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TOMATO PIE


Rich Pawlak
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I'm working on something and I am in search of the great tomato pies in the area.

I've classified the pies into three categories:the room temperature baking sheet version with sauce and grated cheeese, usually found in Italian bakeries; the Trenton version, which is thin crust crushed tomatoes and cheese; and the NE Philly version, with cheese on the bottom, topped with spicy red sauce.

So far, I have:

Delorenzo's of Hudson St., Trenton

Marchiano's in Manayunk

Franco & Luigi's of South Philly

Tony's , NE Philly

Grey Lodge, NE Philly

What I'm really interested in are the room-temperature tomato pies, rather than the hot versions, though I am looking to see if there are any other NE Philly versions. I believe Cacia's and Sarcone's also make baking sheet versions, but are there others worth investigating?

As always, thanks in advance for your suggestions!

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

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Room temp tomato pies are more a carry-out thing than an eat-in thing, aren't they? I'd think to go someplace like the Corropolese bakery in Norristown or its offspring institution in Limerick for one before any restaurant.

Edited by cdh (log)

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Room temp tomato pies are more a carry-out thing than an eat-in thing, aren't they?  I'd think to go someplace like the Corropolese bakery in Norristown or its offspring institution in Limerick for one before any restaurant.

Thanks, Chris! I forgot about that truly excellent version of room temperature tomato pie! Outstanding!

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

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I'm working on something and I am in search of the great tomato pies in the area.

I've classified the pies into three categories:the room temperature baking sheet version with sauce and grated cheeese, usually found in Italian bakeries; the Trenton version, which is thin crust crushed tomatoes and cheese; and the NE Philly version, with cheese on the bottom, topped with spicy red sauce.

So far, I have:

Delorenzo's of Hudson St., Trenton

Marchiano's in Manayunk

Franco & Luigi's of South Philly

Tony's , NE Philly

Grey Lodge, NE Philly

What I'm really interested in are the room-temperature tomato pies, rather than the hot versions, though I am looking to see if there are any other NE Philly versions.  I believe Cacia's and Sarcone's also make baking sheet versions, but are there others worth investigating?

As always, thanks in advance for your suggestions!

Several people I know in the Warminster/Hatboro area love Altamonte's, they make the room-temperature, tomato-with-grated-cheese variety.

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I'm a pretty big fan of the tomato pie at Carlino's in Ardmore. Their pie fits into the large, baking sheet style with one major exception: no cheese. It's a fairly thick crust with crushed tomatoes (not sauce) made zesty by lots of garlic, herbs and, methinks, a dash of anchovy. Room temp, to-go only. You can order ahead for whole or half pies or buy by the slice but pay by the pound as a walk-in.

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What I'm really interested in are the room-temperature tomato pies, rather than the hot versions, though I am looking to see if there are any other NE Philly versions.  I believe Cacia's and Sarcone's also make baking sheet versions, but are there others worth investigating?

As always, thanks in advance for your suggestions!

Rich: they have one on the case at DiBruno's new store on Chestunut. Not sure if it's their own (probably is)or from a local bakery.

Ianelli's on Passyunk also has one. I've gone there when Sarcone's is sold out.

Steve R

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What's a tomato pie?

Recipe please

Well, this isnt the forum for recipes, but essentially, in these parts, "tomato pie" is a pizza variation that appears in the Philly area in primarily three ways: as a sheet pan pizza dough topped with thick tomato sauce and (often) grated cheese, sold room temperature at many Italian bread bakeries with retail stores, most commonly found in the Northwest and Western quadrants of the metro area (Manayunk, Germantown, Norristown). I've heard it called "Germantown style tomato pie" more than a few times, but it is also found in Bucks County. The second distinct version is NE Philly tomato pie, a round crust with cheese (often provalone) on the bottom and the tomato sauce on top, served hot. The third distinct version is the Trenton, NJ version, where pizza is rarely called anything but tomato pie. This is a thin round crust with cheese topped with lighter amount of crushed tomatoes, so that the end result LOOKS like pizza, but the overall experience, taste, texture, etc., is completely different. And there are variations, as mentioned above, with either square or round crust topped with just tomatioes, just sauce, or sauce with a very very light smattering of shredded cheese.

