The Snob was back home in the Pizza State taking care of some business with little time for pizza. However, on a Christmas-present assignment from Mrs. Pie to Jersey City’s Newport area, I figured that I had a chance of finding a quick new slice nearby. Before I even left the door, my hunt discovered Loradella’s Family Pizza, a place with an unfamiliar address in a once familiar area.
The development of the Jersey City waterfront may qualify as the 8th Wonder of the Modern World. While a high school student there in the late 60s and early 70s, it was an under-utilized and overall-rundown urban district with a scattering of aging commercial facilities. Today, it is a sea of tall commercial and residential skyscrapers that seem to have sprouted up from seeds blown across the Hudson River from Manhattan.
I’m directionally-challenged there today, so I blindly followed my phone to Loradella’s. The streets were so cold, dark and quiet that I was quite surprised that it would still open on this early Saturday evening. I started expecting that I may have to blow this trip off due to a lack of parking. However, I was sure in for a shock when my navigation took me into the private drive of a small residential section of tall apartment buildings serviced by a few local businesses. Conveniently, there were several short-term parking meters including one right in front of the pizza place.
Loradella’s is billed as a “family” pizzeria. They lived up to this name by being “a place for the family.” In this regard, there was a room on the left with an arcade area that tonight was filled with some young birthday revelers. Now, the word “family” can also give the impression that the business offers an old family recipe that’s been handed down “by the family” through the generations. Sadly, that certainly wasn’t the case here.
To the right of the doorway was another room which hosted the counter where I ordered my plain cheese slice. The counter had a display of slices, and Loradella’s menu ran the general gamut of the Italian dishes you’d expect at a local pizzeria. This small room too was surprisingly full at this hour. Fortunately, I caught a break and scored an open chair just as my slice left the oven.
Right off, the pizza-in-waiting I eyed didn’t look at all appealing. The slices looked dead. They all had that pale orange look that in the past has usually led me to a dull-tasting slice. Lackluster ingredients are usually to blame. There seems to be some strain of undesirable cheese that goes around for slices like this. I also didn’t get a sense that the dough was of a recent fresh vintage.
While I can only surmise about what actually went into the slice I ate, I can attest to the results which were disappointing. This may have tried to copy the size, shape and the look of a New York slice, it certainly didn’t have any of the taste. This was as bland and stale-tasting as pizza could be. There’s really not much more to say other than it was modestly crisp and had enough oil from keeping it from being too dry.
I’d pass on Loradella’s unless you are looking for a place in the neighborhood to have your kid’s birthday party. I guess it is a better alternative than Chuck E. Cheese’s!
PIZZA SNOB RATING **1/2 Perhaps Not a Total Waste
Loradella’s Family Pizzeria
126 River Drive South
Jersey City, NJ 07310