Testosterone is a crucial hormone for men and plays an important role throughout the male lifespan. Most of a male's testosterone is produced through the testicles. Also called the male sex hormone, testosterone starts playing its part during puberty.
When a male goes through puberty, testosterone helps males develop:
As boys turn to men and men grow older, testosterone levels deplete naturally. Sometimes, events like injuries and chronic health conditions like diabetes can lower testosterone levels. Unfortunately, when a man loses too much T, it results in hypogonadism. When this happens, the testosterone must be replaced, or the male will suffer from symptoms like muscle loss, low libido, and even depression.
TRT is exactly what it sounds like: a treatment option for men that replaces testosterone so that your body regulates hormones properly and restores balance to your life. Also called androgen replacement therapy, TRT alleviates the symptoms that men experience with low T.
Originally lab-synthesized in 1935, testosterone has grown in popularity since it was produced. Today, TRT and other testosterone treatments are among the most popular prescriptions in the U.S.
Without getting too deep into the science, TRT works by giving your body the essential testosterone it needs to function correctly. As the primary androgen for both males and females, testosterone impacts many of the body's natural processes â especially those needed for overall health. For example, men with low T are more prone to serious problems like cardiovascular disease and even type-2 diabetes.
When your body quits making enough testosterone, it causes your health to suffer until a solution is presented. That's where TRT and anti-aging medicine for men can help. TRT helps balance your hormones and replenish your depleted testosterone. With time, your body will begin to heal, and many symptoms like low libido and irritability begin to diminish.
For men, aging is the biggest contributor to lower testosterone levels, though there are other causes like obesity, drug abuse, testicular injuries, and certain prescribed medications. Sometimes, long-term health conditions like AIDS, cirrhosis of the liver, and kidney disease can lower testosterone levels.
When a man's testosterone levels drop significantly, it alters his body's ratio of estrogen and testosterone. Lower testosterone levels cause more abdominal fat, which in turn results in increased aromatase, which converts even more testosterone into estrogen.
If you're concerned that you might have low T, you're not alone. Millions of men in the U.S. feel the same way. The best way to find out if your testosterone is low is to get your levels tested.
For sustainable testosterone replacement therapy benefits, you must consult with hormone doctors and experts like those you can find at Global Life Rejuvenation. That way, you can find the root cause of your hormone problems, and our team can craft a personalized HRT plan tailored to your needs.
One of the most common reasons that men choose TRT is because they have lost that "spark" with their partner. It's not easy for a man to hear that they're not performing like they used to. Intimacy is a powerful part of any relationship. When a once-healthy sex life dwindles, it can cause serious relationship issues.
The good news is that low libido doesn't have to be a permanent problem. TRT and anti-aging medicines help revert hormone levels back into their normal range. When this happens, many men have a more enjoyable life full of intimacy and sex drive.
Weak erections â it's an uncomfortable subject for many men in the U.S. to talk about. It's even worse to experience first-hand. You're in the midst of an intimate moment, and you can't do your part. Despite being perfectly normal, many men put blame and shame upon themselves when they can't achieve an erection. And while the inability to perform sexually can be caused by poor diet, obesity, and chronic health conditions, low testosterone is often a contributing factor.
Fortunately, weak erections are a treatable condition. The best way to regain your confidence and ability in bed is to speak with your doctor. Once any underlying conditions are discovered, options like TRT may be the best course of treatment.
Do you find it harder and harder to work out and lift weights in the gym? Are you having problems lifting heavy items that you once had no problem lifting?
Recent studies show that when men are inactive, they lose .5% of muscle strength every year, from ages 25 to 60. After 60, muscle loss doubles every decade. While some muscle loss is common as men age, a significant portion can be tied to low testosterone levels. When a man's T levels drop, so does his muscle mass.
Testosterone is a much-needed component used in gaining and retaining muscle mass. That's why many doctors prescribe TRT Carlstadt, NJ, for men having problems with strength. One recent study found that men who increased their testosterone levels using TRT gained as much as 2.5 pounds of muscle mass.
