When you think of New Jersey you think of great pizza. Yes the word Jersey may conjure up images of hair as tall as the empire state building and fake tans, but where I come from GTL stands for good, tasty, and lip smacking delicious. Being born and raised a costal Jersey dweller, I know my way around a pizza pie. I grew up on the thin crispy deliciousness of boardwalk pizza that is so big you could probably sail a boat with it. I still have joyful memories of eating my first slice of Three Brothers Pizza on the Seaside Heights Boardwalk, mainly because it was almost as big as me. Nowadays, people come from all over to get a piece of the oversized pie. After all, you don’t have to be a kid to get excited about a huge pizza.
Teresa Caffé in Princeton proves that size really doesn’t matter; it’s how you use it that counts. Coming in at 12 inches, this pizza appealed to my inner child and my adult taste buds. The crust was cooked perfectly, slightly charred and crispy on the outside with a chewy inside. Of course, being a person who can never decide what to get, I got a half and half pie; my mom calls it ADD, I call it variety. Half was topped with a light and creamy arugula pesto, delicate buffalo mozzarella and tomato Confit. They had me at confit. Seriously, how often do you see the words confit and pizza in the same sentence? The other half had buffalo mozzarella, fresh arugula, deliciously salty prosciutto and a drizzle of lemon juice.
I still cannot decide which half I enjoyed more. They were both absolutely divine. The ingredients complemented each other like an old Italian couple (without all the yelling and hand gestures). The pesto half had this incredible richness from the ricotta and the mozzarella that was balanced nicely by the natural sweetness of the tomatoes. The confit of the tomatoes greatly enhanced their already delicious flavor. They just burst with a luscious sweet juice that mixed with the velvety cheese to create a bite that would make even a Brooklyn pizza fan say “forgetaboutit.”
The other half had a zestier flavor. The mozzarella and prosciutto provided the fatty and slightly greasy element we all love about pizza while the lemon and arugula offered a lighter refreshing taste that cut through the fat a bit. It was like my big Italian family, diverse and somewhat crazy but well balanced. There was the creaminess of the cheese and the saltiness of the prosciutto, which was offset by the pepperiness of the arugula and the pop of the lemon. All I can say is “Mama Mia, what a combo”! It was a like the Bert and Ernie of pizza, great alone but magical together.
If this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea (or slice of pizza) don’t fret! Teresa Caffé offers other pizza choices like the classic margarita or an earthy mushroom, all of which are delectable. They also feature a full menu of pastas, salads and entrée’s made with fresh and wholesome ingredients. If you find yourself anywhere in central New Jersey take a bus, a train, or a horse and buggy, and get there! It is definitely worth the trip.
23 Palmer Square East
Princeton, NJ 08542-3714 • 609.921-1974
Christine Van Arsdalen is a born and raised Jersey Girl; native to central and Costal NJ. As the author of the blog the Dexterous Diner, Christine chronicles her efforts as she indulges her foodie side on her very small budget which she likes to call “champagne dining on a beer budget”. She grew up being yelled at by an old Italian woman in the kitchen who was surprisingly not her mother. Her love of food grew from a combination of cooking in a restaurant and fond memories of creating scrumptious meals from scratch with her father. Today she travels around the state of New Jersey and beyond searching for new twists on her old favorites; foods that bring you back to your childhood in a modern and sophisticated way. She loves unexpected and creative combinations, both in the food she eats and cooks. Though her palate has become more refined, she is still excited by a grilled cheese sandwich; that, and a great cup of coffee.