By Bill Woolley
As a newcomer to the area and a supporter of the Lake Hopatcong Foundation, I was eager to enlist in the current Pizza Wars fundraising effort. Motivated by a strong sense of fairness and a deep desire to become an informed voter (and maybe a mild mozzarella addiction), I set out to sample slices from all 10 participating pizzerias over the course of one week.
Friday, January 20
Mission accomplished. For the past week, I’ve served as a correspondent for Pizza Wars, sampling slices from all 10 participating pizzerias in a fundraiser for the Lake Hopatcong Foundation. My motivation has been to encourage people to cast their votes for their favorite pizza place. For each vote tallied, sponsors will donate $1 to the LHF.
Since I’m new to the area, I didn’t have a favorite pizzeria, so I decided to check them all out before casting my own vote. Day Five of my quest took me to Little Nicki’s in Lake Hopatcong and yet another Frank’s, this one in Mount Arlington.
Little Nicki’s has been in business for only a handful of years, but it’s a likely favorite for neighbors in the Prospect Point part of the lake. I met John, the affable owner and chef during my last lunchtime samplings, and he baked up a fresh slice of sausage and one of pepperoni for me to try. Nothing fancy here, just good, point-blank pizza served with a smile.
Frank’s fired away with a slice of veggie pizza and a slice of what was called “Grandma’s,” which looked pretty much like a traditional margherita pizza. The place is tucked away in a corner of a strip mall on Howard Boulevard, but it was worth the search. The veggie pie was heavy with crunchy greens and reds, and whoever Grandma is, her sauce was excellent.
So, here are some interesting statistics from the front lines of the Pizza Wars. The places I visited each offered about 24 toppings for their slices. If someone wanted to sample every combination of toppings, from a single topping to as many as four, they’d have to consume 20,474 slices.
If I had attempted that at all 10 pizzerias I visited in five days, I’d have eaten an average of 40,948 slices per day. In reality, I had tasted about .00009 percent of all the slices available. (Forgive me, Miss Pyne, if my fifth-grade math is incorrect.)
So, as a cheese-fire is declared and a pie-lateral accord is negotiated as the Pizza Wars draws to an end, I have to say my favorite slice was the Chicken Francese at Frank’s, 725 Route 15 in Lake Hopatcong.
But my favorite pizzeria? That’s definitely going to require a lot more research!
Participating Pizza Places
|Cambiotti’s Tomato Pie Café||102 Shippenport Rd||Landing|
|Frank’s Pizza||181 Howard Blvd # H||Mt Arlington|
|Frank’s Pizza||50 Hopatchung Rd||Hopatcong|
|Frank’s Pizza||725 NJ-15||Lake Hopatcong|
|Grotto Restaurant||454 River Styx Rd||Hopatcong|
|Joey’s Pizzeria||47 Hopatchung Rd||Hopatcong|
|Knot Just Pizza||49 Lakeside Blvd||Hopatcong|
|Little Nicki’s Italian Restaurant||120 Brady Rd||Lake Hopatcong|
|Sal’s Pizza & Restaurant||175 Lakeside Blvd # 7||Landing|
|Vinnie & Son Restaurant||312 Howard Blvd||Mt Arlington|
|– and –||215 Espanong Rd #312||Mt Arlington|
A HUGE thank you to Hopatcong Lake Regional News and all of the Pizza Wars sponsors!