Whether your gym performance is lacking, or you can't lift heavy items like you used to, don't blame it all on age. You could be suffering from hypogonadism.
If you're like millions of other men in their late 20s and 30s, dealing with hair loss is a reality you don't want to face. Closely related to testosterone decline and hormone imbalances, hair loss is distressing for many men. This common symptom is often related to a derivative of testosterone called DHT. Excess amounts of DHT cause hair follicles to halt their production, causing follicles to die.
Because hair located at the front and crown is more sensitive to DHT, it grows slower than other follicles and eventually stops growing permanently. Thankfully, TRT and anti-aging treatments for men in Carlstadt, NJ, is now available to address hair loss for good.
While it's true that you can't change your genes, you can change the effects of low testosterone on your body. Whether you're suffering from thinning hair or hair loss across your entire head, TRT and other hormone therapies can stop hair loss and even reverse the process.
Also called "man boobs," gynecomastia is essentially the enlargement of male breast tissue. This increase in fatty tissue is often caused by hormonal imbalances and an increase in estrogen. For men, estrogen levels are elevated during andropause. Also called male menopause, andropause usually happens because of a lack of testosterone.
If you're a man between the ages of 40 and 55, and you're embarrassed by having large breasts, don't lose hope. TRT is a safe, effective way to eliminate the underlying cause of gynecomastia without invasive surgery. With a custom HRT and fitness program, you can bring your testosterone and estrogen levels back to normal before you know it.
Decreased energy was once considered a normal part of aging. Today, many doctors know better. Advances in technology and our understanding of testosterone show that low T and lack of energy often go hand-in-hand.
If you're struggling to enjoy activities like playing with your kids or hiking in a park due to lack of energy, it could be a sign of low T. Of course, getting tired is perfectly normal for any man. But if you're suffering from continual fatigue, a lack of enjoyment, or a decrease in energy, it might be time to speak with a doctor.
Whether you're having a tough time getting through your day or can't finish activities you used to love, TRT could help.
A study from 2011 showed that men who lose a week's worth of sleep can experience lowered testosterone levels â as much as 15%, according to experts. Additional research into the topic found almost 15% of workers only get five hours of sleep (or less) per night. These findings suggest that sleep loss negatively impacts T levels and wellbeing.
The bottom line is that men who have trouble sleeping often suffer from lower testosterone levels as a result. If you find yourself exhausted at the end of the day but toss and turn all night long, you might have low T.
TRT and anti-aging medicines can restore your T levels back to normal, which can help you sleep better with proper diet and exercise.
You're feeling down about everything, and there's no solid explanation for why you're in such a crummy mood. Your daily life is great and full of success, but you can't help but feel unexcited and unmotivated. If you're experiencing symptoms like these, you may be depressed â and it may stem from low testosterone.
A research study from Munich found that men with depression also commonly had low testosterone levels. This same study also found that depressed men had cortisol levels that were 67% higher than other men. Because higher cortisol levels lead to lower levels of testosterone, the chances of severe depression increase.
Depression is a very real disorder and should always be diagnosed and treated by your doctor. One treatment option gaining in popularity is TRT for depression. Studies show that when TRT is used to restore hormone levels, men enjoy a lighter, more improved mood. That's great news for men who are depressed and have not had success with other treatments like anti-depression medicines, which alter the brain's chemistry.
Ask anyone over the age of 50 how their memory is, and they'll tell you it wasn't what it used to be. Memory loss and lack of concentration occur naturally as we age â these aren't always signs of dementia or Alzheimer's.
However, what many men consider a symptom of age may be caused by low testosterone. A 2006 study found that males with low T levels performed poorly on cognitive skill tests. These results suggest that low testosterone may play a part in reducing cognitive ability. If you're having trouble staying on task or remembering what your schedule is for the day, it might not be due to your age. It might be because your testosterone levels are too low. If you're having trouble concentrating or remembering daily tasks, it could be time to talk to your doctor.
