Rick DeLorenzo Jr.'s family inheritance is more than just a recipe for thin-crust pizza—it's a tradition of hard work and dedication. After emigrating from a small Italian town called San Fele, his grandparents settled in a row home on Hudson Street in Trenton. They raised 12 children there, all of whom became well-versed in the application of elbow grease. Circa 1938, DeLorenzo's uncle Joe opened the first family pizzeria at the corner of Hudson and Mott Streets. Four of the older brothers formulated the signature Trenton tomato-pie recipe—a supercrispy thin crust topped with garden-fresh california tomatoes and wisconsin cheese—and passed it on to four younger brothers, including DeLorenzo's father. Today, the pizzaiolo duties are carried on by DeLorenzo and his children, Michael, Melissa, and Maria.
The menu at DeLorenzo's Pizza has earned high praise in several newspaper articles and a spot on Dash’s list of America's best slices. After enjoying a tomato pie, Rich Defabritus of the Slice food blog said, "The balance struck between the sauce and cheese is about as close to perfection as you could get." Wood-paneled walls and old-timey memorabilia give the restaurant a nostalgic, throwback vibe, similar to the pizza parlor where Frank Sinatra first read a menu with his famously blue-tinted contact lenses.
Heralded by the New York Times for its "big flavors," El Sham Restaurant transports taste buds to Middle Eastern meze tables with an authentic menu of halal sandwiches and platters. Served with olive oil, labneh and hummus plates deftly prime palates for near-east feasts, as does the baba gannouj, an earthy medley of mashed eggplant. El Sham's handheld eats stuffed with falafel, kafta kebab, or lamb shawarma entice appetites with enough boldness to make the Earl of Sandwich's ascot flutter. Alternatively, diners can opt for one of the eatery's piping-hot platters, such as succulent chicken chops or moussaka, which pairs meat and fresh eggplant with rice and a zesty tomato sauce. Although not included with today's Groupon, diners can cap off taste-treks with crispy mamouls, which emerge from kitchens flanked by a ragtag retinue of dates or walnuts plucked from one of Mr. Peanut's cocktail parties ($2.95 each). Dulcet Mediterranean melodies tickle ears as guests relax amid the eatery's spare wood furnishings, bubbling fish tank, and Middle Eastern décor.
The chefs in the kitchen of Limoncello's Italian Grill crown 75 different specialty pizzas with fresh ingredients including ricotta cheese, fresh garlic, and spinach. In addition to paninis stuffed with mozzarella and marinated eggplant, the cooks craft hearty lunch and dinner entrees such as grilled tilapia pesto with fried calamari, scallops, and tomato pappardelle pasta.
Welcoming guests with an ornate entryway with a curlicue chandelier and bright orange walls is just one way Shahi Palace treats its guests like royalty. The ambiance continues into the dining room, with gold walls, red accents, and matching carpeting. Whether diners are in the banquet room celebrating a wedding, a birthday, or the beginning of National Adopt a Cat Month, or even if they're there to enjoy the weekend brunch buffet, they can break rounds of naan over Indian and Pakistani dishes that are 100% halal.
After planting roots in Latin America 40 years ago, Pollo Campero branched out across borders, planting more than 50 locations in the U.S and across the world. Today, at its Trenton location, chefs marinate and season chicken by hand, using a special blend of herbs and spices. After grilling or frying, the flavorful morsels are tucked into tortillas to make burritos, slide between slices of sandwich bread, or nestle into family meals alongside up to 19 other pieces. Patrons can cart their meals home for consumption or stick around to impress passerby by juggling their chicken wings in front of the eatery's broad windows.
When the wind is howling and the roads are icy, the cozy couches and comfy seats beyond Take 5 Gourmet's foggy windows look particularly inviting. Once they enter the artwork-speckled space, guests can shrug off their coats and order a hot cocoa or frothy latte before curling up on one the arabesque armchairs. Cheerful servers man the counter, plating freshly baked pastries and showering crepes in caramel, cinnamon, and toasted walnuts. Some evenings, performers take the stage to show off their guitar skills, singing talents, or ability to hold their breath for almost a whole minute.
When the sun is bright and the air is warm, however, it’s the sidewalk patio that holds the most appeal. Here, guests can lounge on deck chairs as they snack on wholesome tarragon chicken salad wraps and sip on ice-cold smoothies. No matter the season, though, cafe-goers can always grab a box of creamy Astor's chocolates or a gourmet gift basket to take home with them.