Location: 586 North Franklin Turnpike, Ramsey NJ 07446 [map]
Phone: 201-934-7777

Location: 400 High Street, Orange NJ 07050 [map]
Phone: 973-675-3336

Since this has been a New Jersey kinda day on Slice, I thought I'd reblog some material here from Off the Broiler, eGullet founder Jason Perlow's site. Jason alerted me to these two posts of his ages ago, and I figured it was high time I mentioned them. First off is Kinchley's Tavern in Ramsey, New Jersey:

Photograph from Off the Broiler, courtesy of Jason Perlow

Since founding eGullet, I have since learned about and dined at several of the best pizza parlors in New York City — Patsy’s and Arturo’s in Manhattan, Grimaldi’s, Totonno, Di Fara and L&B Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn, Blue Moon in the Bronx, the list goes on. As a New Jersey resident, I do have to say that there are probably a scant few places that would come even close to those giants. But I submit to you that such a place does exist, and its in way the hell up Route 17 in Ramsey, and its called Kinchley’s Tavern. Stylistically the pizza they serve is very different from true New York style pizza, but its damn good pizza nevertheless.

Kinchley’s has been serving pizza for at least 40 years, probably more. Originally, it started out as a bar, but then at some point, they started making bar pies.

Now, a bar pie is essentially a small pizza (approximately 12 inches in diameter) with a very thin, almost cracker like crust. In terms of sauce, its somewhat on the sweet side, unless you get the “Fra Diavolo” sauce, which is considerably spicier and is usually what we opt for. My suggestion is if you go that way, opt for the pitchers of Boylan’s Birch Beer to go with it.

Photograph from Off the Broiler, courtesy of Jason Perlow

The second pizzeria Jason called to my attention was the Star Tavern in Orange, New Jersey:
Photograph from Off the Broiler, courtesy of Jason Perlow

Jason says:

As I alluded to in a previous post about Kinchley’s Tavern in Ramsey I love a good bar pizza. Star Tavern in Orange is probably one of the better examples of this particular pizza style — nice crispy crust with good char, nice tangy sauce, good cheese distribution. The restaurant has that great old school tavern atmosphere that you find in great college towns.

... I URGE you to resist the temptation to order a "special" pie or any other pie with toppings on it before trying the plain cheese pie [above] first. The plain cheese pie is an exercise in pizza perfection simplicity. This is a very good example of when less is more.

Slice will have to take Mr. Perlow at his word, since we haven't been to either of these establishments. But we trust his judgment and pass along his recommendations to you. He was also kind enough to allow us to use his photos here; please do him the courtesy and click through to his site. You won't be sorry—Kinchley's has more charm than you can shake a stick at, and his photos of the Star Tavern's wares are simply mouthwatering.

NJ Dining: Kinchley's Tavern [Off the Broiler]
NJ Dining: Star Tavern [Off the Broiler]


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