Why? The aforementioned study found that participating men experienced improved cognitive skills when using TRT.
Even though today's society is more inclusive of large people, few adults enjoy gaining weight as they age. Despite their best efforts, many men just can't shed the extra pounds around their midsections, increasing their risk of heart disease and cancer.
Often, male weight gain is caused by hormone imbalances that slow the metabolism and cause weight to pile on. This phase of life is called andropause and happens when there is a lack of testosterone in the body. Couple that with high cortisol levels, and you've got a recipe for flabby guts and double chins.
Fortunately, TRT treatments and physician-led weight loss programs can correct hormone imbalances and lead to healthy weight loss for men.
Sermorelin is a synthetic hormone peptide, like GHRH, which triggers the release of growth hormones. When used under the care of a qualified physician, Sermorelin can help you lose weight, increase your energy levels, and help you feel much younger.
Human growth hormone (HGH) therapy has been used for years to treat hormone deficiencies. Unlike HGH, which directly replaces declining human growth hormone levels, Sermorelin addresses the underlying cause of decreased HGH, stimulating the pituitary gland naturally. This approach keeps the mechanisms of growth hormone production active.
Benefits of Sermorelin include:
Ipamorelin helps to release growth hormones in a person's body by mimicking a peptide called ghrelin. Ghrelin is one of three hormones which work together to regulate the growth hormone levels released by the pituitary gland. Because Ipamorelin stimulates the body to produce growth hormone, your body won't stop its natural growth hormone production, which occurs with synthetic HGH.
Ipamorelin causes growth hormone secretion that resembles natural release patterns rather than being constantly elevated from HGH. Because ipamorelin stimulates the natural production of growth hormone, our patients can use this treatment long-term with fewer health risks.
One of the biggest benefits of Ipamorelin is that it is suitable for both men and women. It provides significant short and long-term benefits in age management therapies, boosting patients' overall health, wellbeing, and outlook on life. When growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland using Ipamorelin, clients report amazing benefits.
Some of those benefits include:
Whether you are considering our TRT services, HRT for women, or our growth hormone peptide services, we are here to help. The first step to turning back the hand of time starts by contacting Global Life Rejuvenation.
Our friendly, knowledgeable TRT and HRT experts can help answer your questions and walk you through our procedures. From there, we'll figure out which treatments are right for you. Before you know it, you'll be well on your way to looking and feeling better than you have in years!973-587-8638
Federico Castelluccio from "The Sopranos" (left) will be a celebrity judge at the second annual Pizza Bowl. The event is hosted by Jersey Pizza Joints, a Facebook page founded by Guy Madsen (right)CARLSTADT, NJ — It’s no secret New Jerseyans take their pizza seriously.Take one look at Gov. Murphy’s Twitter page, and you’ll see he is currently embroiled in a tongue-in-cheek social media battle with Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont over which state has the best slice.Ask anyone...
Federico Castelluccio from "The Sopranos" (left) will be a celebrity judge at the second annual Pizza Bowl. The event is hosted by Jersey Pizza Joints, a Facebook page founded by Guy Madsen (right)
CARLSTADT, NJ — It’s no secret New Jerseyans take their pizza seriously.
Take one look at Gov. Murphy’s Twitter page, and you’ll see he is currently embroiled in a tongue-in-cheek social media battle with Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont over which state has the best slice.
Ask anyone on the Jersey Pizza Joints Facebook Page, which has amassed more than 50,000 members since it launched in 2020, and it will most likely be the most common agreement with Gov. Murphy, that Jersey has the best pizza. The founder and creator of the page, Guy Madsen, says behind every pizza is a hardworking family.
“It’s not just about pizza, it's about the people behind the pizza," Madsen said.
"If you think about it, Jersey is the Napa Valley of pizza. We are to pizza what Napa Valley is to wine, maybe Central Jersey would be more Sonoma Valley. But the body of work is, we just have the best pizza. If your pizza isn’t from Jersey it probably sucks," he added.
