Tucked away on 14th Street between Washington and Hudson is one of the newest culinary additions to the mile-square city: Uptown Pizzeria.
With two small tables set up outside and another three inside, the 10-week-old restaurant is bringing pizza lovers a slice of heaven with good food in a friendly atmosphere.
"There wasn't a pizza place on this end of town," notes Rich Turnbull, the restaurant's owner.
Turnbull had been working at a pizzeria in Englewood and was about to buy the business when he was persuaded to start his own pizza establishment in Hoboken.
"I wasn't sure if I was going to like it here," said Turnbull. "I had been looking for something where I could go home early every night. But I have been blessed with this business, and I am happy to be here."
He attributes much of his success to his location. Being less then a block away from three bars adds to the late-night weekend business. However, it is the hard-working and friendly cooks and counter workers that bring a neighborly atmosphere to the establishment, similar to the Cheers bar where "everyone knows your name."
More than pizza
While the thin crunchy crust, fresh mozzarella and fresh tomato slices on the pizza tasted amazing, I decided that I would also try some of the other items on the menu.
With an assortment of appetizers, salads, hot and cold sandwiches, and dinner dishes to choose from, the decision was more difficult than I had anticipated.
I started my meal with an antipasto salad ($8). Added to the classic house salad of tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers were olives, artichoke hearts, and one-inch square of fresh salami, ham and provolone cheese. The salad is served with balsamic vinaigrette dressing. It was enough for two.
Next, I tried an Uptown Special Sandwich of fresh mozzarella, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes on an Italian hero roll drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with basil. The spinach and tomatoes complimented the flavor of the mozzarella nicely, making this a light sandwich perfect for lunch on a hot summer day.
With five variations of Special Sandwiches all at $6.50, customers are sure to find the best way to satisfy their appetite.
Finally, I indulged on stuffed shells, a classic Italian dish. For $7, one order comes with five shells stuffed with a mixture of ricotta cheese and basil. Uptown's homemade sauce is served over the shells. The shells alone were delicious, but it was the tomato sauce that made the dish. The sauce was thick enough to eat with a fork, and was blended with the right amount of spices.
Uptown Pizzeria is located at 54 14th St. in Hoboken. They are open seven days a week for lunch, dinner, and a case of the late-night munchies. They deliver and cater corporate lunches. For information call (201) 610-9955. q