Monmouth County

Maria's Pizza - Route 36 in Atlantic Highlands, NJ

To celebrate the first nice weekend in April this year (the same weekend as Record Store Day, hope everyone got some cool stuff!), Chelsea and I decided to drive down to Red Bank for some Surf Taco and beach fun. After we had our fill, we stopped at a pizzeria we’ve passed before on our way home from Sandy Hook called Maria’s that has one of the best signs I’ve ever seen out front and I instantly knew I needed to try the za. I was still pretty full from my tacos, but I figured I could squeeze in a slice…..

Maria’s selection was meager and for the most part looked like it had been sitting out, but the buffalo chicken actually looked pretty enticing to me. This was one of many times though that the taste didn’t quite live up to the looks, though the smell was fantastic. That’s saying a lot because I have a godawful sense of smell. The smell translated to a pretty good taste on the chicken (according to Chelsea, there was “a lot of bird” on top) where the hotness was more of an aftertaste than right up front. The chicken was kinda weird though because the breading got mushy in the oven. At least it wasn’t wet mushy because that would have been a mess I was not trying to deal with. The crust was also a little weird. It was some of the thinnest crust I’ve ever seen, but it was as if it was all crunch and no bread. Kinda like if you picked the crust off of toast. Not my favorite.

The slice I got at Maria’s wasn’t bad or anything, but charging $3.75 for a fairly typical buffalo chicken slice seems like a ripoff to me. I haven’t had any of the other pizza in the area so I can’t say how it compares just yet (recommendations are always welcome!), but I would say weigh out your other options if you’re new to the area. You could pick a lot worse of a place to start at though!

-Tom