Madsen started the Facebook group at the start of the pandemic in March 2020. He left his home in North Jersey to spend time and quarantine at his beach house in South Seaside Park. It was soon after he realized that, with restaurants shutting down and with few deliveries, he was not just missing his favorite pizza joints, but also the connection with friends, neighbors, and the community.
“There’s a little Jersey attitude," Madsen says of the Facebook group.
"We’re pretty renowned for Jersey attitude but that being said, we moderate pretty aggressively. Anything political, people vanish. It’s not a political forum. Any disrespect or threats, we tend to suspend or whack, as we call it, any bad behavior," he said. "We try to make it a safe place for people to gather. To share their favorite pizza joint, and most of all their love of all things Jersey."
What initially started as a group of 25 quickly has grown to more than 54,000 members two years later.
“I don’t care what political persuasion you are from. We are very non-political. Everyone can unite around pizza. I just haven’t found a person yet who doesn’t like pizza," he said.
The page does more than tantalize taste buds with conversations and pictures of some of the best looking slices in the state. It also brings people together for a common cause.
This Saturday, February 5, Jersey Pizza Joints will be hosting its second annual Jersey Pizza Bowl at Redd’s Restaurant and Biergarten at the Meadowlands.
At the event, 32 pizza restaurants will compete and 220 judges will decide who gets to take home the trophy for the best pizza and meatballs in New Jersey. The sold-out event will also feature giveaways, live music, and some celebrity judges like actors Federico Castelluccio from "The Sopranos," and Joseph D'Onofrio from "Goodfellas" and "A Bronx Tale."
“Those people are recognizable, the real celebrities that day are the pizza joint owners. The people that bust their hump every day to keep us fed," Madsen said. "And if you think about it, during the pandemic, they really were essential workers. We didn’t want to leave our home, but we asked others to do that. So they not only put themselves at great risk for us, but they helped keep our community together with some sense of normalcy."
As we approach Super Bowl Sunday, Madsen also points out that The Pizza Bowl trophy will be the only trophy handed out in the Meadowlands.
"Eight years ago, the Super Bowl was played in the Meadowlands. The fact that both of our teams are less than good right now, we are the only bowl that will be played in the Meadowlands this February. It’s Pizza Bowl or bust," he said.
Madsen and his group wanted to honor first responders 20 years after the September 11 attacks, and were given an opportunity to do a pizza crawl in Seaside Heights. The group raised $5,500 for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.
They’ll be raising money for the foundation once again Saturday, donating 20% of ticket sales from the Pizza Bowl.
They’re also dedicating the event to the memory of Jersey City Fire Department Capt. Mark Lee, who lost his life due to a 9/11-related illness.
"It’s the best charitable organization not only for our veterans, but our first responders that have been critically injured to the point where their quality of life isn’t there," Madsen said. "The more I’ve gotten to know them the more I’m humbled to be raising money for these good folks.”
"And Pizza is a uniting topic. It’s something we can all agree upon," he said.
New Jersey set a record for new COVID infections for a third straight day on Friday, announcing 15,630 additional confirmed cases as a late-year surge continued to wreak havoc ahead of Christmas.The new cases eclipsed Thursday's record of 15,482, itself a big jump over Wednesday's 9,711, according to state Department of Health data. Confirmed cases have skyrocketed this wee...
New Jersey set a record for new COVID infections for a third straight day on Friday, announcing 15,630 additional confirmed cases as a late-year surge continued to wreak havoc ahead of Christmas.
The new cases eclipsed Thursday's record of 15,482, itself a big jump over Wednesday's 9,711, according to state Department of Health data.
Confirmed cases have skyrocketed this week as the highly contagious omicron variant raced through the population and residents rushed to get tested ahead of travel plans and holiday gatherings. Many spent the week rambling through long lines and high waiting times at testing sites around New Jersey.