Excuse me, I just got very very hungry.

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

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I should note that Celebre's in the Packer Park shopping center in South Philly serves a Northeast Philly-style tomato pie (see the latest Pizza Club report), but its tomato sauce is sweet.

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Sarcone's anyone? Anyone? Bueller???

There's also a place in Manayunk that's uphill from Main Street that has (supposedly) killer tomato pie as well as really awesome Pepperoni bread that I have loved in the past.

edited to add:

Marciano's Bakery

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Sarcone's anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller???

There's also a place in Manayunk that's uphill from Main Street that has (supposedly) killer tomato pie as well as really awesome Pepperoni bread that I have loved in the past.

edited to add:

Marciano's Bakery

As mentioned in my initial post.

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

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I'm working on something and I am in search of the great tomato pies in the area.

I've classified the pies into three categories:the room temperature baking sheet version with sauce and grated cheeese, usually found in Italian bakeries; the Trenton version, which is thin crust crushed tomatoes and cheese; and the NE Philly version, with cheese on the bottom, topped with spicy red sauce.

So far, I have:

Delorenzo's of Hudson St., Trenton

Marchiano's in Manayunk

Franco & Luigi's of South Philly

Tony's , NE Philly

Grey Lodge, NE Philly

What I'm really interested in are the room-temperature tomato pies, rather than the hot versions, though I am looking to see if there are any other NE Philly versions.  I believe Cacia's and Sarcone's also make baking sheet versions, but are there others worth investigating?

As always, thanks in advance for your suggestions!

The Italian Bakery in Conshohocken has a very good room temperature version.

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What I'm really interested in are the room-temperature tomato pies, rather than the hot versions, though I am looking to see if there are any other NE Philly versions.  I believe Cacia's and Sarcone's also make baking sheet versions, but are there others worth investigating?

I've been using room temp pies from Cesare's Ristorante in Bristol for my Blues Cruises on the Riverboat. Very good, we had 70 plus people on the boat and the 5 pies (25 pieces per) went quickly along with 10 2 foot long Italian hoagies from Mazzanti's.

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Well, this isnt the forum for recipes, but essentially, in these parts, "tomato pie" is a pizza variation that appears in the Philly area in primarily three ways...

All three ways are, or can be, terrific; and all are very very different. Rich, I'm curious: do you see a characteristic that links them, other than the name?

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I've never tried them, but the tomato pies from Gaeta's Italian Bakery on Castor Ave. are supposed to be good. Take-out only. Found that out when I called them-- they were a possible Pizza Club stop. Rather limited hours too-- Wed and Thur 11-6, Fri and Sat 11-7 and Sun 11-4.

"Fat is money." (Per a cracklings maker shown on Dirty Jobs.)
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Well, this isnt the forum for recipes, but essentially, in these parts, "tomato pie" is a pizza variation that appears in the Philly area in primarily three ways...

All three ways are, or can be, terrific; and all are very very different. Rich, I'm curious: do you see a characteristic that links them, other than the name?

I see no connection except for delving into the geneology of each and discovering when and why they evolved.

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

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I've never tried them, but the tomato pies from Gaeta's Italian Bakery on Castor Ave. are supposed to be good.  Take-out only.  Found that out when I called them-- they were a possible Pizza Club stop.  Rather limited hours too-- Wed and Thur 11-6, Fri and Sat 11-7 and Sun 11-4.

Jan, do you know if the Gaeta's version is served hot or room temp? Round or square?

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

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I'm working on something and I am in search of the great tomato pies in the area.

I've classified the pies into three categories:the room temperature baking sheet version with sauce and grated cheeese, usually found in Italian bakeries; the Trenton version, which is thin crust crushed tomatoes and cheese; and the NE Philly version, with cheese on the bottom, topped with spicy red sauce.

So far, I have:

Delorenzo's of Hudson St., Trenton

Marchiano's in Manayunk

Franco & Luigi's of South Philly

Tony's , NE Philly

Grey Lodge, NE Philly

What I'm really interested in are the room-temperature tomato pies, rather than the hot versions, though I am looking to see if there are any other NE Philly versions.  I believe Cacia's and Sarcone's also make baking sheet versions, but are there others worth investigating?

As always, thanks in advance for your suggestions!

The Italian Bakery in Conshohocken has a very good room temperature version.

Do you have an address for this bakery?

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

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I've never tried them, but the tomato pies from Gaeta's Italian Bakery on Castor Ave. are supposed to be good.  Take-out only.  Found that out when I called them-- they were a possible Pizza Club stop.  Rather limited hours too-- Wed and Thur 11-6, Fri and Sat 11-7 and Sun 11-4.

Jan, do you know if the Gaeta's version is served hot or room temp? Round or square?

I just called-- they will make them hot if you want but they generally serve them at room temperature. They're a square pie, and the basic version is tomato and parmesan. They will add mozzarella if you want.

"Fat is money." (Per a cracklings maker shown on Dirty Jobs.)
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I've never tried them, but the tomato pies from Gaeta's Italian Bakery on Castor Ave. are supposed to be good.  Take-out only.  Found that out when I called them-- they were a possible Pizza Club stop.  Rather limited hours too-- Wed and Thur 11-6, Fri and Sat 11-7 and Sun 11-4.

Jan, do you know if the Gaeta's version is served hot or room temp? Round or square?

I just called-- they will make them hot if you want but they generally serve them at room temperature. They're a square pie, and the basic version is tomato and parmesan. They will add mozzarella if you want.

Sounds like Don Giovani's on Street Rd in Feasterville, another superb bakery tomato pie. Now I'm hungry again.

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

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There is a DVD out about Tomato Pies, here's where I read about it:

http://www.roadsideonline.com/armchair/boo...eeyedmovie.html

Yeah, this is a wonderful video all about the Trenton Tomato Pie phenomenon; and they went to all the right places, too.

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

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I'm a pretty big fan of the tomato pie at Carlino's in Ardmore.  Their pie fits into the large, baking sheet style with one major exception: no cheese.  It's a fairly thick crust with crushed tomatoes (not sauce) made zesty by lots of garlic, herbs and, methinks, a dash of anchovy.  Room temp, to-go only.  You can order ahead for whole or half pies or buy by the slice but pay by the pound as a walk-in.

Thanks for the Carlino's recommendation, David. I gave the tomato pie a try on my way home today, and it's pretty great. Very thick crust, great sauce-- I didn't taste anchovy, but there's a nice bite of rosemary.

My only complaint is that the crust was a tiny bit gummy. That may be because it had been sitting around since the morning; or because it's kept at slightly below room temperature. It might benefit from a little spell in the oven once it gets home. If I can wait that long to eat it, that is.

Carlino's seems like a neat place, by the way; I'd never heard of them (my ignorance; I don't know the Main Line at all), but they have a nice selection of prepared foods, good-looking breads, and lots of homemade pasta. I picked up some frozen tortellini which I intend to cook up in some brodo for a quick dinner one of these days...

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rich et al. If Wilmington De. is considered "in the area", then i'll throw my hat into the ring. I own Black Lab Breads, a bakery on union st. in wilm. de. It was formerly Difonzos bakery. they were known for their tomato pie, soooo i had to continue making the tomato pie. Well, i didn't HAVE to, but the neighborhood really, really wanted me too. The problem was i really never liked tomato pie... at all. Every version seemed to consist of bread dough pressed into a sheet pan, sauced and baked, producing a rather heavy doughy piece of pie with a wet layer of dough under the sauce called a "gumline"

Anyway, our dough is a focaccia base. We bake it directly on the hearth stone giving a very crisp bottom, an open holey interior and a top with very little or no gumline. comes about an inch to inch an a half thick I found out one thing real quick: Old school italians do NOT like change!!! The vast majority, however, like it much better. I have some pics of the pie and the dough (i know i do, somewhere) that are being uploaded to the website. If i can dig them up, i'll post 'em.

ciao.

...and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce it tastes alot more like prunes than rhubarb does. groucho

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