Jersey Food

February, 2007

Inside This Edition: New Jersey Food - Jersey Shadow Review: Magma Pizza in Princeton, NJ, and Village Diner in South Orange, NJ


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Feedback is always welcome on all of my reviews.  Drop me an email if you like! - Jersey Shadow - 

Magma Pizza - Okay, the name alone had me intrigued, but being born in Jersey comes with the distinction of knowing pizza and having an opinion.  Most people are pretty passionate about their opinions of the best New Jersey pizza, but what if something different came along?  Magma Pizza is very different and only time will tell if it will catch on.  I suppose many from Jersey, content with his or her own style of pizza might just avoid this place all together, but that would be a mistake indeed.  Granted, walking into Magma Pizza was like walking into a strange, unfamiliar place, and it looked almost nothing like the pizza places we are all used to.  For one thing, you won't see pizza's displayed to be selected by the slice because they are made fresh to order in a volcanic stone oven.  Now how is that for different!


The selections and options for a meal are many including some of their own creations.  The place was empty of customers when I arrived (1:30PM) and a little intimidating for someone who just wanted a slice .  I wasn't even sure I could order a slice, but I was given a menu and told I could.  I ordered a slice of what they called the Chicago Deep Dish Pizza with a sausage topping and a large Coke for a pricey $5.35.  I sat for a few minutes as my pizza was prepared;  it was freshly made and given to me on a wooden pizza board.  This pizza was no slice cut from a larger whole, but actually its own little mini deep crust pizza topped with fresh sausage, and it was delicious.
Comparing Magma Pizza to our regular pizza here in  New Jersey would be a mistake, as it really is quite different.  Jersey pizza is Jersey pizza, and the local pizza parlors we are all familiar with have their faithful and loyal followers.  Magma Pizza just might build a following with New Jersey pizza lovers who might stray now and again for something a little different.  As I sat eating, the door swung open and large groups began arriving.  It is apparent from the fine attention to concept, detail, incredible store design and made-fresh-to-order quality food, Magma Pizza could emerge as a Born in Jersey treasure able to replicate itself in places around America. - Jersey Shadow -
Magma Pizza
445 Nassau Park Blvd.
Princeton, NJ 08541
Phone: 609-452-8383


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Village Diner - Under the railroad tracks just off South Orange Avenue is a relatively new little diner called the Village Diner.  I rarely go to a new place until it has had a chance to work out the kinks and get a firm footing, but the old place was so awful I was curious to see if anything changed.  It was a pleasant surprise to see that the whole place was renovated and full of new diners.  The Village Diner isn't very big, but it has a great neighborhood feel to it and a seemingly loyal following, in fact, one recognized diner ahead of me was quickly escorted to a table.  There is something very heartening seeing an older couple dressed in their fine clothes enjoying a meal in this day in age, and it almost seemed divine to see such a sight on a weekday in a diner.
The menu selections were typical Jersey Diner and the food was good on this day ... both the cheeseburger and the Rueben.  The service was quite good and especially polite and friendly for a diner.  Downtown South Orange has become much more user friendly these past few years, and a good diner is always a great addition to any New Jersey community.  With fair pricing and good food at the Village Diner, many locals here have a place to go on a regular basis and visitors have a place to go for a good affordable sit-down meal.  - Jersey Shadow -
Village Diner
1 Sloan Street
South Orange, NJ 07079
Phone: 973-761-6666

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