Reported hospitalizations also rose on Friday, to 2,366. That was still a far cry from the height of the pandemic in the spring of 2020 when admissions surpassed 8,000 a day and hundreds were dying. Twenty-seven COVID deaths were reported on Friday.
While case numbers are climbing, comparisons are tricky as testing options were more limited earlier in the pandemic. It's also unclear how much omicron is driving the latest increase, since state data on particular variants typically lags weeks behind the daily case numbers.
Whatever the cause, ripples of the surge could be felt across the state. Dozens of flights were delayed and canceled at Newark Liberty International Airport on Friday, as labor shortages due to increased infections compounded weather problems for airlines.
More than 2,500 commercial flights were canceled Christmas Day, according to FlightAware. A large share of the flights, more than 1,000, were canceled by Chinese airlines. About 300 were canceled by Delta, 250 by United and another 125 by JetBlue, the flight tracking website reported.
Another nearly 5,000 flights in the U.S. were delayed.
Christmas Day is one of the lightest travel days of the holiday travel rush. JetBlue is also having issues: 72 Christmas Eve flights were canceled, or 7% of its scheduled flights.
Delta said late Friday morning that it expects the cancellations to continue into Sunday, a busy travel day ahead of the new work week.
In Morristown and Newark, officials announced indoor masking and vaccination requirements to try to limit the spread. Meanwhile, RWJ Barnabas, one of the largest healthcare systems in the state, said it will limit patient visitors in its hospitals and other medical facilities starting Sunday.
As of Friday, the state had recorded more than 1.2 million cumulative COVID-19 cases and 25,888 confirmed deaths.
There have been 12,902,697 vaccination doses administered in the state. As a result, 6,177,157 people are fully vaccinated.
This article contains material from USA Today.
Daniel Sforza is the Executive Editor of The Record and NorthJersey.com. He can be reached at [email protected]
Citlalli Godinez is a local news reporter covering Southern NJ: Rutherford, East Rutherford, Lyndhurst, North Arlington, and Carlstadt. She can be reached at [email protected]
CARLSTADT — For more than a decade, knitting and crocheting fanatics have walked its aisles of large bins filled with a vast variety of yarn in all textures and colors. But the Lion Brand Yarn Outlet will soon be closing, shutting down a small sanctuary for those devoted to needlework."We will miss each of you," the store told its customers via Facebook after it announced its closing in December.For customer Darlene Dove, the Lion Brand outlet is closing too soon."This is only my secon...
CARLSTADT — For more than a decade, knitting and crocheting fanatics have walked its aisles of large bins filled with a vast variety of yarn in all textures and colors. But the Lion Brand Yarn Outlet will soon be closing, shutting down a small sanctuary for those devoted to needlework.
"We will miss each of you," the store told its customers via Facebook after it announced its closing in December.
For customer Darlene Dove, the Lion Brand outlet is closing too soon.
"This is only my second time coming here, and I'm sad to see it go," said Dove. "I have a knitting and crochet group in the Bronx, and this is where I get all my materials."
"This is about the saddest thing I've read," one customer commented on the outlet's Facebook announcement.
The outlet center was the last brick-and-mortar outpost for the Carlstadt-based Lion Brand company, which was founded in 1878 and soon began to make its mark in the fashion world. Vanna White was briefly a spokesperson for the brand, according to its website.
It opened a flagship store, the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, in Manhattan in 2008. That store closed in April 2020.
Today, Lion Bran yarns are sold online and in craft chains including Michael's and Jo-Ann stores, discount chains and independent stores. It is the leading distributor of knitting and craft yarn in the U.S.
The outlet store on Kero Road in Carlstadt is expected to close for good in late March, although there is no set date. A notice advises customers to call before coming.
The store has inventory marked down 50% and features "three to a pack" or any three packs of yarn at a discount.
Lexa Mingo took advantage of the store-closing prices on Thursday to stockpile some supplies. "Projects can get pricey, especially now, and half-price is incredible," said Mingo.
