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Aponte’s Pizzeria & Family Restaurant

Jersey-style pizza? Whazzup wit dat? New York–style, Chicago-style, California-style: It’s all so confusing to the feeble Midwestern mind. The Jersey-style pizza that Tony Aponte hand tosses is a lot like Queens-style pizza: a big, crisp, microfine crust under a thin layer of sauce with extra tang, topped with a delicate layer of a potent whole-milk cheese. The toppings aren’t a foot high, but that’s not the point. This thin pizza is thick on flavor. While Aponte’s Pizzeria & Family Restaurant is in a strip mall surrounded by pastures in Mason, inside it has a very Jersey feel. Mostly that’s Tony’s personality, but it’s backed by the sense of family you get from his daughters helping out. And the bar in the back with local sports trappings adds to the atmosphere, as does the confusing layout you have to navigate to get there. Tony’s pride in his pizza might seem like it borders on arrogance. But that’s just how it feels to us yokels. In reality, that’s just how they are in Jersey. You have to talk a little loud to get noticed. You have to be better than the next guy, since there are so many next guys. You have to shout “You ordering from me? You must be ordering from me since I’m the only pizza guy in the place. I got your pepperoni right here, Mac!” Tony is just a proud ambassador from Sopranoland showing us how pizza is done.

Aponte’s Pizzeria & Family Restaurant
753 Reading Rd., Mason
(513) 336-7400
Prices: About $8 for half a 14-inch four-topping pizza.
Lunch and dinner Tues–Sun


Originally published in the January 2009 issue.