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D'Abuscos Brooklyn-Style Pizza in East Windsor


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D'Abuscos Brooklyn-Style Pizza in East Windsor

eapter | Jul 31, 2012 07:28 PM

The location at the Town Center Plaza (Multiplex Cinema shopping center) in East Windsor hasn't worked out for a couple of previous pizza shops. Singas opened, lingered, and died. The Azzaro brothers (of Trenton Tomato Pie fame) couldn't make a go of it no matter how well their other stores did and they were out in a year. Now a new place is in its third week: D'Abuscos Pisseria E Cucina. The sign says "Brooklyn Style Pizza" and that's almost a double-dog-dare-ya to find a flaw. I mean, if someone tells you they can make Brooklyn-Style pie, it's either hype or it's real - there's no middle ground. ("Don Pedro's of Vineland Brooklyn-Style Pizza" is probably hype...)

Bottom line: this is DEFINITELY the real deal. I've now been there four times. Before I spoke to the owners on my first visit, I tried a couple of different style slices. A couple of things were obvious: no sugar in either the crust or the sauce; a tiny bit of semolina, but it didn't screw with the crispness; the crust is one of the best I've ever had. Like all Brookly pizzas, it's under-salted. Good cheese, not the crap from Sysco's ("let's buy our cheese where we buy our kitchen cleanser and save on the delivery costs!"); thoughtful specialty pizzas. There are 3 main styles: Napoletana round thin-sliced, amazingly crispy sicilian squares, and some round "pan pizzas" that have everything except the kitchen sink on them - I normally avoid these like the plague, but today I tried the "lasagna pie" and I tell you that it had every flavor you expect in lasagna, and a huge but tight and crisp crust - one slice is a meal.

Speaking to Michael, the first time, he confirmed the "no-sugar" rule and explained the semolina quandry - he dusts the bottom of the pie in it AFTER the pie is made. He also presented his credentials - he's a nephew of the family who owns Gino's Pizza in Brooklyn (no, not the fancy restaurant but the pizza joint that has had an ongoing rivalry with their neighbor Lenny's for generations.) I asked about the water - seeing how phenomenal the crust is, I thought it might be imported - but Michael explained that for a week before they opened, he made small batches of crust, all day long, to get the recipe adjusted for the local water. This is key and extremely telling. The prior owners had a pedigree, but their pie was soggy, probably because nobody thought to take a week experimenting, taking notes, and modifying a recipe.

This place is absolutely worth trying. The specialty pies are not inexpensive (their version of a "grandma pie", a Sege pie with thin crust, fresh mozz and amazingly carmalized onions is 18 bucks), but I've seen higher, and this time it's worth every penny. I haven't tried the sandwiches yet, and the fold-over handout-menu (all they have) says "We apoligize for the limited menu. We are currently installing a full service kitchen in our facility to better serve you. We appreciate your continued support and thank you for your patience during this time" so I suspect real entrees are on the way, but there's no reason to wait. The Pie is the thing. As we all know, above a certain level, the "best" pizza is a matter of personal preference; with that said, this isn't my favorite pie in the world (although I've been there 4 times in 3 weeks,) but it may be yours, and it is ABSOLUTELY perfect in what it tries to be. This is one of the pies that should be in anybody's "best list" even if it isn't first. To find it in East Windsor, of all places, is amazing. Would love to see this place succeed where two others (albeit with medicore pies) have failed. Would love to know that the local consumers can tell the difference and that the location isn't the Bermuda Triangle of Pizza Joints....

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