’s style has a thin, soft crust.
You can also specify how well done you like your crust, from “6 minutes – soft” to “10 minutes – brown/black”. You can order any pie as a round pie or Sicilian. And you can add whatever toppings you’d like, at $4 a pop.
We went with a 1960’s style pizza, which has “less cheese, more sauce”. The crust was thin and crispy, and the sauce was so good. We got half with spinach, because Eric doesn’t like to keep anything plain. We almost went with the lasagna pie because it looks so good in pictures, but we were more intrigued by the different years and styles.
They make their pizzas to go, so there isn’t any seating inside. We were worried that the pizza wouldn’t be as hot if we took it all the way home, so we found a parking lot on the back of the building and sat and ate our pizza there.
The pizzas reminded us a bit of the pies at Star Tavern, and it is hard to say which pies we liked better. Next time we come, we’ll have to remember to bring our own beach chairs so we don’t have to sit on the ground. This will become a regular in our pizza rotation, I think, although I’m not sure that we will ever have the restraint to wait until we get home to eat it.
Santillo’s Brick Oven Pizzeria
639 S Broad Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07202