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Aug 29, 2007 04:33 PM

Ohio style pizza in LA?

Laugh all you want, Donatos Pizza got me through college and brings back fond memories. Thin crust, toppings to the edge, and most important - provolone cheese instead of mozz. Anyone had anything similar here? I did a search for donatos and provolone pizza - found one place in Los Feliz - Palermos?

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  1. I been eating Palermo's for 30 years and i like it for what it is and cold it is great, like Petrillo's, but I do not think it uses provolone and it ain't thin crust, and I do not think the toppings go to the edge. Sorry to burst your bubble. Palermo's is good though, try Vitos for a NY and try Petrillo's in San Gabriel on Valley, one of my faves, not NY and not deep dish, a chicago friend told me Petrillo's is regular chicago style, I just like it enough to drive the 13 miles!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Burger Boy

      Petrillo's is definitely the best in California

    2. While I've never seen this at Palermo's, they're pretty accomodating, and would probably do it if asked.

      I'm also kind of fascinated; I lived in Ohio for 8 years (4 years Kent, 4 years Columbus) and never ran across this. On the other hand, until I lived in Ohio, I'd never run across "Johnny Marzetti" either, and THAT was, but apparently is no longer uniquely Ohian; it's apparently now got a Panamanian following, as well...

      r gould-saltman

      12 Replies
      1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

        Well, Rich, when I was a teen my mom used to make a casserole called "Johnny Marzetti" and I'm talking about here, in L.A., in the 1970's. I have the recipe although I've never made it since I left home.

        The pizza that the OP is seeking seems close to the pizza I saw when working in St. Louis a few years ago, although I think that was square and had a cheese called "provel" on it, whatever that is. Super thin crust.

        1. re: Debbie W

          what about ohio pizza with sauerkraut? has anybody seen that around town?

          1. re: Debbie W

            Yea the crust is very thin like a cracker almost. I think its the thin crust + the provolone cheese that makes it Ohio style. I was thinking of trying to just make it myself, but I don't know how to make a thin crust dough....

            1. re: Debbie W

              Debbie W : "Provel" = Provolone, as per the OP's initial request. There's an older thread on the Not About Food board that discusses an eastcoast (New Jersey) tendency to verbally shorten italian food terms ( mozzarel = mozzarella, manigot = manicotti, etc).

              1. re: silence9

                Actually Provel is a brand name of a processed cheese food containing cheddar, Swiss and provolone. It's pronounced "proh-VELL", unlike Ital-Am shortenings which would probably result in "proo-vuh-LOHN" and is pretty much unique to St. Louis.

                And since we're going for unfindable kinds of pizza here, I want a Minnesota-style pizza with Canadian bacon, pineapple and sauerkraut.

                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  Absolutely correct, Uber -- Provel cheese is related to provolone, but it is "fluffier" and softer, melting very easily. I've only encountered it around St. Louis, where it tops pizza and also is included in Italian-style salads. I'm in the minority on this board in that I love and crave St. Louis style pizza -- one of my first and often last stops from the airport is Cafe Manhattan in Clayton or their cousin Uptown Cafe -- prefer them over the Imo's chain and the favorite of my youth, Frank & Helen's, which I think has gone way downhill.

                  Yes, St. Louis pizza is ultrathin crust with sauce, toppings and cheese that go all the way to the edge. Provel cheese, most of the toppings except the chunkiest (sausage) are cooked under the cheese layer, the pizzas are very wide to make up for their thinness, and pieces are cut into squares rather than wedges. Most pizzerias also offer a St. Louis appetizer of "toasted ravioli" where the meat ravioli are breaded and deep fried, with the tomato sauce served alongside for dipping -- usually about 8 to an order for sharing. If my memory serves, a place with these specialties opened in the SFV about a decade ago and closed fairly quickly.

                  1. re: nosh

                    I think the place in the SFV was on Ventura around Noble or so in Sherman Oaks. Vague recollection.

                    I went to St. Louis quite a bit between 1997 and 2004 and while I always enjoyed the "toasted" (i.e. deep fried) ravioli that we would get when eating at various places on The Hill (which was close to Fox 2 where I was working), the pizza was another story. Many of the folks there seemed to like Imo's but I only had it once and it was horrible, inedible actually.

                    1. re: nosh

                      Manhattan Cafe! Wow that takes me back. I have only heard of this foulsome pizza in St. Louis and only sampled the Imo's iteration. It tasted like bile- even after a couple of pitchers of AB's best. For what it's worth, my South-City rugby team decried St. Louis style pizza as nasty. Go figure.

                    2. re: Das Ubergeek

                      what about an equivalent to minnesota's "tasty pizza": super thin, cut in very small, practuically one-bite squares, toppings all the way to the edge??

                      1. re: mr mouther

                        that's how the ohio style is - must be a midwestern thing....

                  2. re: Debbie W

                    To clue those in, who haven't stumbled across this: "Johnny Marzetti" is an Italian-American creation credited to a Columbus, Ohio restaurant owner's brother in the 19-teens or 20's, and is pre-war middle-American Italian American as you envision it, i.e., it's a baked casserole with red sauce, some sort of pasta (I always saw it with ziti or penne, but I've heard of it with spaghet') , browned ground beef, some seasoning vegetables, and a bunch of cheese on top. As you can imagine, this got picked up by Joy of Cooking, various other providers of "casserole recipe books", and by school, dorm, and other cafeteria cooks, who've over the years cooked enough to, let's just say, fill up Buckeye Stadium several times over.

                    Apparently it got carried to the Panama Canal Zone (I'm guessing by millitary personnel straight from Ohio) got green olives and capers added to the recipe there, and metamorphosed to "Johnny Mazetti".

                    1. re: Debbie W

                      According to the Donatos website they use aged provolone. I remember it having a nice, chewy quality (not as stretchy as mozzerella) and a bit of a tang.... Oh well I think I'm doomed to daydream only.

                  3. The original comment has been removed
                    1. This is St. Louis style pizza! And no, I've unfortunately been unable to find it here.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: PlatypusJ

                        See Das Ubergeek's post, it's a little different. Aged provolone =/= provel. But it is similar.