Convenience, fast, personalized service and delicious food... that's what Ray Gross, Jr. and his team pride themselves on - day in and day out.
Convenience: If you fax your lunch order in by 11:30AM, you can have it delivered to your office by noon. In fact, you can receive a list of daily specials when you arrive at work each morning. Simply call Santino's and give them your fax number.
Delicious Food: Homemade mozzarella cheese, homemade soups, their own secret Caesar salad recipe, hot wings (Buffalo or BBQ).
Think about this... Chicken Marsala, Philly Cheesesteaks, Chicken and Roasted Peppers! Now think about these as toppings on your pizza.
Yes, these are all toppings unique to Santino's Pizza Etc. In fact, name the topping and they will create the pie to your liking!
Dinner Specials: Penne with Vodka Cream Sauce, Chicken Francais...you know, chicken smothered in a butter lemon sauce...yummmmmm!
Now hear about this one: Choose either chicken or eggplant, surrounded by fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers covered in Balsamic vinegar. Too good to pass up! Top these off with a salad and hot bread and you have a delicious meal any time, any day.
Want to eat out? Bring your own wine or beer and enjoy the serene, quiet atmosphere of the dining room...too tired to go out? Take it home or have it delivered. Remember--service and convenience are important here. Catering is available for 5 to 500, so when you are planning your holiday parties at home and at the office, just call Ray, he has a full menu with lots of great ideas. If you don't want to miss the Sunday or Monday night football games when you have the gang over for pizza and pasta, call and have it delivered...this place can even bring the chips and sodas! For those of you who are real Italians at heart, do Rice Balls entice you...just a little? Well this is the place. But you must order early because before you know it, they are gone. So before you go home at night, fax Ray and ask him to make some of his delicious rice balls--you'll be glad you did!
A Pizza Shop On Wheels: Neptune Business Takes Pies' Delivery to a Whole New Level
By Jacqueline Sergeant
Ray Gross has added new meaning to delivering pizza. Like a musical ice cream vendor, Gross circles the streets of Belmar hawking pizza from a former ice cream truck. To attract the attention of customers the truck plays, "That's Amore." Other tunes by Dean Martin plus songs sung by Frank Sinatra and Louie Prima are sometimes offered up as well.
"The people love it, " Gross said of the service, which he started on Memorial Day Weekend. The owner of Pizza Etc., a Neptune City pizza shop, said it was a friend who suggested that he begin selling pizza from a truck. "He said, 'Why not get a Good Humor truck?' So I thought about it last year, and I went out and bought an old Good Humor Truck," he said. He painted and lettered the 24-year-old truck, and bought an oven and a refrigerator. Gross said family members helped him get the truck in shape for the road by installing the oven and refrigerator. "The truck business has grown," Gross said, adding that the streets of Belmar are a great place to sell pizza because, "the kids hang out on the street and drink and catch sun all day."
Gross says he sells about 300 slices, or 50 pies a day. The pizza, which sells for $1.25 for a plain slice with 35 cents added for each topping, is made at the shop and then packed on the truck. A whole pie costs $7. The truck, which operates from 11AM to 10PM carries other foods, such as an assortment of subs and sandwiches, Italian Ices, and frozen Milky Way Bars. Cigarettes are also sold from the truck.
So far, Gross has only been able to get a license from Belmar to operate, but he has approached the neighboring towns of South Belmar and Ocean Grove. He continues to work with officials in the former, but Neptune has an ordinance that bands attention getters such as public address systems and sound amplifiers on vending trucks. In response to complaints from residents, other towns have also looked askance on amplified music on vending trucks. Last December, Long Beach officials banned the use of mechanical music that runs continuously on ice cream trucks and the shouting of "ice cream" on beaches in favor of ringing hand bells. In January, Stafford officials passed a similar ordinance, but weeks later, the township council repealed the measure which was challenged in federal court by vendor Jeffrey Cabanis, who said his "Turkey in the Straw" tune distinguishes his truck from others that sell other kinds of frozen treats.
Gross, who hails from West Orange and has lived in Belmar for about 18 months, also does a brisk business from his shop on West Sylvania Avenue, which he opened in March, 1997. The shop includes a dining room and a drive through window, which Gross said he inherited from the previous occupant, who operated as a fast-food chicken place. He employs about 10 people on a part-time basis.
Gross hopes to someday branch out to other nearby towns, like Bradley Beach and Avon. He also hopes to expand the road service to seven days a week in the summer, starting the weekend of July 4.
Pizza Etc. Goes on the Road
Shown above is the team from Santino's Pizza Etc., Neptune City. This past weekend, they launched their Pizza on Wheels through the streets of Belmar. The Pizza on Wheels will serve fresh baked hot pizza, by the pie or the slice. Cold subs, sandwiches and daily specials will also be available. The hours will be 11AM to 10PM on the weekends. If you don't see the truck...call 620-5231 and they will find you! On the road yourself? Stop in at the drive-in window and pick up a few slices and a soda, a full dinner, or a sub.
Pizza Etc. is open 7 days a week and is located at 35 Highway 35, at Steiner Avenue, Neptune City, (732) 775-1800. Open for lunch and dinner. BYOB for dinner!
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