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The best authentic pizza in the Philly area

  • acewex Sep 23, 2009 09:43 AM
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Hello everyone: I wanted to hear your feedback as to what you felt was the best authentic pizza in the area. By authentic my requirements are:

1. Cooked in a wood burning or coal burning oven
2. Is done in a style of traditional Italian, Neapolitan or Sicilian Pizza
3. Doesn't have weird toppings on it (that's not authentic)

Here's what I came up with:

1. Tacconelli's-not totally authentic but possibly the best crust in the area
2. Pietro's in center city- coal fired, good crust, pizza has too much cheese though
3. Osteria-possibly the most authentic pizza in the area?

Please let me know your thoughts, I'm very curious to hear about Siclian. I've only had it from one place in south philly (can't remember the name) and while it was good I dont think it would have fallen into my top 5.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts...

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  1. The place you are thinking about in South Philly may be Slice.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Buckethead

      No-it's a real South Philly place way down in south philly. I read that Slice was good though, definitely need to try it although it's not cooked the right way.

      1. re: Buckethead

        Slice is not Sicilian, it is a thin crust style. You may be thinking of Rosa Pizza near Broad & Snyder, which I recommend.

        1. re: barryg

          Slice! is very good. And they just opened up a second location on Sansom near Rittenhouse. They use San Marzano tomatoes so it's pretty authentic!

          1. re: bluehensfan

            Using San Marzano tomatos does not make one authentic. On the topic of Slice, it is decent but not great pizza.

      2. LaScala's at Comcast Center has Sicilian by the slice that makes me drool....

        1. You might be interested in Steven Starr's new Stella Pizza that is opening next week. They have a wood oven and seem to be trying hard to make a good Neopolitan pie.

          http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/th...

          I know a lot of Starr places are not hits food wise, but I am excited about this one and I think it is a concept that Starr can really nail.

          2 Replies
          1. re: barryg

            barry, have you tried stella out? i've got to give them a thumbs up based on my lone experience. we went in JUST as the last couple was walking out, but they agreed to seat us, and i offered up that we'd be quick. got the margherita, fennel and olive and pepperoni pies. only one i didn't try was the pepperoni (vegetarian) but the other two were pretty fabulous. incredibly thin, not soggy, good sauce on the margherita. i'd like to visit again and try some more, but i'm happy with them so far. a little pricey, but good.

            1. re: rabidog

              Yes, see this thread for opinions:
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/656732

              Overall I wasn't blown away. Due to the price I am not rushing back, but when opportunity knocks I would love to try it again.

          2. Have you tried Marra's yet? I recommend it. Two things - (1) eat it there and (2) ask for it well done. I think you'll really like it.

            6 Replies
            1. re: lawgirl3278

              Any relation to the Marra's that used to be on the Baltimore Pike in Springfield long ago?

              1. re: azveggieguy

                I have no idea. Marra's in South Philly has been around for 80 years. Maybe a relative opened a suburban location?

                1. re: azveggieguy

                  I think it is the same Marra's from Springfield. That was the first pizza I ever ate and it defines pizza for me. Still the best I ever ate. I ate there a lot in the '50s and after an absence of many years was very disappointed to see that it is no longer there. I think it's the same Marra's family from Passyunk.

                  1. re: azveggieguy

                    Yes! It is definitely the same family!

                  2. re: lawgirl3278

                    Does Marra's have pizza or tomato pie? Some people confuse the two.

                    Thanks!

                    1. re: layla529

                      They have pizza

                  3. of the 3 in your list, i've only been to pietros. like it quite a bit.
                    i always ask for extra basil, and they always oblige, which leads me to think that you could also ask for *less* cheese.

                    1. Still searching for a slice that taste like mostNY pizza joints. Not a margherita, not a gourmet...a good old fashion real tomatoe sauce, real cheese, crispy crust. Why is it so hard to get that?? If I find a good crust pizza, it usually has a sugar laden sauce, or globs of phoney cheese. I know pizza joints need to make profits, but come on, I went into a place in NY with admittedly too many flies, but got a nice big slice with perfect sauce and real cheese for less than 2.50! Why oh why...is it soo hard to find in my city???

                      12 Replies
                      1. re: layla529

                        NYPD Pizza & Lazarro's both have good slices in CC that are pretty close to your run of the mill Mahattan pizza joint. Franco Luigi's in South Philly does a regular cheese pie very well... excellent red sauce. If you order a tomato pie from them (just sauce & garlic on regular round crust)... this comes out extra crispy and the sauce is awesome. Never done slices there, though.