The outlet is currently open limited hours: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
After Feb. 13, days will be cut back. Check the Lion Brand Outlet Facebook page for last-minute changes.
In the end, there could be only one.There are some 2,200 pizza joints in New Jersey, and after three months of competing, one emerged as Jersey Pizza Joints' pizza king for 2022.Judges on Saturday at Redd's Biergarten in Carlstadt picked Maruca’s of Seaside Heights and Asbury Park.“I am stunned," said Domenic A. Maruca, who has been making pizza for 50 years and said his family has been in the pizza business since 1950. “This is going to help us build our business, and we plan to giv...
In the end, there could be only one.
There are some 2,200 pizza joints in New Jersey, and after three months of competing, one emerged as Jersey Pizza Joints' pizza king for 2022.
Judges on Saturday at Redd's Biergarten in Carlstadt picked Maruca’s of Seaside Heights and Asbury Park.
“I am stunned," said Domenic A. Maruca, who has been making pizza for 50 years and said his family has been in the pizza business since 1950. “This is going to help us build our business, and we plan to give back to the community."
Story continues after gallery
The atmosphere was a pizza party on steroids as hundreds were crammed into Redd’s, drinking beer and wine and eating pizza and meatballs.
Meatballs? A new event was added to the event this year: New Jersey’s best meatballs.
Taking home JPJ’s first meatball prize was PizzAmore Italian Kitchen of Carlstadt.
”I am very surprised,” said owner John Speciale. “I got great people working with me, and we are all excited.”
Saturday's event wasn’t for the faint of stomach but required hundreds of judges, by and large members of the Jersey Pizza Joints Facebook group. Five grueling rounds tested the palates of pizza aficionados.
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Sixteen of the most esteemed pizza joints — four from each region, North, South, Central and the Shore — competed on Saturday.
The four regional winners then engaged in a final throw-down.
The 16 pizza makers competing at Redd's were:
Celebrity judges, hard-core pizza guys and a smattering of local character actors, Alex Corrado, Federico Castelluccio and Joe D'Onofrio, picked their favorite pies.
Compared with the first year's contest, held at Redd's Biergarten in New Brunswick, this year's contest was more organized and had way more to offer.
Mozzarella makers and other purveyors of pizza paraphernalia were on hand to create a carnival atmosphere.
The voting began in late fall when the 50,000-plus members of the Jersey Pizza Joints Facebook group were asked to vote for their favorite places.
They narrowed the field to 200 from each region. A few weeks later the field was narrowed to 32, then 18, eight and the final four from each region.
There were some surprises, including that last year’s winner, Pizza Terminal of Verona, didn’t make the final cut.
Owner Scott Rafferty said, just before this year's voting began, that winning the first Pizza Bowl put his shop on the map.
"I got people in from Cherry Hill, Albany, even California who said they wanted to try our No. 1 pie," Rafferty said. "Sometimes I have people waiting to come in when I open."
That was the point of creating Jersey Pizza Joints, said Guy Madsen, a Clifton resident who started the Facebook group with 25 of his buddies during the claustrophobic early days of the pandemic, while holed up in his Seaside Heights shore house.
The goal was to help the mom-and-pop pizza joints get through an epic lockdown, Madsen said.
He hit a nerve — or perhaps a taste bud — because a group that began with about two dozen members has grown to 54,600 members from 99 countries.
Jerseyans are passionate about their pizza, and for many their local pizzeria is both a source of comfort food and a point of culinary pride.
”I always say North Jersey is like the Napa Valley for pizza,” Madsen said. “Central Jersey and the Shore are like Sonoma.”
South Jersey has its own style, like tomato pies, he added.
Although there could be only one winner of the second annual Jersey Pizza Bowl, the real winners are the members of Jersey Pizza Joints' Facebook group and the pizza parlors that New Jerseyans frequent.
"Our love of pizza is the one thing we can agree on," Madsen said.
