Since I spend a lot of my pizza time in my hometown of Bayonne, NJ, I closed out 2017 with a recap of the Peninsula City’s year in pizza. As fast as you can say Mozzarella, I was bombarded by the Bayonneites on Facebook with the fact that I left out the reemergence of The Vic.
I grew up just a few blocks away on Isabella Avenue and was no stranger to the place, although of course I remember it as the Victoria Tavern. Owned by the same local family that once owned Victoria TV & Appliance on Broadway, I spent a lot of time there following the exploits of my dad’s softball teams and attending many after-game gatherings they had at Victoria.
But, this is more than just a simple reopening. The word I heard was that they now had the guy that made the pies at the late Big Apple! The long-awaited move of the uptown Mexican restaurant to the former Big Apple Broadway location (along with adding pizza and wings to the menu alongside tacos and enchiladas) is still caught up in construction snags. I guess that old cook just couldn’t wait around without a job forever.
Well, as I had promised my Bayonne readers, I got to The Vic as soon as I could and went there for a late Saturday afternoon lunch with my dad. Wow, was it a trip back in time. The corner location and entry barroom hadn’t changed much, and that old retro wooden bar brought back a lot of memories. The back room however had been redone and was now functionally set for both sports television and live music. The outdoor backyard area where the softball players spent a lot of summer nights with their beers and tall tales was now long gone with a house built in its place.
At this time of day, there was just a handful of folks in the front room discussing politics. We had the back room all to ourselves and without hesitation ordered a house salad and a large cheese pizza. I asked our hostess about having the Big Apple pizza guy on board. She then pointed to a fellow who had just peeked his head out of the rear kitchen door and said “That’s him. He’s ours, and we’re keeping him!”
After a finishing our loaded salad, the pie arrived. It was the Big Apple pie that we all know and love. I could have picked it out of a pizza lineup. We ate it and enjoyed it as you would expect. As I have previously written, its bar pie paper thin and delicious. Nothing more needs to be said other than like I had said, I prefer my pies a little crisper.
Being one for tradition, I’m quite happy for both The Vic and the Big Apple pizza to be back in business. What this says for the future of the old Broadway location of the Apple, I don’t know. But, for now, go visit The Vic and enjoy the tradition of one of Bayonne’s best pies.
PIZZA SNOB RATING ****1/2 Nearer Perfection
107 Hobart Avenue
Bayonne, NJ 07002