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Pathetic Pizza


RonV
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Obviously the bulk of talk on this board is high end cuisine, but I have to ask, why is it so hard to find a decent pizza? How pathetic is it that Dominos is now undoubtedly (but embarrassingly) my first option, only because I know they can't screw up a thin crust pie?

Today I got Jake's, at Broad and Race. Is this even pizza? It's undercooked, the cheese is so low-grade it wouldn't melt and the sausage looks like deer droppings. The wings are so hapless they seem to be swimming in some sort of tasteless glaze/slime. The celery is brown on the edges.

This comes a week after ordering from another local pizzeria which delivered a pie that rivaled Elio's frozen pizza in everything from the crust to the sparse, barely melted cheese.

I always thought the saying was, even bad pizza is still pizza. Well, these recent outings have changed my mind. Even a visit to LaScalas's (Apollo) was disappointing as the crust was incredibly greasy.

PLEASE HELP! Where can I get a passable delivered pizza in the Chinatown/Center City East area?

Edited by RonV (log)
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Yeah, Philadelphia is plagued by a lot of really awful pizza places. The only delivery pizza I've been happy with is Pizza Rustica on 2nd St. in Northern Liberties. Their pizza is good; and if you crisp up the crust on a pizza stone, it's very good. I'll typically get their Quattro Stagioni pie (with mushrooms, artichokes and prosciutto) or their Schiacciata (a white pizza with spinach and prosciutto).

Their number is (215) 627-1393; I think they'll deliver to your neighborhood.

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Sorry for the rant. It's just very disappointing how restaurants can set such low standards for themselves. But maybe that's another thread.

Anyway, to be fair, I found that digging into my spice rack and 10 more minutes in a very hot oven salvaged the pizza, to at least make it edible.

And on Sunday I tried NYPD Pizza, which was much better. Still undercooked, but a few min in the oven and it was fine.

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it was a good rant, don't worry!

as andrew mentioned, try rustica. one thing it's never been in the dozens of times we've gotten it is undercooked -- it tends toward the other end of the spectrum in fact.

when we used to order from this place in our neighborhood (randazzo's), we used to ask for the pizza well done to make sure they left it in long enough. that might help with some of the crappier places. it won't salvage generic craptacular greek pizza, though. nothing will.

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Zio's on 13th between walnut and chestnut is pretty good, as is Top Tomato, just down Walnut on 11th.

I still love Gay Pizza, right across from Woody's (13th between Walnut and Locust). It's got a thin but crispy crust with a nice honkin chewy outer crust, always fresh (because there's so much traffic in and out of the joint) and especially at 2AM until close. Great BBQ chicken slice as well.

I've only had Slice one time (it's down at 1180 S 10th St, Philadelphia 19147 At Annin St ) but it's delicious. More gourmet-style than any of the above.

And Layla, I just had my first Papa John's. DO NOT WANT!

Edited by mattohara (log)

--

matt o'hara

finding philly

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Zio's on 13th between walnut and chestnut is pretty good, as is Top Tomato, just down Walnut on 11th.

I still love Gay Pizza, right across from Woody's (13th between Walnut and Locust).  It's got a thin but crispy crust with a nice honkin chewy outer crust, always fresh (because there's so much traffic in and out of the joint) and especially at 2AM until close.  Great BBQ chicken slice as well.

I've only had Slice one time (it's down at  1180 S 10th St,  Philadelphia 19147 At Annin St ) but it's delicious.  More gourmet-style than any of the above.

And Layla, I just had my first Papa John's

Slice is hands down the best pizza in the area. (Thanks scase805 for turning us on to this.) The Americana is an awesome pizza in the Trenton tomato pie style -- cheese laid down first in moderation, then chunky tomato sauce on top, in this case made from San Marzanos.

In fact, the owner told us that his inspiration to open the place was De Lorenzo's in Trenton, specifically the Hudson St. location, though he's completely forthcoming about the fact that you'll have to go to Trenton if you want the real thing.

We've also had the caramelized onion and goat cheese pie, which was delicious.

They deliver, how far away I'm not sure.

Also, funny anecdote: our server used a can opener to open my drink and then left me to remove the cap from the bottle; she then apologized, saying that she doesn't like to touch the area where you put your mouth, as she handles money, etc. Our kind of people.

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I worked at 5th and Chestnut for a bit and for the first few months couldnt find a decent slice of Pizza until I found (although sacreligious (sp?) NYPD pizza. If you get the fresh mozz, it is quite good. Also good in the area is Pietro's off of South Street as well as Soho on Market St.

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I used to work on North American St. and we'd order from Rustica all the time. Loved it. NYPD is good too for work day in Center City. Can't help with delivery in your area, but does anyone have any good ideas in the Art Museum/Fairmount area?

Siouxsie

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Dolce Carini is pretty good. They're on Chestnut, I think between 18th and 19th. I'm not sure about their delivery radius. The only problem is that they're closed on Sunday and every other day they close at 9 PM. I don't know about everyone else, but at least 75 percent of my pizza cravings occur after 9 PM or on Sunday.

Edited by HD73 (log)
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Inspired by this thread, I ordered a half Margherita, half Eggplant Parmesan large pizza from Slice to share with my coworker before our shift tonight and picked it up on the way in to work. This is serious pie. I got a menu and since they deliver, their driver is going to be seeing a lot of Chick's in the near future. The pie was delicious and I can hardly wait to try some of their salads, which also look spectacular. Great stuff and I thank you all for the heads up. I'll undoubtedly be dropping a lot of coin into their register in the foreseeable future.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

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Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Thanks for all the suggestions guys. Thought I'd be adventurous and find a gem on my own. What foolish thinking.

