Adam Kuban of Slice invited
us to a gathering of bloggers, foodies, and general pizza fanatics at Nomad Pizza
in the lovely, bucolic town of Hopewell, NJ on October 17th.
It was a swell pizza party.
Background: Paulie Gee, who has a beautiful backyard oven (the
pics are on Flickr) and makes pizza at home (we're told his
pizzas are delicious and we're hoping for an invite), discovered Nomad
and wrote to Slice about it. Another Slice reader
saw his 'tweet' and tried the place too, seconding the positive review.
Almost immediately, a meetup discussion began, a date was selected and
plans were made. Famdoc and Paulie made the arrangements.
On the way to Hopewell, we made a stop in Brooklyn to pick up three
passengers: the aforementioned Slice-meister Adam, Brownie (of
blondieandbrownie.blogspot.com) and her husband Lawman (we had imagined
a 19th-Century sheriff, but he's actually an attorney).
The day was damp and cloudy, but we enjoyed the ride as we listened to
stories about food-blogs-and-those-who-comment-on-
No trip to central Jersey would be complete without missing an exit on
the Turnpike, so we did (and our passengers were gracious about it).
Still, we arrived precisely on time at Nomad.
Before entering, we went out back to have a look at the item that gives
Nomad its name - a reconditioned 1949
REO Speedwagon truck which features a full wood-burning pizza oven,
commercial refrigerator, sinks, plenty of storage (we saw a couple of
shelves stocked with extra wood and cans of San Marzano tomatoes).
Nomad began as a mobile pizza catering
business, making pizzas at parties and public events. Their work became
so popular that co-owners Stalin Bedon and Tom Grim opened the
brick-and-mortar Nomad we were about to
The first two things we saw upon entering the pizza party were the big blue domed oven
(with NOMAD spelled out in tile), and Paulie Gee hoisting a bottle of
his homemade Limoncello (delicious!). Then we started bumping into
people, none of whom we'd ever met in person, but with whom we shared
the bond of pizza passion.
The oven: it's a beautiful thing. The big blue dome was imported from
Naples and makes some dynamite pizza.
The fire dancing inside the oven was hypnotic, but not so much that we
forgot what we came for!
Here's a list of the great Neapolitan-style pies that came out of
that oven (we hope its in order, but things get blurry in the throes of
a pizza feast): Pizza
Marinara (which was Lillian's favorite of the evening), Pepperoni, Pizza Margherita di bufala
(Cary couldn't choose a favorite between this and the Marinara), Spicy Sausage pizza,
Pizza with Shiitake Mushrooms & Onions (excellent,
but only one of us likes mushrooms), and Margherita
with Arugula and Prosciutto.
Some of these pizzas arrived more than once. Hungry
Our favorite moment was when that first Marinara came to the tables,
and a dozen or so pizza-philes whipped out cameras at the same moment,
like some crazed pizza paparazzi!
in pizza conversation: Famdoc
telling the NYC attendees that "there is a world out here".
Cary: I really need to
work on my dough.
Paulie Gee: What do you
mean, work? Just get a 1,000-degree oven! (we don't know
if he meant it - but it's a funny line anyway, and he does have a very
hot wood-fired oven...)
After the meal, most of us went across the street where we had a chance
to chat with Mary Ann Gee (Paulie's wife) and Scott Wiener of Scott's
Scott showed us some of the background material for his tours,
including the schematic for the Bari
gas-fired pizza oven - the oven that made the pizzas a lot of New
Yorkers grew up on.
We hadn't really considered taking a pizza tour, but we found him so
personable and knowledgeable that we're thinking about signing up soon.
The pizzas, the place, the pizza party and the people: all first-rate! And here's Sean
Taylor's video of the event: