The Big Eat: Mr Bruno’s Pizza and Beyond

Verona restaurant boasts variety of unusual slices, such as the Cowboy Pizza.

Are you a pizza purist? Photo credit: Thomas Pluck
Are you a pizza purist? Photo credit: Thomas Pluck

By Thomas Pluck
Contributing Writer, Devil Gourmet

Are you a pizza purist? I remember the first time I had Hawaiian pizza. Some, like Jon Stewart, refuse to acknowledge it. I don’t get the whole Chicago/New York pizza war. I like deep dish and Neapolitan style, and I’ve had pizza in Napoli. The first “weird” pizza at I had was in Minneapolis, made with mashed potatoes. I wasn’t a fan then, but slowly these creative pizzas grew on me, and now delights such as Mr. Bruno’s Cowboy Pizza–with chunks of breaded chicken and crisp bacon–are on my list next to the best slices I had in Italy.

The biggest and best selection I’ve found is at Mr. Bruno’s, a pizzeria in Lyndhurst. And lucky for us on the other side of the Passaic, they have opened a second location in the space where Mardi Gras used to be, a the strip mall on Bloomfield Avenue just over border in Verona. A clean black and chrome stretch takes you past a shelf of Mr. Bruno’s homemade pasta sauces to glass cases displaying their decadent quiches, then a sprawl to show off the many types of pizza they make.

They were voted Best Sicilian Pizza by the Star-Ledger, and their crust is best for Sicilian style in my opinion. It has good crunch and that fresh baked smell and taste that reminds me of the homemade pizzas my grandmother used to make. They do make a great Margherita on Sicilian crust, but if you want Neapolitan style blistered crust, this isn’t the place. They do it their way, and when I’m in the mood for Sicilian, no one does it better. The Italian Flag slice, the Nonna’s, the eggplant rollatini- with dollops of fresh ricotta and crisp rashers of fried eggplant, as crisp and delectable as bacon- all satisfy that wuleez, as grandma used to say.

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