Of course all the recent eating has led me to a new waistline that's screaming for me to get on a diet. So no pizza anytime soon. But at least I've got some options once I drop a few pounds.

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Of course all the recent eating has led me to a new waistline that's screaming for me to get on a diet. So no pizza anytime soon. But at least I've got some options once I drop a few pounds.

Or you could be like me and take comfort in the fact that larger size pants are available (for now....hopefully) :sad:

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For all the Rustica lovers, I just found a menu in my purse... the 11th Street outpost is at 248 South 11th Street, 215-923-9134. Open til 10pm during the week, 11 on Friday/Saturday, and 9pm Sunday.

I've always been happy with their slices, except the chicken with ranch dressing, and I kind of think that was a lapse in judgment on my part, more than a failure of craftsmanship on theirs.

Cooking and writing and writing about cooking at the SIMMER blog

Pop culture commentary at Intrepid Media

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  • 1 month later...

Bumping this up to say that we had a margherita pizza delivered from Slice last night. That's a very, very good pizza, one of the best I've had in the city. It's a different style from Rustica, and I like 'em both, so it's great to have another option.

N.B.: the delivery time on a Friday night was an hour and fifteen minutes, and when it arrived it wasn't as hot as it could have been. I should have anticipated this and heated up the pizza stone in the oven for a couple of minutes' crisping; next time, I will.

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Zio's on 13th between walnut and chestnut is pretty good, as is Top Tomato, just down Walnut on 11th.

I still love Gay Pizza, right across from Woody's (13th between Walnut and Locust).  It's got a thin but crispy crust with a nice honkin chewy outer crust, always fresh (because there's so much traffic in and out of the joint) and especially at 2AM until close.  Great BBQ chicken slice as well.

I've only had Slice one time (it's down at  1180 S 10th St,  Philadelphia 19147 At Annin St ) but it's delicious.  More gourmet-style than any of the above.

Slice is hands down the best pizza in the area. (Thanks scase805 for turning us on to this.) The Americana is an awesome pizza in the Trenton tomato pie style -- cheese laid down first in moderation, then chunky tomato sauce on top, in this case made from San Marzanos.

In fact, the owner told us that his inspiration to open the place was De Lorenzo's in Trenton, specifically the Hudson St. location, though he's completely forthcoming about the fact that you'll have to go to Trenton if you want the real thing.

We've also had the caramelized onion and goat cheese pie, which was delicious.

They deliver, how far away I'm not sure.

Also, funny anecdote: our server used a can opener to open my drink and then left me to remove the cap from the bottle; she then apologized, saying that she doesn't like to touch the area where you put your mouth, as she handles money, etc. Our kind of people.

Inspired by this thread, I ordered a half Margherita, half Eggplant Parmesan large pizza from Slice to share with my coworker before our shift tonight and picked it up on the way in to work.  This is serious pie.  I got a menu and since they deliver, their driver is going to be seeing a lot of Chick's in the near future.  The pie was delicious and I can hardly wait to try some of their salads, which also look spectacular.  Great stuff and I thank you all for the heads up.  I'll undoubtedly be dropping a lot of coin into their register in the foreseeable future.

Bumping this up to say that we had a margherita pizza delivered from Slice last night.  That's a very, very good pizza, one of the best I've had in the city.  It's a different style from Rustica, and I like 'em both, so it's great to have another option.

mattohara: The quality of the pizza at the 13th Street Pizzeria improved dramatically when the current owners took over. When the place was called "OK Pizza," it didn't live up to even that modest standard -- the pies were truly awful. Now they're decent. And if you get them late at night, they're fresh because of the high traffic in that place at club closing time.

__________

Apparently I live in what passes for Pizza Heaven around here. Of the places mentioned around me, the only one I have yet to try is Zio's. Personally, I'd rank them in this order: NYPD, Gianfranca Pizza Rustica, 13th Street, Top Tomato.

I tried to organize a Best Of Review Tour segment that would have included a visit to Slice. Where were all of you when I put that out on the table? :angry: Now I guess I'll just have to drop in all by my lonesome on one of my weekly grocery runs instead of dropping in on Rene at Rim Cafe.

I'd wondered whether there was a way one could re-crisp a steamed-in-the-box delivery pie. I don't have a stone, however. Would just putting it on the oven rack or my pizza screen work?

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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It used to drive me crazy when I was a kid because I'd have to wait for it, but my father used to always order pizzas half-baked. That way it could be finished in the oven without overcooking it.

Alex's in Roxborough still does half-baked pies.

I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer...

Homer Simpson

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I'd wondered whether there was a way one could re-crisp a steamed-in-the-box delivery pie.  I don't have a stone, however.  Would just putting it on the oven rack or my pizza screen work?

I've put pizza on a baking sheet, and it works okay, but not as well as a stone. You can get a pizza stone for like $20; if you eat pizza regularly, it's probably worth it.

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I'd wondered whether there was a way one could re-crisp a steamed-in-the-box delivery pie.  I don't have a stone, however.  Would just putting it on the oven rack or my pizza screen work?

I've reheated pizza on the stovetop, in a flat (not one with ridges), round cast iron griddle pan. I spray the pan with a cooking spray and start the slice in a cold pan. Once things warm up, I cover the slice with a large pan lid, to heat the top a bit and get things melting. Then I'll take the lid off to allow the crust to get crispy. Heat to your desired degree of reheatedness. This method usually gets the crust crisper than when I first got the pizza! Granted, this method only works for a slice or two at a time, though, depending on the size of the slices and your pan.

"Fat is money." (Per a cracklings maker shown on Dirty Jobs.)
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