Santillo's Brick Oven Pizza
Where we've featured it
Walk down an alley in a residential part of Elizabeth, slide exact change for your order through a door opening into a converted water jug, and wait until the lone chef working the massive brick oven calls your name. If he recognizes your last name, he might ask if there’s any relation to someone he knows in a nearby North Jersey town, and then he’ll hand you your pies, which range from the “1940” to the “2020,” named after popular styles of the time, or milestones at this 100+ year old spot. In other words, this place is old-school. It’s also fantastic. The round pies, like the classic 1964 that’s topped with an extra splash of olive oil, are thin and crunchy (if you order it well done as you should), with caramelized cheese partially covering the outer rim of the nicely charred crust. Meanwhile, the oregano-heavy crust of the Sicilian pies has the spring and air pockets of a fresh loaf of bread, and it’s topped with crispy cheese and thick tomato sauce that you’ll happily eat on its own when it inevitably ends up on your lap.