Here’s a little thinking game that you can play. Let’s assume that somewhere there exists a collection of stop watches that keep track of the amount of time you spend in each city on Earth during your life time. What cities would have you clocked the most time in?
For me #1 would be my hometown of Bayonne, NJ, followed by San Antonio, TX and Franklin, TN were I have lived each for 18 years. My #4 would be Nashville, TN where I have worked for the last 18 years commuting from Franklin. The #5 spot took a little thinking, but with four years of high school at St. Peter’s Prep, many friends there during my NJ years, and two Grateful Dead concerts at Roosevelt Stadium, this honor most certainly goes to the city of Jersey City, NJ.
All this to say that I was back in good old JC recently visiting a family member in a Greenville area hospital. It was supper time and I was craving some tasty Jersey pizza. My target would be Vincent’s Pizza & Italian Deli, a place I had spotted on the Boulevard just below Danforth Avenue. It was only a short walk from the hospital, and I arrived to find a typical Jersey joint, still experiencing some late afternoon quiet time.
For some reason, Vincent’s didn’t have a lot of street appeal, however it sure did have some great reviews on Yelp. Looking around inside to see why they also called themselves a deli, outside of the exposed specialty slices, all I otherwise saw was some cheesecake and deserts and a menu that covered the usual Italian fare in a place like this.
The one thing that quickly caught my eye was the humungous size of their pizza slice! The Snob even joked when ordering by asking for one of those “tiny” slices. I must say that for $2.25 this slice is one of the best unadvertised pizza bargains that you will find anywhere. Despite how hungry that I was, I knew that I only needed one of these monsters.
My first thought upon receiving my slice was to compare it to the big slice at Benny Tudino’s in Hoboken. I suspect that they are both about the same size (cut from a 24-inch pie), but Vincent’s was certainly much cheesier and thicker then Benny’s.
My slice was given a rather long reheat of at least 3 to 4 minutes, the result of which was a solid charred and toasted bottom crust. The loose oily cheese on top was also so stinking hot that it sure made for one intense eating experience. It was hard to manage not only to avoid roof burns, but to keep the cheese slipping off the crust. Unfortunately, that heavy char also gave the crust a little bit of a burnt taste. It was also very heavy on the oil and my paper plate was just soaked when I was finished. It also could have stood with some behind the counter seasoning.
I hope I haven’t scared you away from Vincent’s, since I tend sometimes to be more critical of something like this that seemingly had such great potential. Overall though it was a good enjoyable tasty slice of pie. Also, sometimes a slice that is hot, oily and cheesy can be kind of fun and different which seemed to be the case here. But, that one slice was sure enough to eat and I even left some dry end crust on my plate after filling up and getting a bit worn out from battling the cheese.
If it were up to me, I’d trim down the cheese, give it a lift with some traditional seasoning and not serve it so hot. Regardless, I was glad I visited Vincent’s which since 1968 has surely become a landmark Jersey City pizza joint. Despite its flaws, I think you will like this pizza and enjoy the challenge like I did.
PIZZA SNOB RATING **** Near Perfection
Vincent’s Pizza & Italian Deli
1716 John F. Kennedy Boulevard (corner of Linden Avenue)
Jersey City, NJ 07087