There's a very simple maxim I find absolutely essential for my physical wellbeing: Never cook yourself when other people can do it for you. I find this rule justified in places like , which, despite its whole-in-the-wall first impression, ended up being a pretty enjoyable experience.
The garlic knots were heaven in a plate – or rather, bowl, since a bowl was required for the garlic and olive oil sauce with endless chunks of garlic, and the bread was steaming hot with airy deliciousness.
The chef's salad was pretty much what you would expect from a pizza place, iceberg lettuce with deli meats and cheeses and fresh tomatoes.
Among the available entrees are a wide variety of chicken, veal and seafood options, including marsala, francese and parmagiana, plus eggplant parmagiana. The pasta with clam sauce (diners can choose red or white sauce, mild or spicy) was a delectable surprise, with enough food to share without skimping and still have some for leftovers.
And the pizza? The pizza was, in a word, irresistable. It had a thick foundation of dough (which is a nice change now and then from the thin crust that New Jerseyans seem to prefer), not too greasy and a generous portion of pepperoni on top and not overly cooked, so that when it came time to heat up the leftover slices in the microwave they still tasted like real pizza and not like, well, leftovers.
Only the arrival of the dishes marred the meal. Though the garlic knots were ordered first, they did not arrive until almost the end of the meal, almost concurrent with the pizza. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate food coming to the table as soon as it's ready, but the lack of cohesion to the meal was rather noticeable. Since the garlic knots were well worth waiting for, though, it may be a forgiveable flaw.
Hickory Tree Square Pizzeria is open at 10 a.m. daily and closes at 9 p.m. Sunday and Monday, at 10 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday and at 10:30 p.m. at 10:30 p.m. Friday.