Just in case you were wondering, there is nothing, literally nothing I would rather do in this life than participate in The Bachelorette. The small talk alone would send me spiraling into a catatonic state. Then again, ABC probably wouldn’t want me either because with my propensity to instantly judge people, the season would only be one episode long.
Guys: “You look beautiful tonight. We can’t wait to get to know you.”
Me: “You’re all barely-veiled misogynist famewhores. Go home so I can take a bath in peace.”
I know you needed to know that. I also know you’re wondering why I’m complaining about reality television and posting pictures of sandwiches.
Well, I’ll tell you. It’s because I’m deeply hormonal. I’m telling you this only because we’re so close and you’ve been so supportive of me: I teared up during Dancing with the Stars. There’s some teeny Olympic gymnast who could probably snap my spine with her thighs, and she was just SO EXCITED to have danced well. And suddenly seeing someone so happy about something as utterly meaningless as getting a perfect 10 on Dancing with the Stars was just too much for me, and I got a little overcome.
Luckily I had this sandwich to keep me grounded. One of the good parts about being deeply hormonal is that you can come home from work, fling yourself down on the couch, complain about your headache and then get whatever you want for dinner. Okay, not whatever you want; I still couldn’t convince Brian to walk to Taqueria for a carnitas tostada, but you get your second runner up. And one of the good parts about having your own website is that you can unilaterally decide to write a restaurant review instead of making dinner. Which in my defense, not that I’m required to plan, I did have planned, but then I was at work later than I’d planned and Brian has to get to band practice on Monday nights and all the estrogen.
So food: Three pictures already, and I haven’t told you what you’re looking at or what restaurant it came from yet.
Oh wait, one more thing. Delivery.com is the best thing ever. Restaurants will bring me food and it can all happen without me having to talk to anyone? I hate talking! Once I got a bakery to deliver two layer cakes to my office; another time I had a diner bring pancakes DIRECTLY TO MY DESK. Didn’t even have to get up and walk the 35 feet to the office door. And how many people did I have to talk to? Zero point zero zero. Awesome! I hate people!
All of this food came from terribly-named but still wonderful Buon Appetito, a tiny pizzeria/restaurant on Grove Street in downtown Jersey City, without me having to talk to anyone there. They didn’t bring my sandwich directly to the sofa, but I can’t really blame them because they don’t have housekeys. (Yet.)
There’s certainly no shortage of hole-in-the-wall Italian joints in north Jersey, but Buon Appetito manages to distinguish itself and not just because they bring me food without my having to call them. It’s because of the remarkably high quality of their ingredients.
Since I was going to be reviewing them, I felt I should order a good cross-section of foods rather than just a sub or a pizza. Of course, had I known I was just going to blather about reality television, I would have saved myself the dough, gotten a calzone and been done with it.
To be fair, I felt I should order from the four main classes of tiny Italian joint food: Cold sub, hot sub, pizza or pizza-related item and pasta. Taking it from the top:
- Hot Sub: Fried eggplant, fresh mozzarella and roasted red pepper
- Cold Sub: Prosciutto, sopressata and sharp provolone with lettuce, red onion, oregano and oil and vinegar
- Pizza or Pizza-Related Item: Pepperoni and mozzarella roll
- Pasta: Cavatelli in vodka sauce
All pretty standard items, all above average in flavor but below average in price, adding up to Italian delivery excellence. The quality of the meats and cheeses used in their cold subs is higher than anything I’ve encountered outside a fancy-pants gourmet shop. I know from prosciutto, and this is some tasty prosciutto (and as you can see, they don’t skimp). The cheese is probably the most impressive: slabs of real, sharp provolone that actually has a flavor and is so dry and tangy that it flakes apart – no rubbery round deli slices here.
The eggplant is freshly fried and somehow manages to stay crispy during delivery, a rare feat. The garlic bread, not pictured, is not merely redolent of garlic but is heaped with it. The pepperoni roll is filled with richly spiced pepperoni stuffed inside really flavorful, crusty dough. The cavatelli is dense and chewy without being leaden, covered in a just-creamy-enough sauce that tastes of fresh tomatoes and could be a little spicier but everything else is so good that I let it go. (The cavatelli are tomorrow’s lunch along with some hot Italian sausage, also not pictured because I had greasy pepperoni roll-hands, that come in a container of the delicious marinara they’re cooked in and some crusty bread for sopping up the excess.)
