Ray’s vs. Dante’s: The Pizza Wars

Ray’s vs. Dante’s: The Pizza Wars

The debate over the two local pizza places has divided the small town of Cresskill, New Jersey. Many of the younger folk tend to go with Dante’s while the older residents of the town side with Ray’s. Once people have a favorite, they usually stick to it, and defend it with everything they have. People would die on a hill supporting a mere slice of pizza if it is from one of these two places. So, I had to take matters into my own hands. I, Segev Sharon, needed to see which Cresskill pizza place has the best slice of pizza in town. 

I started out with Ray’s Traditional Pizza, as that is the more tenured restaurant, and the pizza of my youth. I walked in, and asked the guy for a plain slice of pizza. I began to reminisce about my elementary school days, about how all of my friends and I would come here after the half days when school would almost be over. So many good memories were made in this place, and it has a special sentimental value to me. The people at Ray’s were very warm and treated me with great respect. While that does not add to the taste of the pizza, it certainly raises the level of the dining experience. I received my slice of plain pizza then drove off to Dante’s. 

I walked into Dante’s and immediately felt the energy in the restaurant. Diners were buzzing in the main dining area, watching the Yankees game and discussing who knows what. The employees were in their element, flipping dough, applying sauce, pouring sodas. There was a special vibe to the place that is unique to a small Italian pizza place. I went to the counter and the cashier immediately asked me “What’s up buddy what can I get for ya?” I told him I wanted a slice of plain pizza and he gave me a smile and told me it would be ready shortly. I waited a bit and received my pizza, as well as a warm smile and a “Goodnight”. I drove home, ready to try out these slices.

When I got home, I had my brother randomly arrange the slices, so that I would not know which one came from where. I did not want to have any bias, and a blind taste test would prevent any. I then took a bite of each, and determined a rating. 

The first slice I ate was from Ray’s. It had fantastic sauce, a nice, crispy crust, and everything melted in my mouth beautifully. I had two issues with it though. The first was that there was way too much cheese. It dominated every bite and it was nearly impossible to taste the rest of the components. The second issue I had was that there was a layer of grease that coated the cheese, creating a mess and making the pizza unnecessarily oily. Overall, a very solid slice of pizza, but the two downfalls made it impossible for me to rate it above an 8. The Ray’s Pizza slice earned a 7.1. Solid, but not fantastic.

I then moved on to the second slice, the one of Dante’s. Initially, this slice was more visually appealing, as there was no layer of grease, or an immense amount of cheese. The bite was even better. Fantastic sauce, very tasty cheese that complimented the sauce beautifully, as well as a crispy crust. The one complaint that I have is that the pizza was a bit doughy, and it took away from the sauce and cheese. I really enjoyed this slice, and finished it quite fast. The Dante’s Pizza slice earned an 8.4, a very very good pizza slice. 

Overall, the two slices were both great, but personally, I prefer Dante’s Pizza by a slight margin. With that being said, I encourage all of you to go try this for yourself, and form your own opinions while supporting local small businesses. Cresskill is a community, and we must support these restaurants while we can, especially if it means enjoying a good slice of pizza while doing so.