Yes, another place in Bayonne. And better yet, it’s a place that serves a classic ultra-thin Bayonne bar pie! I first got word of Kuhl’s Tavern from a reply on the Bayonne Facebook page to my write-up about the great bar pie at The Starting Point.
So, late one night while back in my home town, I was in need of some dinner and thought I’d check out Kuhl’s for a pie. Unsure of its exact Prospect Avenue location, I was surprised to see it on the corner of 22nd Street, a spot I drove by a million times before the Route 440 back highway was extended through to the Bayonne Bridge. I really shouldn’t have been surprised since they have been there since 1954. I guess I just never thought of it as a place for pizza.
Parking was a nightmare as it seems to be in most Bayonne neighborhoods these days. It took a scouring of several city blocks to find a spot. I finally made my way into the small barroom at about 7:30pm and was greeted by some of the friendly locals watching football while nursing some beers. I didn’t know much about Kuhl’s, but was later told it was a big sports bar. In fact, I learned that it was one of the first places around where you could watch football games on satellite television.
Making a beeline for the bartender, I ordered a large cheese pie ($9.50) to go since the room was small, and I didn’t see anyone else eating, although it looked a few tables were there for that purpose. He asked me if I had called in, and I would soon find out that I wished I did. Spotting the opening to the kitchen in the rear, I saw that there was only one woman back there making the food. So I sat reading my phone and waited, and waited and waited.
After it got to the uncomfortable point where I started to worry that they may have missed my order, I asked the barkeep about my pie’s status. He nicely told me that there were a lot of people in front of me, the kitchen was small, and that I should call ahead next time. When I finally got my pie after about a 30-minute wait, he was very nice and apologetic. Not being in a hurry and being totally understanding, I made my peace with him that I was in no way upset. And, I made sure to leave a healthy tip for the hard working lady in the kitchen.
So I took the pie home and opened the box to see a beautiful looking bar pie–excluding one small hole that was understandable since it was so thin. It had a beautiful dark pink color, almost as if it were made from a vodka sauce. The cheese on this ultra-thin eight-slicer was so light you could barely see it under the pink sauce and a sprinkling of oregano. The end crusts had the usual dull look on a bar pie and they easily cracked. The cook knows how to keep the oil under control unlike some others in this genre of pie.
I started right in and devoured this pie in no time flat. (I did commit one slice to the freezer for my brother to try). Kuhl’s bar pie was absolutely delicious. Light and crisp, every bite was a tasty delight.
Maybe I do like The Starting Point’s bar pie just a little better, but this is certainly a fabulous effort by Kuhl’s. I just hope and pray that these great recipes survive an ever-changing Bayonne. So. give it a try—but you probably want to call in first! The kitchen is open at lunch through 10pm.
PS – The next morning (Thanksgiving Day) I drove over to Kuhl’s to get a daytime outdoor photo for the blog. Imagine my surprise when I saw someone entering the place in a full Nordic Vikings outfit! When I later found out that Minnesota playing in the game today and my brother remembered that the owner was a Vikings fan, this made sense.
PIZZA SNOB RATING ****1/2 Nearer Perfection
53 Prospect Avenue (at 22nd Street)
Bayonne, NJ 07002