The thing that really puts Buon Appetito over the top is pictured above: the tiramisu. Normally I’d never order tiramisu from a pizza joint, because 99.9% of the time it’s some pre-packaged pseudomisu. Frankly, I’m hard pressed to order it anywhere, because my mom’s, nonna’s and zies’ are so killer that my standard is impossibly high. But if Buon Appetito was going to prove itself to be truly a step above, I had to investigate it.
I have to say – and know that I am risking my mother sending a lightning bolt from heaven to strike me down – that this tiramisu tastes just like my mom’s. I am not ashamed to say that I always order two of them, so much do I relish the flavor memory this tiramisu activates. Real mascarpone, savoiardi ladyfingers soaked in just the right amount of espresso…and it comes to my house without my having to talk to anyone. Kill me now.
Oh yeah, and their pizza’s good too.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of you do not live in downtown Jersey City – that would be REALLY WEIRD, if I were walking by or riding the subway or waiting on line at the bagel shop with all of you – and will not get to experience the joy of having these perfect sandwiches delivered to your home. For the few of you who do, do not shun Buon Appetito because of its unassuming appearance and awful, awful name. It’s cheap, delicious, and will completely distract you from Dancing with the Stars-related emotional outbursts.
345 Grove Street
Jersey City, NJ
Mon-Wed 9am-10pm, Thu-Sat 9am-11pm, Sun 9am-9pm
Pseudomisu, I really have to remember that for the next time someone plonks down such an abomination on the table after dinner! In other news, I want a sandwich STAT… Guess I have to go and make one myself.
Somehow, I don’t think Delivery.com will deliver to my house. Big drawback to country living.
OK, so I have to actually pick up a phone to get my favorite Italian food, and since the restaurant is 20 miles away, I can’t get delivery. But there is an up side! Even here in the wilds of central PA, I can get fantastic Italian food. My favorite place is a little, tiny restaurant with maybe 15 tables, located in Bloomsburg. Not exactly Jersey City, but then, what is? This place (Balzano’s Italian Kitchen) could seriously compete with your place. Everything prepared fresh on the premises, hand made stuffed pastas, and a cheesecake, available only on weekends, that could bring tears to your eyes. It’s made by the owner
s 83 year old father, and is absolutely luscious.
Just wanted your to know, because even though I live in what sometimes seems like redneck hell, we do have small outposts of civilization!
woohoo… in my first few months in downtown jc, i tried stellas and helens for pizza, found them both awful, and swore off all jc italian joints in favor of tacos and falafel. this gives me hope again though!
Delivery.com is a godsend for those of us who hate talking on the phone. The level of disappointment I feel when a restaurant doesn’t have online ordering is huge. That’s when I hand the phone over to my husband.
karen, it has what, 6 or 7 ingredients? how do people screw it up so badly? i was once served one made with FROSTING. FROSTING, people. vile.
kristin, i’m sorry. so sorry.
tina, driving 20 miles for a truly excellent piece of cheesecake is a small price to pay.
carly, i really like carmine’s pizza, too. helen’s i can do without except for their sicilian – the sicilian is killer. unrelated to pizza but equally awesome: the delivery from white star bar.
Ooh. Thanks for clueing me into the delivery.com thing. Granted, there are only three restaurants that will deliver to me in this selection, but it’s still a cool idea. My favorite diner will deliver through this site. Granted, most of the restaurants in my neighborhood deliver anyway, just not through any cool websites.
We need delivery in this town. You CAN’T PARK ANYWHERE DUE TO THE HUGE NEW BAR IN TOWN THAT IS RIDICULOUSLLY POPULAR AND IT’S PATRONS KEEP PARKING IN MY PERMIT-ONLY LOT SO I CAN’T GO HOME AT NIGHT.
Sorry. Where was I? I do tend to write novel-length comments on people’s blogs that go off on tangents. Anyway, I’m craving some prosciutto and some nice sharp provolone (my favorite cheese).
Very astute comment about blogs giving you the joy of restaurant reviews whenever you feel like it.
So I stumbled upon your site through a link on the JC Independent, and I love it, love it, love it! So much I even already entered your ugly mitt contest (thanks for the reply by the way!)
I live off of Grove St and I must say Buon Appetito has the best pizza and italian food this side of Presto’s, and your pictures just made me grab the phone and order that pasta dish in your pic which looks amazing ( a little radioactive on my screen, but delicious anyway).
Can’t wait to read some more!
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