Tuzio's Long Branch, NJ

(Junior) #1

Our original plans were for reservations at Drew’s with another couple, somehow we became party of 8 people and Drew’s could no longer accommodate us. (no hard feelings, kudos to them for being so busy) I was not directly involved in the decision making but from what I understand is some other local fav’s were also booked for a party that size so we wound up with reservations at Tuzio’s.

I’ve lived in Monmouth County for 25 years and the neighborhood rivalry of Tuzio’s vs. Nunzio’s is legendary. The two establishments on the same block, on the “other side of the tracks” where people line up around the block during the summer to go to. I was actually looking very forward to the meal as I’ve never dined at either location.

We ordered a couple of apps to start mussels, fried calamari (2) and the house salad ($22.95 for two but really for 4+) The apps were all good, nothing to complain about everyone enjoyed. The salad is ridiculously large for 2 people, but the salad for one is $ 15.95 so the two person size was enough for all 8 of us to try. Apparently they are known for their serving sizes and the apps were all decent to generous in size.

For entree I had chicken murphy, my wife got the shrimp and lobster francaise. While my portion size was large, it was 75% peppers, onions and potatoes. The actual chicken was two thinly pounded pieces that were literally buried under the mound of accompaniments. The flavor was very good, but again the protein was fairly limited given the ridiculous mound that was served.

My wife’s was not served over pasta, but it was swimming in the sauce. The flavor was good but it was really way over sauced to almost soupy. They are known for their chicken parm which one was ordered and did receive high compliments. There was a fish special which was enjoyed and I honestly don’t recall what the other 4 meals were, but they seemed to be enjoyed.

Desert followed for a few they did not seem prepared on premises but were good none the less. I enjoyed a nice double espresso and sambuca for my desert. Next is the worse part of the night…
$ 70. per person (including tax and tip) I had 3 cocktails including the sambucar, I would say that was on average for half of the table, so we did have a decent amount of alcohol on the check.

The food was typical pizza parlor nothing special while nothing offensive. The ambiance is Elks Club/VFW hall, I didn’t have the pizza so unless that is exceptional I really have no idea how this place has been in business so long. We had 8pm reservations and we were the last people in the place (including the bar) by 10:30 when we left.

I wish I had something better to say about the place, especially knowing it’s legendary status but overall it was just “ok”.


I agree on the chicken murphy. It is a decent sized dish and I like the flavor but it could use another breast.

Their veal parm sandwich is pretty decent.

(Junior) #3

Ahhhhhh so you’ve been!!! How is their pizza? Have you been to Nunzio’s as well? If so which is your personal favorite?


Yeah both are ok. If you’re in that area rockafellers is hands down my spot for pizza. The large is so big it won’t fit in my fridge unless I empty an entire shelf, fold/crease the box and make sure it gets over the lip on the back of the shelf. Lol it is a tight squeeze. It is a block away from tuzios in the middle of a neighborhood. Everyday it’s filled with cops at lunch
My picks…
Buffalo chicken
Chicken parm

(Joon) #5

Yeah I don’t really get this place. They have the same food as every neighborhood Italian joint but it’s a couple bucks more expensive and you don’t get to BYO.

I kinda haven’t been to local Italian places like this in a while (Pizza/Italian places that serve things like chicken marsala/franchese, etc), anyone have any favorites?


It’s all about putting out food that is half decent and passable, while having limited competition…in my eyes. They don’t have much competition in town (for a “sit down” italian restaurant) and the food is OK. I am sure rent isn’t terrible there either, or it could be owned. That is a HUGE factor. Places can survive like this simply because they can make overhead.

As for local spots, I generally don’t dine out for Italian that much but I want to try Jimmy’s based on the recommendations here.

Try the chicken francaise sub at neils. I like that a lot. Get an extra side of the sauce. It is free


Has anyone been to maggianos? I went to bridgewater last weekend and thought it wasn’t that great…not bad but ok. I tried chicken parm, Alfredo, and ziti/meatballs…and some salad. I dont get the allure of this place but again, half decent food aND a liquor license seems to be the ticket around here.

(Junior) #8

Actually when I googled Tuzio’s this picture came up of the chicken murphy. Dare I say my serving might have been larger than this, but as you can see how thin the pound that chicken. No matter how large a piece you can find it’s not very satisfying because it’s so thin.


Do any places do a steak Murphy around here?

(Junior) #10

Not that I’m aware of, I was hoping they would have had a steak pizziola at Tuzio’s. The last I knew that carried a murphy style was Murphy’s in Red Bank.


Yeah I haven’t seen many and I actually liked Murphys back in the day.

A place near me called pomodorro rossi has a decent veal piazzola. It’s basically your runoff the mill pizza place with some Italian dinners. They do that dish pretty well for 20 bucks. It is thinly sliced veal that’s grilled and I think it is worth the price. Check it out if you’re in the area.

(Joon) #12

Haven’t been to Neil’s in many years but I’ve had their francaise sub! It was fine but for my tastes it didn’t work well in a sub, I much prefer a chicken parm (which I far prefer in sandwich form vs dinner plate).

(Junior) #13

While I’ll never refuse a chicken parm sub, my FAVORITE is a shrimp parm sub!!! I don’t know why, I really can take or leave a shrimp parm dinner, but put it on a sub roll and I"m all in!!!

(Joon) #14

dafuq is that sadness. It’s like a chicken scavenger hunt in there. Last time I had one was at that pizza place at the corner of broad and front in Red bank. It was fine except the chicken was spoiled… but they used dark meat on the bone which is how I think it should be done…

You know, I literally never knew a shrimp parm is a thing that exists. Hmm…

@corvette_johnny Zacharys does a Prime Rib murphy for lunch. I think it’s how they use up the previous day’s leftovers.

(Mr met) #15

what a shame- had heard raves from this place…almost had a big event there…glad now I stuck nearby instead…


I went to the one in Houston just before Christmas a few years ago in uptown, often mistaken for downtown by people new to town. It’s near very upscale mall on roids the Galleria.

Maggiano’s is on the main drag South Post Oak which is beautifully lit and is surrounded by swanky hotels, stores, and restaurants.

The restaurant itself was full of holiday revelers and Xmas decorations and couldn’t have looked nicer. The service was perfect.

The food was terrible with the theme of the evening being freezer burn. We remember bad lobster ravioli and something else not good also freezer burned but we can’t recall what it was. I’m with you I don’t get this place. A gift card took a bit of the sting out of it and down here everybody has a liquor license so that’s not a factor.

The late great President George Herbert Walker Bush lived nearby.

(Mr met) #17

Has same experience at freehold mall location. Except bad service and way too high price to match.


This from Yelp Houston.

describe this as an upgraded Olive Garden, you can even get a free frozen meal to go with your order just like Olive Garden. This leads me to believe they just heat to their food and serve. Nothing stood out and tasted pretty generic.

In all fairness the get lots of 5 star reviews, probably from the same people that like Olive Garden.

(Roland) #19

My wife travels often and she will stop there if it is close to her hotel as she loves their chopped salad, but that is all she will get from there

(John) #20

I always liked Tuzzios. It’s very old-fashioned compared to newer Italian places. There’s no ‘bistro’ food at Tuzzios. It’s all very simple stuff - I’d say moderately priced & it has a nice old-time mafia sort of feel to it.