No cameras were present for this dining experience. Sad but true.
Once again, we were reminded that if we ever decided to call ourselves the be-all end-all experts of where to eat in South Jersey, we would be missing many great eating experiences.
To be honest, we have never been overly excited with the pizza we have tried in Ocean County. And we have tried a number of places. But we recently got a very positive recommendation from a friend to try the pizza at Four Seasons Diner on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River. The opportunity to go to Four Seasons presented itself last week as we were in Toms River having a frustrating day, the details of which are not really important to the story. Sitting down for some pizza with the kids sounded like a good elixir for our collectively foul moods, so off we headed.
For those of you who are familiar with Toms River, you probably refer to Four Seasons as ‘oh yeah, the place that used to be a Wawa’. Lisa remembers when it was as a Wawa, but other than the outer shape of the building, any remnant of a convenience store has been removed. The inside space is actually quite pleasant, with many tables and booths adorned in deep wood and earthen tones. Although they call themselves a diner, it’s really more of a family restaurant. After all, they close at 10PM, which isn’t really diner-like…but hey, that’s being a bit nitpicky on my part.
Let’s get to the food. The menu is certainly more in-line with what you’d expect from a diner; in other words, lots and lots of choices. Sandwiches, soups, regular entrees, breakfast…what you’d expect. Our son decided to go with the Benny Burger from the kids menu, which looked decent enough (didn’t sample). The side of fries looked hand-cut.
Our main focus was on their brick oven pizza. Now the oven is actually made of brick, but the heat source is gas, not burning wood (just wanted to be clear on that). We ordered two small pies: a margarita (their spelling, not mine) and one of their special pizzas that night, which had ricotta cheese and broccoli rabe. And while it sounded like a lot of pizza, it turned out to be just enough. And that’s because we just tore into those tasty pies, with their crispy (but not overly so) thin crust. The ricotta and broccoli rabe pizza was very good, with our only complaint being that the greens needed a little bit of seasoning. Otherwise, both pies were very well executed.
There are two things…well, actually three things…we learned after cleaning our plates. First, Four Seasons Diner is more than just the eatery that occupies the space of an old Wawa. Second, between them and Shady Rest Restaurant, it can very well be said that the best pizzas in Ocean County are not being served in a pizza joint. And third, pizza can heal the soul – at least for a while.
Four Seasons Diner – 823 Fischer Boulevard, Toms River. 732.270.8778.