                        1. re: barryg

                          I definately will try all of them...thanks!

                          1. re: layla529

                            Try Dolce Carini in Center City as well. They do a plain slice with crushed tomatoes which is delicious.

                            1. re: lawgirl3278

                              Joe's on 16th just below Sansom has an excellent NY-style slice. Not sweet, not gloppy. Crust is usually nicely crisp. Just good basic pizza.

                              1. re: pschneider

                                Joe's is always passed over, but makes a nice NY-style slice. Also, they are about the ONLY pizza shop that makes an excellent cheeses steak (without toasting cheap mozz on it..)

                              2. re: lawgirl3278

                                first, i totally agree with you about eating the marra's pie there and not taking it out... why is that?!

                                i've gotten totally, impossibly hooked on the crushed-tomato style of sauce lately, particularly because i was sick over overly-sweet sauces and it's pretty hard to mess up just crushed/stewed tomatoes. two hits for me have been the margherita at dock st brewery (is that sage seasoning the tomatoes? it's really good) and the thin crust rectangle pie with chunky tomatoes & mozz at trio's trattoria on girard ave (between 3rd and 4th - fairly new). i've been all about the pizza lately. tonight was definitely a pizza and beer night at the rabidog house - just about polished off the trio's rectangle pie. actually, i'm heading to the kitchen for a midnite snack right about now... :)

                                1. re: rabidog

                                  Because once you put a pizza (any pizza) in a box, it begins to steam and that makes the crust soggy.

                                  Any pizza eaten fresh out of the oven wll be better than one that travelled in a box.

                                  1. re: Philly Ray

                                    I'd say that's the reason. Which is why if I am eating it at home, I'll go and pick it up as opposed to delivery. Why wait an hour when you can have it fresher in 20-25 mins?

                                    1. re: Philly Ray

                                      ah, good call.

                                      had a pizza sorta week this week.

                                      ordered that tomato pie with moz from trios a few more times - it's truly one of my favorite pies i think largely in part due to the sauce... chunky tomatoes, not sweet AT all. i think i'm actually going for one tonite.

                                      went back to mix in rittenhouse, a place i liked earlier. got a caper and kalamata olive pie (was in a salty mood). it was horrible and soggy. i don't know what happened there. used to quite like that place.

                                      got a margarita pie from zios in center city... meh. totally average, sauce was too sweet for me.

                                    2. re: rabidog

                                      darnit, i'm sitting here with a large tomato pie w/ cheese from trios and i'm sad to report it's gone downhill. it's changed a lot from their opening around a year ago. less sauce, more cheese (of lesser quality), greasier than i remember, italian herb shake. boo. next pizza night i'm gonna head back to george's at 2nd and girard, i used to love their kalamata olive greek-style pie (i order it with a sea of olives).

                              3. re: layla529

                                I'm a a native New Yorker living in Philly for the last 20 years. I agree that good pizza is hard to find. Volare Pizza at the Ambler train station has good pizza. It is not wood fired but the owner is from Naples. He makes his own sauce and the crust is really good because he uses hard winter flour for a crisper/chewy crust.

                                1. re: TeamPhilly

                                  yeah i agree with everyone above that philly has a pizza problem -- sure there's good stuff but it's not like ny where you can walk into any corner pizza place and pretty much depend on not being given something gross. i learned the hard way, you can't do that in philadelphia. the biggest warning sign is that in most philly corner pizza places you can't see the pizza behind a glass thing like in most places in new york...

                              4. Brick Oven / Thin Crust-
                                Tacconnelli's
                                Slice (tried both. South Philly location is better, My dough from Rittenhouse branch was chewy, actually hard to eat, like stale bread, weird)

                                NYC "fold-over" style-
                                How about Lorenzo's on south? Thats as close to NY as your gonna get. Lotsa drunk people, giant slices to fold in half.
                                I like Lazaro's but they have a sweet sauce.

                                Sicilian-
                                YES to La Rosa, on Broad & Snyder, awesome, no frills.

                                South Philly-
                                Franco & Luigis, always fantastic

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: phillydogs

                                  You say "Lorenzos as close to NY as your gonna get???" NO WAY!!! Then you havent eaten at many NY pizza joints...seriously! Most NY joints you'd be hard pressed to try to fold their crusty slices......

