Now that all the record and book stores have gone away, shopping at the mall just ain’t what it used to be for The Pizza Snob. It’s just all clothes! So, when Ms. Pie wanted to take my Mom and Dad to Jersey City’s Newport Mall, I found myself a pizza diversion–Carmine’s Pizza Factory just a short drive away.
Thinking that parking would be scarce, I grabbed a spot on 8th Street several blocks away. And, I didn’t mind at all. On this pleasant fall day with leaves dropping from the trees, I enjoyed my stroll through the lovely, quiet, old neighborhood. Nestled between Hamilton and Jones Parks, Carmine’s sits on the corner at the end of a row of attached two-story walk-up homes. Although there was some comfy outdoor seating, the slight chill made this an inside day.
Inside, Carmine’s has a two-layered glass display offering a variety of different slices. With a clear focus on pizza, Carmine’s also offers some other Italian dishes and salads. It was still early for the lunch crowd, so I easily ordered my plain cheese slice ($2.00) at the counter. I grabbed a table while I waited in their good-sized dining area. As lunch time approached, I found that Carmine’s was a popular place as a line started forming at the counter. Today’s lunch crowd included some students, most likely from nearby St. Anthony’s High School.
While waiting, I noticed 2012-era photos on the wall of owner Carmine Testa’s then seven-year-old son tossing a pizza. It seems the kid’s talent found its way both into the local newspaper (under the banner “This Kid Can Throw”) and on the Steve Harvey television show. You can watch the father and son in action here. Wow! He’s amazing!
My slice arrived quickly looking about as good as one can be. I didn’t catch whether it was reheated or not, and I later would wish it was just a little hotter. But after finishing it, I couldn’t think of any other way that it could be made any better! It was a perfectly constructed classic NY-style slice evidenced by how I just grabbed it, folded it and watched it vanish after just a few bites. The fresh mozzarella cheese, crispy crust, and delicious tomato sauce were put together just the way you are supposed to make a pizza! I certainly would have had another had I not had another assignment lined up
Back when I went to high school in Jersey City, I don’t recall Carmine’s being around. Last year, my revisit to my old Jersey City haunt, Three Guys from Italy resulted in them making the Pizza Snob Hall of Fame. The slice I just had at Carmine’s is knocking on the Hall door. Perhaps a hotter and more oven-fresh slice next time will get them there. Still, a slice at Carmine’s should not be overlooked! I plan on returning someday, and maybe I will even get to see some pizza tossing next time!
PIZZA SNOB RATING ****1/2 Nearer Perfection
Carmine’s Pizza Factory
366 8th Street (corner of Brunswick Street)
Jersey City, NJ 07302