300 Oriental Ave., Atlantic City, NJ (map)
Pizza style: Atlantic City Inlet Style
Oven type: gas
The skinny: Messy, over the top, Guy Fieri-approved mutant New Jersey pizza.
Price: $5.00 per slice at the beer fest; otherwise $19.50 for large specialty pies or $13.50 for a large plain
The 2011 Atlantic City Beer Festival a few weeks ago was a jam-packed carnival of beer geeks and drunks trying to get as many two ounce glasses of Chimay and Colt 45 Blueberry Blast down their throats as possible. After sampling some awful beef jerky, a pretty good hemp soft pretzel, and watching several ladies get drenched in the Bare Exposure Bikini Dunk Tank, I was ecstatic to come across this beer infused pizza stand from Tony Baloney's, an Atlantic City pizza shop proudly serving what they call Atlantic City Inlet Style pizza—which according to the menu means "messy with cheese and toppings falling all over the crust!"
Fighting through the crowd of drunk beer nerds I was able to ask the scantily clad pizza girl exactly how the beer was infused into the pizza. Was it in the crust? The sauce? The cheese? She just muttered "everything" and continued slinging hot slices to the growing mob of hungry dudes in affliction shirts and pretzel necklaces.
First up was the Cheese Goggles slice topped with "6 different bubbly cheeses" and beer infused red sauce. As promised, even this plain slice was loaded with sauce and cheese, held up by the sturdy, thick well-done crust. These were huge slices at 5 bucks a pop, one or two would probably be enough to satisfy your average Sierra Nevada enthusiast. Better than I expected, but the beer flavor was almost nonexistant.
Next up was the Sh#tfaced Chicken Pizza, somehow infused with Coney Island Craft Lager and loaded up with sauce, cheese, beer battered chicken strips and honey stout BBQ sauce. You could taste the beer on this one, but damn it was sweet, and super messy, especially when you're trying to balance a camera, three other slices of pizza, and a tiny plastic cup of River Horse Hop-a-lot-amus IPA.
Then came the Hammered Hamburgler topped with "mexican chipotle mac & cheese" which basically tasted like hamburger helper on pizza crust, with little or no hint of either beer or chipotle flavor, but sort of good in that "I've been drinking since 10am and now I'm going to eat this" sort of way.
Last but not least is the one slice that I would actually eat again. The Tipsy Yenta was infused with He'brew ale and topped with saurkraut, mozz, meunster cheese, pastrami, caraway seeds, and dripping with thousand island dressing.
This was awesome. I like that there was no sauce (other than thousand island) and it was really just a reuben on pizza dough. The quality of the meat and sauerkraut was decent, and the ingredients were actually really well-balanced.
From the looks it Tony Boloney's is a goldmine of mutant novelty pizza with concoctions such as Sloppy Joe and Hoagie Pizza, crazy sandwiches and probably the world's first and only erotic pizza menu.