Smart Cookie spent three days in good ol’ New Jersey, and let me tell you, I ate good. Real good.
It has been a while since I’ve been to the Garden State. I was born in Jersey, but my return this week to help my sister apartment-hunt was the first in at least 10 years. I must say, going back definitely stirred up some nostalgia. If you’ve ever moved, then you know how surreal it is to return to a place that you used to spend your life in, but is now only a stepping stone you’ve long since passed.
I happened to drive by the Dairy Queen I once frequented as a child. I believe it was this establishment and the enjoyment it brought to Sunday evenings as a child that formulated the obsession/adoration I now harbor today. I didn’t get to stop at that particular DQ, but you can bet your bundt cake that I found my way to another.
It’s always hard to decide what to get when I stop at Dairy Queen; everything’s so good! I was tempted by a good ol’ Peanut Buster Parfait, but decided I simply must have a Blizzard. If you’ve never had a DQ Blizzard, you really haven’t lived. It is the creamiest, dreamiest frozen confection in existence. Its viscosity lies somewhere between soft-serve and a milkshake. This thickness is iconic; DQ Blizzards are known for their ability to be flipped upside down without any ice cream dripping out. That soft-serve base is the best I’ve ever had, and when you blend that with all kinds of delicious mix-ins, you get a little bit of heaven, chilled and served with an iconic red spoon.
What Blizzard did I decide on? It was a tough choice, but I chose the Double Fudge Cookie Dough. This is a classic cookie dough Blizzard, but for the chocolate lover. That creamy soft serve is blended with cocoa to make it ridiculously chocolatey. Then the whole treat is studded with an abundance of delicious chunks of fudge-covered cookie dough. It’s smooth, creamy, and absolutely heavenly.
What else was a must-have eat? Well, since it’s just about impossible to get a decent pizza in CNY, I knew I had to have some while in Jersey. My mother and I hit up Frank’s Pizza. We ordered a classic cheese pizza and ate ourselves into a coma. Eating this pizza was the biggest relief of my life. Why? Because it’s exactly what I’ve been craving for 4 1/2 years since moving to CNY. It’s real pizza: thin, slightly crisp, cheesy, greasy, and bearing big, foldable slices. You may have a different idea of perfect pizza, but this is it for me, and it’s impossible to find anything like this in CNY. Their pizza has thick, cardboard-like crusts, they cut ROUND pizza into SQUARE slices (so wrong!), and they’re skimpy on the toppings (especially the cheese). Frank’s pizza, however was perfect. Delicious and satisfying.
My next day in Jersey brought more pizza. This time, we ate at Pronto’s Pizza, which, if you can believe it, was even better than Frank’s. Again, I found big slices of thin-crusted pizza, covered in generous toppings. Pronto offered all kinds of exciting flavors. They had classics, but they also had Chicken Parm Pizza, Ziti Pizza, BLT Pizza, and more. And man, did their white pizza look killer. I, however, could not possibly pass up a slice of Tortellini Pizza. Yeah, they make that. It was a thin, crisp crust covered in creamy alfredo sauce, cheese-filled tortellinis, and mozzarella cheese.
It. Was. Heaven.
Possibly the best slice I’ve ever had, I plan on recreating it real soon.
The food in Jersey only got better at dinnertime, but that’s a story for tomorrow. Stop back then to hear about the drool-worthy climax of Smart Cookie’s Jersey Invasion!