The Pizza Snob hadn’t been to Hoboken since legendary music venue Maxwell’s went silent. Last time I was in town though, I had a wonderful “large” slice at Benny Tudino’s. Their five-star delight made me reckon that there would be more great pie to discover in the town I call “Manhattan West.”
On a recent Saturday afternoon, I took a NYC pizza jaunt with my brother. On our way back from the City, the Jersey City Path station was closed for repairs, and we had to reroute through Sinatra’s birthplace. With still room left for another slice, the hard drive in my brain reminded me of a Hoboken pizza joint on my list to visit: Basile’s Pizza.
Approaching early evening, the sun was starting to set as we made the three minute walk from Hoboken Terminal to Basile’s. The place is hard to miss with a big bright red awning surrounding their corner location on busy Washington Street. Taking advantage of the pleasant late summer weather, Basile’s was operating al fresco, and Bro and I chose an outside table.
Inside, their long counter displayed some rather large pies of differing varieties. Menu-wise, I would call Basile’s a “pizza joint” in the strictest sense of the word—pizza, calzones, rolls and knots are all they offer along with prominently-advertised Pepsi product soft drinks. I stuck to my basics with a plain cheese slice at $2.75 (cash-only) which these days is pretty much the going rate. I did notice a sign advertising a seriously sweet Monday-Friday lunch special of two plain cheesers and a drink for only a fiver!
In just a few minutes, my pizza slice was delivered looking so perfect that I nearly cried out of joy. It was a flawless exhibit of the economy of ingredients in making a pizza. Basile’s optimal use of the core fixings (cheese, sauce and crust) was a work of art. Eating this marvelous slice of pizza was a joyous as was observing its beauty.
Getting right to the heart of the matter, Basile’s slice had the absolute best pizza crust I have ever tasted in my life. It was thin, crisp and delicious. Reminiscent of Two Boot’s cornmeal crust-dusting, Basile’s bottom crust had something sprinkled in it that delightfully boosted its flavor. During my congratulatory post-slice interview with the counterperson, I learned it was just bread crumbs. A simple but incredibly masterful touch!
The top of the slice had a slight run of oil that balanced just right with the tasty cheese and tomato sauce. It was a slice so fine and light-tasting that I think I could have eaten at least a dozen!
I really, really, liked Basile’s pizza and plan on going back again and again. It is with great pleasure that I welcome Basile’s to the Pizza Snob Hall of Fame!
PIZZA SNOB RATING ***** Sets the Standard
89 Washington Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030