Hunter’s Casual Crusades: Mr. Pizza Slice (Red Bank, NJ)

I finished working a shift that started at 5 a.m. with a hockey game the night before that had me in bed at 2 that morning. Sleep deprived, my buddy texted me asking if I wanted to join him at some pizza place he recently posted about on social media. Uh oh. As we spoke, I was plastered to the couch. Couldn’t move a muscle and what do you know, I was currently eating pizza. Luckily, the plans were for the next day, and with his claim to fame on the post (“the best pizza slice I’ve ever had”), I told Greg that I was going to be the judge of that. Except this judge was overwhelmingly silenced in his own court room. The rumors were solidified: it was truly the best slice of pizza I’ve ever had. 

The day started with my friend picking me up with another person and his dad joining us. Rock music blaring on the way over the bridge into Red Bank, the hype started. But it was accompanied by doubts of the place’s standards not being met. After all, there are so many pizza places in New Jersey. Some really good, some not so good. The front of the eatery is simple but appealing. A classic window-front that puts a modern twist on things. I was thankful they had so many options and unique combinations. Ordinary is not in their vocabulary.

I locked eyes on the recommended target, which was the “appetizer” slice: barbecued chicken, bacon bits, mozzarella sticks, and cottage fries with a mix of cheddar and mozzarella cheese. The four others ordered a slice each, cleaning out what was left of that particular pizza. Like an assembly line, we filed down the slim hallway to get fountain drinks. An impressive sized touch screen was used to select up to 40 beverages partnered with the store policy of free refills. Passing classic black and white photos and warm vintage decor, we took our seats. We waited like American Idol judges. Was this pizza really going to be the next big thing in my culinary world? The slices hit the table a moment later and the boys dove in. Not me. I took a second to admire the masterpiece (and take a picture for this blog!).

The slice was giant but somehow didn’t flop. It had a gorgeous, thin, well-done crust. How did it not fall apart? It was clearly constructed by the Pizza Gods. However, looks can be deceiving, right? I folded her up, and took my first bite of Mr. Pizza Slice. I closed my eyes and expressed aloud how stellar this food was. It was absolutely delicious! It’s one of those rare moments where words like “amazing, fantastic, and incredible” would be insulting. Without a doubt, hands down, let the record show that this is the best pizza slice I will probably ever have.

A ton of what is supposed to be greasy finger foods on a slice of pizza sounds good in theory but comes with a high chance of disaster. Many places begin to fail with too many toppings, and heavy ones at that. Not a drop of grease in the building. It was perfect, period. The flavors fused together were a better combination than PB & J, movies and popcorn, and dare I say, Batman and Robin. I was torn as I wanted to discuss how precious this treasure was with the guys although I was depressed if I didn’t have this pizza in my mouth. I didn’t want to go a second without it.

The price was an expected $4.50 per specialty slice, yet I would’ve just given them my wallet on command. On our way out, I watched a salad and their signature Italian hot dog being prepared. A mountain of the greenest leaves I’ve ever seen with an equal amount of fresh cheese to top it off. More than enough dressing on the side to please the greediest of customers. The Italian hot dog dish was what appeared to be a foot long hot dog on top of a careful but monstrous pile of cottage fry potatoes and crisp grilled veggies. I’m coming back everyday as soon as I hit the lottery. The drive and dollar amount was well worth it. Flirting with perfection, I think they are going to win the battle. My first perfect score is set as Mr. Pizza Slice is receiving a 5 out of 5 stars rating. I cannot thank my friend enough for bringing me to this heavenly venue.

Hunter Dillon is a guest blogger on Eating New Jersey. As a hockey player, he is always on the go, which has served as the inspiration for his “Casual Crusades” column. He has more than four years of restaurant kitchen experience and can cook up the best cheesesteaks outside of Philadelphia. 

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