Still discovering new pizza in the vast Bay Area, I got quite excited when I came across Jersey Restaurant. Run by two restauranteurs who moved west from the Pizza State, I liked what I saw at their website. The probability seemed high that Jersey would be one of the pizza highlights of my recent stay in San Fran. I’m happy to report that Jersey didn’t disappoint.
As the name implies, Jersey is a restaurant which made it easier to schedule a weekday lunch there with Mrs. Pie who I had already tired of pizza this trip west. I figured she’d find a good salad dish there which she did. On the other hand, I was prepared to devour more pizza than I would had Jersey been just a place slinging slices.
Located in the Financial District, Jersey looked to be a vibrant lunch time spot for those with a moderate-to-high lunchtime budget. It also looked to be in an area that in the evening would become quite desolate once the workday ended. We got there for a late lunch and had the place to ourselves.
The room inside was quite spiffy with nice long wooden tables and a long wooden bar. A “Jersey” mural covered the side wall and the oven was in view in the rear. There were even a few tables out front although I sensed that there was too much street traffic this time of day for a peaceful outdoor dine.
There was wait service, and I of course looked to order something plain with cheese. It was right there at the top of the menu like it should be. For $19, it was pitched as a “Trenton Tomato Pie” and properly “east coast styled” with sliced mozzarella, parmesan and sauce on top. While for me this type of pie comes from the other side of Jersey, it’s still something that I get excited about.
The pizza dome was delivered to our table and the pretty pie on top looked dimensionally perfect and was cut into six slices. And yes, the dark tomato sauce was on top and it turned out to be delightfully rich and flavorful. Said sauce even had a slight spicy kick to it. The cheese was light and tasty making this pie easy to eat, and I wound up devouring four of the six slices in record time. The crust was close to textbook perfect. Although not overly crisp, it was cooked firm, more chewy than crunchy and that’s OK by Snob standards.
But, it was those gobs of tomato sauce on top that really got my attention. I eventually asked our waiter about the great taste suggesting that it had some anchovies and garlic in it. Refusing to disclose their secret recipe, all he would say was that it was made with “some special spices.” On my way out, after prefacing with an “I’m from Jersey,” I gave the manager my compliments which were thoughtfully appreciated.
Jersey is a top-notch restaurant that makes a great pizza. They have done a remarkable job of bringing the unique taste of a Trenton tomato pie to the Bay Area. I strongly recommend that you try this place. Jersey’s tomato sauce is tops!
PIZZA SNOB RATING ****1/2 Nearer Perfection
145 Second Street
San Francisco, CA 94105