                                  Lorenzos= BIG slices, but phoney mystery cheese and not crispy by my definition of a crispy crust... Its a great place when you are hungry and maybe a little drunk.-but hardly should be compared to a slice from NY....

                                  1. re: layla529

                                    actually I lived in NY for 5 years.
                                    and while there must be a few places to seek out that are really great.. I just don't get what all the fuss is about. Most of the pizza places I walked into off the street are mediocre at best, dirty garlic shakers covered with grime and a bum in the corner gripping a bottle of port wine.. Most of that stuff couldn't hold a candle to the average south philly pizza shop.

                                    1. re: phillydogs

                                      While this is probably the way to start an argument, l lived in NY from 2005-2008. Pizza is a high fav of mine. Over my time there, ate at least 50 pizza's in New York City. With the exception of Lombardi's clam pie when hot, a rarity and Co., which were very expensive, thought the whole experience was a waste of time. Went to the new 'hot' places, the old standards and many in between. Think me and NY ers just are looking for different things. After 2 years and change started driving to New Haven and was never disappointed. In Pa, have always loved Tacconelli's and will try, after these posts, Franco & Luigi's and Slice.

                                2. Honestly, I grew up in Rome, and my favorite pizza believe it or not is Bertucci's Margherita neopolitan pizza in Mt. Laurel, NJ - as it is a DOC pizza!

                                  FYI - What is D.O.C. pizza (from DOC website) -D.O.C. stands for 'Denominazione di Origine Controllata'
                                  Normally seen on authenticate bottles of Italian wine.
                                  There are only two pizzas you need to make to certify:
                                  Marinara: tomatos, oil, oregano , garlic
                                  Margherita: tomatos, oil, mozazarela, basil
                                  But trick is that it have to be done right. It does not have to be in Italy, USA is fine, but you have to produce a "real pizza" to be D.O.C.
                                  Oven have to be wood burring and dough have to be made from right flour.
                                  Here is how it should be:
                                  1. A Wood-Burning Oven: Pizza Napoletana must be cooked in a wood-fired dome oven operating at roughly 800ºF.
                                  2. Proper Ingredients: Tipo 00 flour, San Marzano tomatoes, all natural Fior di Latte or Bufala mozzarella, fresh basil, salt and yeast -- only fresh, all-natural, non-processed ingredients.
                                  3. Proper Technique: Your pizza dough must be kneaded either by hand, or with a low speed mixer. No mechanical dough shaping is allowed, such as a dough press or rolling pin, and proper pizza preparation. Pizza baking time should not exceed 90 seconds.

                                  Also my all-time favorite DOC pizza place is in Washington, DC - 2Amys
                                  www.2amypizza.com - if you want great variety and taste!

                                  My favorite rustica (square) type pizza usually sold by weight andfound sold in small street stores in Rome (style wise known as sicilian here) I have found to be Cacia's bakery (not 100% but pretty close to what I remember)

                                  Just my opinion - I have had tacconelli's and having lived in NY always considered that pizza good but more Italo-American style and very good for what it is- but not truly 'Italian' I have also had NJ tomatoe pie, NY and New Haven style pizzas, and again they are styles more than the true Italian version - Osteria in Phila. seemed good just more show IMO. I will try Stella more because I'm curious about it and how Starr investigated all the best places around to come up with his own take on Pizza.

                                  Again - these are my regular favorites - just my opinion - and I still love eating all types of pizza, inluding the local varieties for what they are - so I'm fair to all and eat them too so I'm not a pizza snob by any means!

                                  Melissa

                                  -----
                                  Osteria
                                  640 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

                                  Bertuccis
                                  863 Easton Rd, Warrington, PA 18976

                                  18 Replies
                                  1. re: uromac

                                    I agree, Bertucci's is great, not to mention the free salad and rolls.

                                    -----
                                    Bertuccis
                                    863 Easton Rd, Warrington, PA 18976

                                    1. re: TwoBellies

                                      Second that ... I've run into a lot of food snobs who will automatically diss ANY chain regardless of what they serve. This is not rocket science, and Bertucci's goes out of their way to use the right ingredients and equipment. And usually, there is free parking, and you can get beer with it.

                                      The salad is not exactly killer, but hey ... you don't go their for that, right ?

