Grimaldi's - Highlands NJ

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ken8038
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2012/05/01 11:09:19 (permalink)

Grimaldi's - Highlands NJ

Over the past several years I've made 3 or 4 attempts to eat at Grimaldi's Pizza in Brooklyn, but it was always too long a line, or we couldn't find parking, or just plain aggravation. There's so much good pizza in Brooklyn it was never a big deal to get there, and each time we'd just go somewhere else.
 
Anyway, My wife was in Texas recently visiting her sister, and came home raving about the Grimaldi's outpost in Allen Texas (she knows pizza, she's from Brooklyn like me). On Sunday we decided to take the easy way out and go to the recently opened branch in the quaint old town of Highlands NJ, along the north bayshore.
 
Very very good. First of all, we got there at about 4PM it was not crowded at all, and with plenty of parking. At first I was a little taken aback by the prices, which were quite a lot steeper than our favorite in that area, Denino's in Aberdeen. But these pizzas were huge, 18 inches according to the menu. We got a sausage pizza and a plain pizza (no we didn't finish it all, there's enough left for dinner tonight). Both were excellent, sort of in-between thick and thin crust (call it medium), great sauce, nicely charred crust, and quality cheese. Perhaps the crust was just a little less crisp than I'd like, but that was the only negative I could think of.
 
They also had a reasonbly priced wine list, and my wife spotted a wine she had in Texas, Antinori Santa Cristina Sangiovese, so we went for it. Hit the spot, dry, earthy, just the way we like it. $20, about 2x retail, which is a fair markup. We also shared a nice large Italian salad ($9, with enough left for tonight).
 
The total bill with tip came to around $80 (cash only BTW, my wife had to spot me $20, or else it was down the street to the cash machine). So it wasn't cheap, but it's a nice place, good service, excellent pizza, nice ambiance. We'll be back.
 
A little woozy from the afternoon wine and a full meal, we took a nice long walk in Highlands along the Bayshore Park area by the water before the 45 minute drive home. A day well spent.
 
http://www.grimaldis.net/
 
 
#1

11 Replies Related Threads

    seafarer john
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    Re:Grimaldi's - Highlands NJ 2012/05/04 18:04:34 (permalink)
    We had a Grimaldis here in New Paltz for about a year and we liked it a lot. The crust was always perfect.
     
    Unfortunately, they were a bit upscale for our town and did not do a lot of business. Then they let some underage kids party in their dining room, were raided by the local cops (smell a set-up here?) , lost their booze license, and closed.
     
    We miss them.
     
    Cheers, John 
     
     
    #2
    ces1948
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    Re:Grimaldi's - Highlands NJ 2012/05/04 21:10:51 (permalink)
    I hope to try the Grimaldi's in Palm Beach, Fl soon. They have some very good reviews and I think I could get out of there for about $20 at lunch.
    The one in Palm Beach does take credit cards and I find it surprising that any new location doesn't.
    #3
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Grimaldi's - Highlands NJ 2012/05/05 10:54:56 (permalink)
    The Grimaldi's that impressed ken8038's Brooklyn-born & raised wife is fewer than five miles from where we live here in McKinney, TX.  As it is definitely convenient and in our "top 3" pizza places we enjoy it every few months.  Drinking only iced tea, our bill for a large pie and an antipasto runs $25 which is reasonable given the quality, service, and ambiance.  And, when we think to ask, they'll "comp" us a dough ball to take home!
     
    Having seen a FTV show that tested NYC tap water as "the secret ingredient" in the wonderful NYC pizza crusts I asked the manager if they used "NYC tap" in their (Allen, TX) dough and he said, "Yes".  True or not, it makes excellent pizza at home, too.
    #4
    Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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    Re:Grimaldi's - Highlands NJ 2012/05/05 13:49:05 (permalink)
    The Grimaldi's chain claims to have hired a chemist that duplicates NYC water wherever they open a restaurant. If true, that would mean they don't have it shipped in from NYC, but rather treat the local supply in some way to match NYC water. I'm skeptical that the water makes a whit of difference - didn't somebody do a side-by-side test confirming this? Maybe Cooks Illustrated?
    #5
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Grimaldi's - Highlands NJ 2012/05/05 16:46:21 (permalink)
    Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle

    The Grimaldi's chain claims to have hired a chemist that duplicates NYC water wherever they open a restaurant. If true, that would mean they don't have it shipped in from NYC, but rather treat the local supply in some way to match NYC water. I'm skeptical that the water makes a whit of difference - didn't somebody do a side-by-side test confirming this? Maybe Cooks Illustrated?


    Aha!  Found that which I recalled:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGs8LUZIgco .  And, it does seem that the non-NYC Grimaldi's do in some manner atttempt to duplicate NYC tap.
     
    One of the many fine memories I have from the two summers I spent teaching at Lou Gehrig's alma mater was NYC tap water.  It rocks!
    #6
    Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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    Re:Grimaldi's - Highlands NJ 2012/05/05 20:21:33 (permalink)
    Yes, NYC tap is terrific, which makes it all the more ridiculous to be offered $15/bottle water in NYC restaurants.
    #7
    jimmysmoot
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    Re:Grimaldi's - Highlands NJ 2012/05/24 16:40:06 (permalink)
    Grimaldi's is on my list of places to eat this week
    #8
    NYNM
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    Re:Grimaldi's - Highlands NJ 2012/05/28 00:23:17 (permalink)
    I never knew Grimaldi's was a "chain". I know its an overrated tourist shrine in Brooklyn.
    #9
    billyboy
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    Re:Grimaldi's - Highlands NJ 2012/05/28 02:28:13 (permalink)
    I've always had a good time and great pizza every time I've eaten at Grimaldi's. It does gt busy with tourists but I love the atmosphere, the neighborhood and its scenery and I think the pies have held up very well. I made it to the new location in Brooklyn (right next to the old spot) with my family last month and we loved it. Jimmy, if you can, get there when they open to avoid the long lines.
    #10
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Grimaldi's - Highlands NJ 2012/05/28 13:09:49 (permalink)
    One of the "nice touches" the non-NYC Grimaldi's do is to offer a free one-topping large pizza for one's birthday.  Of course you have to give them an e-mail but they don't "spam" you.  And, you have a full month to "cash in".
    #11
    ken8038
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    Re:Grimaldi's - Highlands NJ 2012/05/28 15:55:10 (permalink)
    << Jimmy, if you can, get there when they open to avoid the long lines.>.
     
    Been there, tried that,on one of my attempts to eat there. Our plan was to eat there then walk over the Brooklyn Bridge (something my wife and I, native Brooklynites, had never done).
     
    We got there at 11:15 and there was already a 45 minute wait and they hadn't even opened yet. On top of that, none of the highly-hyped food trucks in Brooklyn Bridge Park were open yet either.
     
    We improvised Plan C, which was a decent (and authentic) Chicago Hot Dog with proper condiments from a truck in a parking lot across the street. This was last Spring, have no idea if the truck is still there but it seemed to be the only viable option at 11:15 on a Saturday morning.
     
    Oh well, the walk over the bridge was beautiful., and it's off my Bucket List.
     
     
    #12
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