For the past 10 years, Lubrano’s Pizzeria and Restaurant at 1830 Easton Ave. in the Somerset section of Franklin has gotten used to being Central Jerseyans go-to for fresh, homemade pizzas.
The family-run Italian eatery opened on Nov. 14, 2006. Its most popular pies include a spaghetti and meatball pie, a vegetable pie and the stuffed pizza special, which includes ricotta, mozzarella, sausage, ham, salami and prosciutto. Angie Lubrano, co-owner of Lubrano’s Pizzeria and Restaurant alongside Joe Lubrano, says that their secret to success is quite simple.
“It’s all about the ingredients. People think it’s about the water, but it’s much more than that,” she said. “This is the real deal. It isn’t little Caesar’s — it’s made from scratch with homemade sauce.”
Angie Lubrano said that the restaurant, which makes 200 pizzas a day, heavily focuses on the quality of their pizza, opting for more expensive and high-quality ingredients. “Cheese recently went up 21 cents a pound, but we aren’t going to go somewhere else to save,” she said. “We don’t take shortcuts.”
Today, Lubrano’s Pizzeria and Restaurant has built on its original pizza-making practices with unusual pies such as a lasagna pie, shrimp marinara pizza, Cluck U chicken tenders pizza, eggplant rollatini pizza and a stuffed cheesesteak pie.
The array of offerings has earned the eatery frequent business of the corporations that fill Somerset — including one particular businessman that Angie Lubrano got a call from this past Halloween.
“A man called me up from the runway of the Newark airport at 8:15 p.m. and said, ‘I know you close at 9 p.m., but I have to have your pizza before I have to leave New Jersey again. Please, oh please, leave me a pizza at the front desk of my hotel!’”
Usually, Angie Lubrano said she would be hesitant to do such a thing, but the man was desperate, so she complied. When she arrived at the hotel, the woman at the hotel concierge told her, “I have to take extra good care of this pizza or this man will kill me.”
Even though Lubrano’s itself has been a favorite of Somerset for 10 years, the location certainly isn’t the first place that the Lubrano family has been cooking up pies.
Angie Lubrano learned how to make pizza from her father, Salvatore Lubrano, who learned the craft himself from his brother-in-law, Jerry Costagliola, while he was living in Italy from 1937 to 1970.
Salvatore Lubrano, who worked as a fisherman while he was living in Italy, decided to take his hobby to the next level once he moved to Brooklyn in 1970.
“We were practically born making pizza,” Angie Lubrano said. “Every weekend, we would go to work with him.”
The family opened their first parlor, Pizza Plaza, in New Brunswick in 1974 and once it closed in 1986, they opened another, Sal’s, again in New Brunswick in 1987, which closed its doors in 1996.
Joe Lubrano, son of Salvatore Lubrano, who is now 80 years old, opened Margaritas in New Brunswick in 1997, which then closed in 2006. Then, Angie and Joe Lubrano opened Lubrano’s Pizzeria and Restaurant in 2006, following in their father’s footsteps.
“We learned how to make pizza from our dad,” said Angie Lubrano. “It was his American dream to open a pizza parlor here.”
LUBRANO’S PIZZERIA AND RESTAURANT
Where: 1830 Easton Ave, Somerset