Home Food + Drink Bread and Salt: A Neighborhood Gem in Jersey City Heights

Bread and Salt: A Neighborhood Gem in Jersey City Heights

by Yiwei Gu
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We love pizza + we love celebrity chefs, and Rick Easton combines the two. The food-obsessive and mostly self-trained baker had earned a slew of praise for his renowned Pittsburgh bakery, with Eater critic Bill Addison lauding everything served there, from the “crusty, stretchy, smoky-sweet bread,” to the pizza covered with “simple but potent toppings.” New York Times food writer Mark Bittman called his “chewy, crusty, slightly and beautifully sour” pizza “a slice of heaven” in his very last column for the paper. Chef Rick was also nominated for the James Beard Foundation Awards in 2015 in the baker category. Eventually, Easton found his way to setting up shop in Jersey City by bringing his acclaimed bread and pizza to this neighborhood with Bread and Salt. Keep reading to learn all about Bread and Salt in Jersey City Heights.

bread and salt jersey city pizza exterior

The Pizza

Pizza, or Roman-style pizza to be totally accurate, is the star at Bread and Salt, located at 435 Palisade Avenue. But unlike the trendy NYC pizzerias featuring truffle-and-burrata-loaded pies baked in an expensive brick oven made in Italy, the pizza here is served in a no-frills fashion, exactly the same way they’re sold in Rome — street food style. Five to six kinds of oblong sheets of pizza are displayed behind glass cases.

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Unlike these slices’ New York-style cousins, smeared with cheese and loaded with a zillion toppings, they are minimally garnished with small blobs of mozzarella (margherita) or tomato sauce (rossa). Diners tell the server behind the counter how many slices are wanted, and then a few squares are off the pie and heated in a gas oven. Guests take the piping hot pizza to their seats on a plastic tray and go ham.

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The Dough

The soul of a Roman-style pizza, or pizza al taglio (pizza for cutting), is the dough. Unlike its soft, thin-crusted Neapolitan cousin, the dough of the sturdy Roman pie has a much higher water content and is left to rise at a low temperature for a very long time, sometimes up to 36 hours. The result is an airy, chewy honeycomb layer anchored by a crispy, richly flavored crust. The edge of the pie is nicely browned and slightly caramelized, and has an elastic, bubble-riddled inside that stretches beautifully when you pull the slice apart.

bread and salt jersey city pizza interior

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Because of its robust crust, the pie can be topped with anything. At Bread and Salt, other than the classic Margherita and rossa pizzas, a repertoire of simple toppings are served — depending on daily availability of course. There are no fancy ingredients or elaborate preparations to wow the crowd, but the tastes are honest, comforting, and well-balanced.



Beyond Pizza

Besides pizza, a handful of classic Italian dishes are also served daily. The meatballs are just how you’d like them — juicy and delicious, and the vegetable dishes are made with seasonal ingredients. The Sicilian salad of string beans and potatoes is flavored and dressed with a drizzle of olive oil. And the cucumber soup is minty, smooth, and refreshing. But word to the wise — the menu changes often. If still craving for more, there are sandwiches stuffed with meats or cheeses, or the chef’s famous sourdough bread — whose complex flavor definitely lives up to its name.

bread and salt meatballs

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Bread and Salt is a counter service locale and is BYO, with a small selection of soft drinks sold inside. The Bread and Salt establishment is open from Friday to Sunday from 10AM to 4PM. 

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