De Lorenzo’s Tomato Pies – Robbinsville, NJ

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We went to the new De Lorenzo’s Tomato Pies tonight in Robbinsville. It was good, but not great. The problem was the crust was just a bit thicker than usual and this makes a difference. Now I had a long talk with Sam Amico. He’s the grandson and he is a real pizza master, but Sam wasn’t making the pizzas. Thursday is his night off, so he was only there as a manager. The one time I went to the old place and he wasn’t there, it was just like tonight. Slightly disappointing. Still great but not the masterpiece it can be.

The new place was mobbed. It took us 35 minutes to get a table…

Don’t get me wrong. What I had tonight was up in the top rung, but not even close to what their best is. I haven’t been to the other classic places enough to know if there is a comparable difference. We do feel that “The Spot” is better than the regular Pepe’s. But is it because of the oven? Or whomever is in charge? And the difference is much more nebulous. Every time I’ve been to De Lorenzo’s when Sam was in charge of the pizza it was perfection. Without him, top quality but not nirvana.

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