NJ Pizza in Seattle
There are just some things that are necessities in life. If you are from New Jersey, these things include bagels and pizza. It is not a issue of preference, but an inherent need arising from coming of age in the environs of the Garden State. Many websites tout the fact that the Jerseyans are bagel and pizza connoisseurs. Some expatriate sons and daughters of the state are content to sit and bemoan their lot in life and just wait for a return trip to the place of their birth, where they can finally return to their local pizzeria and bagelry.
However, Dad has never been one to accept misfortune without rising to confront it. When the family moved to Tulsa, he visited pizza restaurant after pizza restaurant. While most of Tulsa was content to munch away on chain restaurant pizza with the consistency of spray cheeze on saltine crackers, Dad would not settle. Finally, Dad found Mario’s in Tulsa. He know he was in the right place when he heard all the NY and NJ accents among the clientele. The pizza part of the quest was over.
Finding bagels good enough to hold up to the bagels from the Englishtown Auction proved more difficult. Fortunately, not long after Dad discovered Mario’s, the bagel chains swept through Tulsa, bringing a reasonable facsimile of a NJ bagel to Tulsa.
When the family moved to Seattle, Dad was launched on another quest. Finding quality bagels was the easy part this time. The bagel kiosk in the Public Market does a fine job with their product. Finding NJ quality pizza was challenge this time. Dad found some very nice pizza restaurants in Seattle. Some were more NJ than others, but none were quite of the caliber of his homeland.
Finally, Dad read about another NJ transplant running a pizzeria in Seattle. Dad and Drewbie arranged an expedition to downtown to explore. When they arrived at Italian Family Pizza, they explained to the counter man that they were “pizza inspectors from NJ.”
“Hey, you’re in the right place. The owner is from New Jersey. I’ll tell him you’re here. He’ll want to talk to you; find out what exit you’re from. He’ll be right out.”
The Times had said the pizza was authentic and it was true. The cheese was just right, the sauce was not sweet nor hot. The sausage was in the acceptable range, and the crust was quintessential NJ. The pizza was humongous. Tourists on the Duck Tour stared and took pictures as they went by.
And Steve, the proprietor, was a true son of the Garden State. Raised in Newark, he still vacations at the Jersey Shore.
As Steve took his leave to attend to business, Dad turned to Drewbie and declared that they had found true New Jersey pizza in Seattle. Their quest for authentic NJ pizza and bagels in their new home was finally complete.