Broadway Pizza Walk (Bayonne, NJ) Part Three: Mona Lisa Pizzeria and Mario’s Pizza

Mona Lisa - RESIZE

On my recent trip home, I had time for one last pizza adventure and decided to further explore the pizza in my hometown of Bayonne, NJ (see Part One and Part Two).  I started out early on a Monday morning with Mona Lisa Pizzeria, a full service Italian restaurant located in the Bergen Point area. Mona Lisa sits just off Fifth Street where Broadway first becomes a commercial district. By local standards, Mona Lisa is relatively new to the Bayonne pizza scene having opened in 2002. During the warmer months, they offer something not often seen in Bayonne–outside dining on their front sidewalk. Our family has ordered out and enjoyed their pies in the past, but this would be the Snob’s first visit to their joint.

Mona Lisa COUNTER - RESIZE

In checking out their web site, I noticed some major topping abuse. Mona Lisa boasts that they make 54 specialty varieties of pizza! Upon my arrival, I spied pies on their counter topped with ziti and broccoli. Not the least bit distracted by these abnormalities, I ordered a normal cheese slice at the standard local two-dollar price. Since it was just after their 11:00 a.m. opening time, I was blessed with a fresh piping-hot slice from their first pie of the day, which they graciously delivered to me in their spacious back room. It didn’t disappoint. My slice was perfect supported by a firm crisp crust, blackened on the bottom and ready for my classic “Fold and Rip” technique. It had just the right amount of cheese and tomato sauce and was quite tasty despite not having any noticeable seasoning. The Snob says you can’t go wrong at Mona Lisa but be sure to control yourself with their wild-style pies!

Mona Lisa slice - RESIZE

PIZZA SNOB RATING   **** Near Perfection

Mona Lisa Pizzeria
165 Broadway (5th Street)
Bayonne, NJ 07002
201-858-1812
www.bayonnemonalisa.com

Pizza Notte - RIP - RESIZE

Moving on uptown through Bergen Point, in just two short city blocks I spotted three other joints that were not yet open. I also noticed one that I will never get the chance to visit, Pizza Notte, which I will add to my list of fallen pizza joints.

Pizza Supply - RESIZE

I continued walking north on Broadway and officially left Bergen Point crossing under the elevated Light Rail tracks. I made a quick stop at a place advertising “Bar, Restaurant & Pizza Equipment” which had long caught my attention. I didn’t see any pizza ovens inside: This was merely a small wholesaler who provided the many pizza joints in Bayonne with their small utensils and condiments. Not wanting to leave empty-handed, I bought Mrs. Pie a souvenir from my trip—a classic parmesan cheese shaker to add to our collection of home pizza supplies.

Marios - RESIZE

My final “eating” stop this morning was further up Broadway at a spot I had never before visited, Mario’s Pizza. I started out having to out myself as the Pizza Snob after the owner caught me snapping a picture of his place from across the street. Despite subjecting myself to possible favoritism, I enjoyed chatting with the friendly owner (not the original Mario) who happily posed for some pizza-tossing photos. Along with my $1.75 cheese slice fresh out of the oven, he treated me to a sliver of his special Sicilian pie.

Marios toss - RESIZE

Wow! What a surprisingly great slice! It was crisp and delicious–well-worth the stop. Mario’s was the kind of slice you would expect in Bayonne, slim and trim with just the right amount of everything. It did have a slightly different taste with a somewhat tangy but delightful tomato sauce. I was also surprised when I bit into the Sicilian sampler. While it had the normal expected thickness of a square slice, it was light and fluffy, bread-like rather than crisp. Although my curiosity was aroused, my stomach just didn’t have enough room to try a full slice of Mario’s Sicilian specialty. I do plan on trying one the next time I am in Bayonne as well as bringing a whole pie home from Mario’s to share with Mom and Dad!

Marios slice - RESIZE

PIZZA SNOB RATING   **** Near Perfection

Mario’s Pizza
330 Broadway (between 15th and 16th Streets)
Bayonne, NJ 07002
201-339-0191
[no website]

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6 comments

  1. Sue Vincent · · Reply

    This needs to be next on your list. Best pizza EVER!!!!!!
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/La-Guardiola-Bistro/121233041223958

    1. Thanks for the tip!

  2. You need to do Chris’s Corner too. Love there pizza when I’m home in Bayonne. If you ever get to Yuma, AZ I have a place for you that has pizza almost like home. Denniso’s. Marines in town from the tri-city area also rave that it tastes like home to them as well. Many are from NY and various parts of NJ.

    1. Thanks for the tip in Yuma–don’t know if I’ll ever make it out that way though. As for Chris’s, I grew up on Humpphrey Avenue so I was raised on their pies. I even had my wedding reception there. My parents later moved to Isabella Avenue so we shifted to the Venice. I didn’t know that Chris’s was still in business and I had heard that the new Venice wasn’t as good. Regardless, I will try to get to both next time I go home.

  3. Tony Setteducate · · Reply

    Next time you are in NYC try Bleecker Pizza on the corner of 7th & Bleecker. I like the Nona, a thin Sicilian square with homemade tomato sauce & fresh mozzarella. Recently I discovered Justine’s, a hole-in-the wall on 10th Ave. between 57th & 58th St.Don’t expect to sit down, there’s barely a counter at this spot.

    1. Thanks Tony. I love getting recomendations and will follow up on these as soon as I can. Should be back in NYC in early June.

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