Matt Fagan is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
In January of last year, I wrote about Jersey Pizza Joints (JPJ), a Facebook group created by New Jersey native Guy Madsen. At the time of publication, the page was on the verge of surpassing 10,000 followers. Fast forward 13 months—and hundreds of uploaded pictures of the Garden State’s finest pizzas—and JPJ is about to crack 55,000 followers.What started out as a fun place ...
In January of last year, I wrote about Jersey Pizza Joints (JPJ), a Facebook group created by New Jersey native Guy Madsen. At the time of publication, the page was on the verge of surpassing 10,000 followers. Fast forward 13 months—and hundreds of uploaded pictures of the Garden State’s finest pizzas—and JPJ is about to crack 55,000 followers.
What started out as a fun place for amateur critics to talk about their favorite food and often debate what’s well-done versus what’s burned has evolved into something much greater. Scores of small pizzerias have benefited from the extra attention they’ve received from the Facebook group. This attention has made a monetary difference during the pandemic as well.
In addition, through JPJ, Madsen has helped raise thousands of dollars of donations for the Tunnels to Towers Foundation (T2T), a 501(c)3 created to help first responders. “Helping small businesses and giving back to those who help us is what really matters,” Madsen told me. “And to do it with our great Jersey pizzas, well, that just makes it more enjoyable.”
This past weekend, Jersey Pizza Joint’s second annual Pizza Bowl took place at Redd’s Biergarten, in Carlstadt, NJ, in the shadow of MetLife Stadium. Thanks to the growing popularity of the group—and perhaps with the addition of a meatball competition—attendance increased fivefold from the inaugural event.
Four regions of semifinalists representing the state’s North, South, Jersey Shore and Central—yes there IS a Central New Jersey—served up their best plain cheese slices and meatballs to discerning judges who purchased tickets to vote for the finalists.
Advancing to the final in their respective regions:
As the house band, Aloha Monkey, jammed out, a carnival-like atmosphere of acrobatic pizza tossing, ice sculptures, and fresh-“mootz”-making classes, from Annabella’s House of Mozzarella kept the crowd busy and entertained in between judging. Meanwhile, behind the swinging door, the Redd’s kitchen was packed with world-class pizzaiolos busy working their tails off for the finale.
The final round was an invitation-only list of judges, local pizza experts The Pizza Hulk and Johnny C “The Pizza Guy,” as well as actors Joey D’Onofrio, Alex Corrado, and Frederico Castellucio. Castellucio, often recognized as Furio on The Sopranos, took the judging very seriously, pointing out to me, “I believe this sauce has added sugar,” as he marked his scorecard.
The VIPs ultimately crowned Maruca’s Tomato Pies as Best Pizza in Pizza Bowl 2. Domenic Maruca told NorthJersey.com reporter Matt Fagan he was “stunned to win.”
As the event’s official vote counter, I can tell you that all of the pizza finalists received a significant amount of shared love, with the Seaside Heights landmark ultimately taking the crown. The title of Best Meatballs, however, was a landslide victory for John Speciale, of PizzAmore Italian Kitchen, in Carlstadt. The charismatic Speciale walked to the stage to a chorus of “meatball Johnny” chants and seemed genuinely humbled. “I am very surprised to win,” he said, proudly raising his trophy.
Pizza Bowl 2 was dedicated to the memory of Captain Mark Lee, of the Jersey City Fire Department. In 2014, Lee succumbed to an illness directly related to working near the fallen towers following 9/11. His wife, Cheryl Lee, attended, along with several firefighters from his department for a brief ceremony in his honor.
The idea behind the old adage “it takes a village” has never been truer. The success of Guy Madsen’s Pizza Bowl vision is the direct result of teamwork from friends, family, and a Carlstadt restaurant full of pizza lovers (not to mention all the nominees willing to leave their restaurants during the Saturday night rush). Kudos to this year’s winners. I look forward to seeing if they can repeat at next year’s Pizza Bowl 3!
Photos courtesy of Johnny C “The Pizza Guy” and Adam Horvath.