Polizzi’s Pizza is a new pizza and sandwich shop coming to Egg Harbor Road near 5-pts in Washington Township NJ, taking over the location previously occupied by Amalfi (which closed last week). The menu will feature artisanal pizzas, amazing hand crafted sandwiches and more!
We’ve chatted with Polizzi’s owner Damien, who tells us they hope to have a limited menu soft-opening in August, and expect to be running at full speed by October.
If you weren’t aware, Amalfi Pizza closed last weekend. More on that below.
Polizzi’s Brick Oven Pizza
Damien explains that he specializes in an artisanal style pizza, using a delicate fermentation process. Yes all of the dough is made fresh from his own recipe, which he has been further perfecting over the last few years.
We definitely love our pizza in the 42Freeway area, and there are many options to choose from… but Damien is looking to take pizza to another “artisanal level” and just making it a different concept altogether.
For Pizzas, they will offer neo-Neapolitan, Detroit, and Sicilian style pizzas. All fresh ingredients, dough made in house. More on that in a minute!
For sandwiches, everything is freshly made… roast beef, turkey and roast pork! Even their own cutlet recipe, And everything will be served on Sarcone Rolls, which is a famous South Philadelphia bakery.
42Freeway loves a delicious cheesesteak, and honestly I am still looking for the best in the Washington Twp area… well it looks like Polizzi’s is going to quickly be a top contender when they offer true hand-sliced rib-eye cheesesteaks!
Plus Polizzi’s will offer fresh broccoli rabe, roasted red peppers, prosciutto, sopressata etc. wraps and salads as well
And so much more will be offered, but we’ll have to wait and see as they get closer to opening.
Regarding the pizza types that Polizzi’s plans on offering.. I did some Googling and put together the following explanations of the three pizza styles, but we’ll have to wait and see how Polizzi’s puts together their own interpretation!
neo-Neapolitan: is based off of the classic Neapolitan pizza that you would traditionally get from a wood burning oven restaurant, but the “neo” means new… and that they are going to offer unique and exciting variations of the ingredients. Fun Fact: An original Neapolitan pizza has very strict requirements of what ingredients can be used, and the cooking process! (PDF)
Detroit Style: is a pan style pizza, with a thick crust that is crispy on the bottom and chewier in the core. The crispiness comes from being somewhat fried as it bakes in the pan. Typically its a “reverse” pizza to what we are used to, with the cheese put on top of the dough, and then the sauce on top, sometimes in stripes! Also, the cheese and sauce are typically spread all the way to the edge of the pie.
Sicilian Style Pizza: Similar to Detroit style as it is rectangle, and a very thick airy crust with a crunchy base. It is typically baked on a sheet, not a pan.
I sort of did this post backwards… wanted to jump right into the food they plan on offering, as it sounds AMAZING.
But also here is a quick background on Damien:
I grew up in the business and have had my longest shop for 18 years, but I’m hands off recently. 2 years ago I built a backyard pizza kitchen because I missed it so much. After hosting as many as 50 people, I started perfecting my dough and believed my pizzas would do well here, in Washington Township.
Polizzi’s is a true family business. Second generation pizzaiolo born to an immigrant Sicilian father!Damien, owner and chef of the “coming soon” Polizzi’s Brick Oven Pizza, Washington Township
As mentioned, the new Polizzi’s Pizza will taking over the location which previously housed the well loved Amalfi’s Pizza.
Interestingly, it seems Damien had set his sights on Washington Township many months before he knew the Amalfi family were considering selling. His Facebook page has a few posts regarding looking for a place in “Township”, and seemingly almost signed a lease in another location.
On May 24, Damien announced on his Instagram page:
The family of Amalfi Pizza and I have come to an agreement. Moses, along with his father and sister, have come to the difficult decision to close their doors after years of success in Twp and South Jersey. As I’ve gotten to know them over the last few months, they deserve to enjoy the next phases of their professional journeys. I want to thank them for allowing a gracious transition to our family. We, Polizzi’s Brick Oven, will begin few (very few, as this place is immaculate) renovations in June. We will modify some equipment in hopes to be able to serve our home town artisanal pizzas, specialty sandwiches and homemade dishes. Projected soft opening to be late Summer/early Fall.Polizzi’s Brick Oven Pizza Instagram – May 24th
Beloved Amalfi Ristorante Has Already Closed
Amalfi Pizza arrived in Washington Township back in 2017, and we wrote about their opening in April of that year.
From all accounts, they quickly gained a reputation as a top quality Pizza and Italian Restaurant. Every time we visited, there was a large crowd of patrons enjoying the delicious food.
In their own words, they recently stated “Business is Booming!”. Yet felt they had to close.
In a post at the Amalfi page put up the same day as Polizzi’s Pizzas, the Amalfi family describes challenges with; rising food costs, food supply issues, and labor shortages (especially)
There has been a lot written this year about the struggles of businesses in finding employees in this post-quarantine time we are in, and seems that Amalfi is another victim of that challenge
From the Amalfi Facebook Page:
Our customers mean so much to us, which is why this post is so difficult to write..COVID hit us hard in the beginning, but with your support we were able to bounce back and overcome. Business is booming, but we can no longer keep up with the demand. With rising food costs, food supply issues, and labor shortages(especially), it has been very difficult to maintain our business. We have all been working tirelessly, 70 hours a week, and have run out of gas. Finding people to work is like finding a needle in a haystack. We are expecting our third child and Bruno is nearing retirement. Given all of these variables, we have decided to close. You have all become part of our family which has been keeping us going thus far. This was by far one of the toughest decisions we have ever had to make. We love each and every one of you . Our hearts are hurting right now, but we have to do this for our health and for our family. We didn’t expect this to happening so very quickly…our last day is Sunday, May 30. This page will remain open for those who want to keep in touch (it would mean a lot to us) and for those who have gift cards. We will continue this week as we normally would, but we know it’s going to be sad . We hope you can all understandAlmalfi Ristorante Facebook: May 24
I big “Thank you and Good Luck” from Mark at 42Freeway to the family and workers at Amalfi! Truly one of the best Italian Restaurants in the area!
Also! A big “hat tip” to Marilyn Johnson for the tip on Polizzi’s coming to Township, when shared it to her popular South Jersey Food Scene Facebook Group. She has a few exciting food efforts in place, so join/like South Jersey Food Scene, and Philly Grub!
And while you are joining and liking… consider joining 42 Freeway Eats!
Links and Location
Note: The Amalfi Ristorante Facebook Page is still active, so if you want to visit there and offer a positive comment… Amalfi Facebook