Hampton: Joe’s New York Pizza

The skinny: Sometimes, you just want to head to the beach, stopping for food on the way and then getting right to your final destination. Joe’s New York Pizza is one of those options people have for quick eats.

Joe's New York Pizza Hampton NH meatball

A few of our Twitter followers (@danhannon, @reallyleila and @livinglocalnh) suggested Joe’s Portsmouth locations, but since we haven’t made a stop at Hampton yet, we opted for the vacation hotspot.

Pizzas sizes here are small, large, extra large and party size ($8.99/$10.99/$12.99/$14.99). Toppings here are fairly standard, though you might not see artichoke hearts, ricotta and feta everywhere as toppings.

Joe’s offers a number of specialty pies, too. His Favorite (starting at $10.97) is loaded with pepperoni, bacon and mozzarella. There’s the Chicken Cordon Blue ($12.95 and up), with chicken, bacon, ham, mozzarella and a spicy blue cheese sauce. You could go with the Lasagna Pizza ($12.95 and up), which has sausage, meatball, ricotta, parmesan, oregano and ham. And there’s also The Frat Boy ($12.95 and up), which is a Greek pizza covered with spinach, feta, tomatoes and black olives.

There is a good amount of variety for lunchtime slices, as well as a lot of mid-day specials.

Joe’s has a few more locations in Portsmouth, among other out-of-state stores. The website is worth checking out for coupons and specials, as well as an online-ordering option.

Review: We opted for another one-topping pizza here, ordering a large meatball pizza ($12.50).

The most noticeable part of the pizza was the topping. We had been getting used to meatball slices on our pies, but here, it was crumbled, giving our thin slices some needed texture. In addition, the taste was a little unexpected: The hamburger was sweet. Deidre usually likes it on the spicier side, but here, it was a good surprise and made her rethink her previous opinions. Andrew liked the sweetness a bit, but thought in leaving out the spices in the meatball, they also left out all the flavor.

Luckily, the sauce wasn’t sweet, so there wasn’t too much of a sweet overload. The sauce was simple, with a hint of zestiness. As with New York style, it was very light, so sometimes this makes the taste a little more difficult to notice.

The cheese on the pie was tasty mozzarella. It was a little stringy, but not so much that eating became difficult. Andrew is always excited to find real mozzarella, and thought this one was one of the best, both in flavor and the amount on the pizza.

The crust was so soft and light, making it easy to fold over the slices and eat them — real New York style. It had the slightest crunch on the end crust, which covered a doughy inside; that’s one of Deidre’s favorite ways for it to be served.

Andrew thought the pizza was pretty good cold, but not great. With the sauce hard to find and the meat punting on the spiciness, the strongest flavor after a while in the fridge was probably the cheese. The crust was very good — the edges were still crunchy outside, chewy inside — though the middle was starting to do that elf-shoe curl-up thing that really thin crusts tend to do.

Rating: Deidre: 4 / Andrew: 4 = 8/10 slices

Joe’s New York Pizza
888 Lafayette Road, Hampton
926-9300, www.joesnypizza.com

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