Welcome to the first ever B&B Eats column. The concept is simple: We talk about places love to eat in hopes that you can discover a new favorite place to stuff your face. (And yes, that blog will be coming.)
Our first delectable destination is one that is near and dear to the hearts of founders of this blog: La Familia Pizza in the college town of New Brunswick, N.J.
La Familia is one of the dozen or so pizzerias that line Easton Avenue, the eatery thoroughfare located behind Rutgers University’s main campus. Littered with bars and restaurant, Easton is always alive the college spirit — whether it be the drunken antics of co-eds on a Friday night or a couple of alumni reminiscing about the days of yore with a slice in one hand, a soda in the other.
Below, B&B’s publishers tell you why La Familia worth stopping by …
A Taste of the Past
By Bill Bodkin
What sets this little pizzeria that could apart from the others — and trust me I have eaten at every pizzeria in New Brunswick — is quality, plain and simple.
I know that anytime I walk through those doors and sit down at the rickety blue booths that not only will the management still remember me, but I will be served up a piping-hot pie that is the perfect blend of sauce, cheese and oil.
Be warned: When you get a pie at La Familia, it’s always hotter than a sauna in Hades, so give it a minute or five to cool off. I know the wait for a delicious pizza can be unbearable, so you can always order up some tasty mozzarella sticks or one of the innumerable menu items they have. (Yes, if you don’t want pizza, there are a number of Italian and Fat sandwiches, as well as burgers and cheesesteaks you can order, but my question to you is: Why?)
The best part about a slice here is that they are so smooth. The crust is perfectly cooked, so you don’t get that burnt, crunchy taste — nor is it soggier than the Soggy Bottom Boys, so your pizza is literally melting before you like Senator Kelly in the first X-Men movie. The sauce is sweet and the cheese is just out of this world. Describing it makes me want a slice right now.
For myself, as well as my co-publisher, who always order the “corner slice of Sicilian,” along with our usual plain pie order, this place has a lot of history. During our days at The Daily Targum, Rutgers’ student newspaper, we would often head over to La Familia for pizza before deadline. Even years after we’ve graduated, we still go back at least once a year for a slice to remember the good old days.
But don’t take our word for it. Anyone I’ve ever taken to La Familia has fallen in love with it. My uncle, who currently resides in California, actually went up to the owners after finishing his slice and told them after living in New York for 50 years, he never had pizza this good. My dad, another New Yorker, actually walked more than a mile from the New Brunswick courthouse to La Familia while he was on break from jury duty, just for a slice. And for me, most importantly, it’s actually where I took my girlfriend, a Rutgers alum who never sampled pizza on Easton Avenue, on our first date — and she loved it. Aww … that was kinda whimsical.
So do yourself a huge favor: If you’re in New Brunswick or are hankering for a slice of some of the most delicious pizza you’ll ever experience, head over to Easton Avenue and find La Familia.
By Brent Johnson
Eateries are often personal — special to us because of the memories we forge there and how the food appeals to our specialized taste buds. And though I’ve chatted up future girlfriends in La Familia’s booths and planned writing projects with my friends over a large plain there, none of you probably care.
So let me tell you what my taste buds love at Familia: Sicilian pizza.
Their regular slices are great. Sweet-enough sauce, a not-too-thick layer of cheese, soft-meets-slightly-crunchy crust.
But it’s easy to make the Sicilian slice unappealing. Pizza places often make them too thick, too soft, too saucy. Not Familia. Its thickness is perfect to bite into without too much trouble. It’s crunchy and not too doughy.
So my advice: If you’re craving two slices at Familia, make sure one
of the slices is from Sicily. Enjoy.