                                      -----
                                      Bertuccis
                                      863 Easton Rd, Warrington, PA 18976

                                      1. re: phillyjazz

                                        exactly. I also like Lickity Split on South Street, across from Jim's. You get a mammoth slice for $2.00.

                                        1. re: TwoBellies

                                          Can you still order Jim's steaks there ?? I had some buds in from France once and the line for Jims was down the block. We went to LS to drown out sorrows only to find they had a runner who could "jump the line" an brought us steaming steaks in a few minutes.

                                          1. re: phillyjazz

                                            not sure, but the line moves fast and is worth the wait ! Enjoy! I'm a blue collar eater and so sick of these people who think paying more brings you better tasting food. Give me a break, Osteria for Pizza? LOL!

                                            -----
                                            Osteria
                                            640 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

                                          2. re: TwoBellies

                                            oy... I got charged $6.50 for two slices at Soho a couple of weeks ago. and they were nowhere near massive. never again

                                      2. re: uromac

                                        Sorry - I realize for those that are interested the correct link for 2Amys in DC is:- www.2Amyspizza.com

                                        Melissa

                                        1. re: uromac

                                          gonna have to agree with you on the bertucci's. it's in my top 5 favorite pies in the phila area.

                                          1. re: uromac

                                            The world has come a long way since 2009, 2Amy's used to be my favorite but I've tried a few of the restaurants listed on the following website... http://anticapizzeria.net
                                            The one in Pittsburgh (Pizzaiolo) is pretty close to what I remember from growing up in Naples. Also, Fratelli La Buffala in Miami Beach is slightly better but not listed on the Pizza Vera Napoletana site. I think 2 Amy's crust is a little heavy but otherwise excellent.

                                            1. re: uromac

                                              Marinara sauce is oil, garlic, BASIL (not oregano), tomato

                                              1. re: bucksguy14

                                                sorry bucksguy, in Italian cooking, Marinara always has oregano in it.

                                                1. re: miticodan

                                                  Sorry Miti .. the answer is there are different recipes... ie it all depends.

                                                  Here is a link to a recipe from Lidia Bastianich where she only uses basil.. (though mentions you can substitute oregano in the preface.. )

                                                  http://www.lidiasitaly.com/recipes/de...

                                                  1. re: miticodan

                                                    "Always" is not correct. There are any number of Italian cookbooks/recipes that list basil as the herb of choice. In fact, I can't find any recipe in any cookbook that I own that has anything other than basil.

                                                    1. re: bucksguy14

                                                      I have a recipe that calls for both basil and oregano.

                                                      Now what do we do?

                                                      1. re: Philly Ray

                                                        Preferably take it to home cooking forum? ;)

                                                        1. re: Philly Ray

                                                          Ha ha, point taken.

                                                        2. re: bucksguy14

                                                          Lidia Bastianich ???? isn't she from Austria or Croatia? what the hell does she know? Just kidding,
                                                          Are we still talking strictly about Marinara (fishermans sauce)? I stand corrected on my 'always' statement, you will be able to find some recipes for Marinara with basil vs oregano but all the ones I've seen in Italian are definately Oregano. I grew up in Naples and was always told that Oregano is what makes Marianara different from plain old tomato sauce (onions, carrots, garlic,, salt, olive oil and tomatoes). Mario Batali uses Marjoram but he learned to cook up north too, there's no telling what those people put in the pot ;)

                                                          1. re: miticodan

                                                            Lidia was born in Croatia but grew up and learned to cook in Trieste.. Perhaps its a north versus south thing. I grew up in a town in New York where half the town was of Sicilian descent .. and the marinara definitely had basil in it. Always is never the right thing to say with regards to a recipe.. variations are the spice of life..

                                                  2. Vino in Northern Liberties - good, brick oven, cheaper than Stella and Osteria. They'll have both the "authentic" as you call it and some offerings with weird toppings (I like the roast pork and broccili rabe).

                                                    -----
                                                    Osteria
                                                    640 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: LPhila

                                                      Bacco's in North Wales at Routes 202 and 63 has a coal burning oven,. We love it. It might be worth the trip to try it.

                                                      1. re: TeamPhilly

                                                        The best thing about Bacco's is their antipasta. I cannot figure out the lure of pizza from a coal-burning oven. It has a coal dust taste that I can't like a little bit. I lived in a house that was heated with coal until I was about 7-8 years old. I still remember that smell and I don't like it - especially from something I'm going to eat!

                                                        1. re: TeamPhilly

                                                          I second you on Bacco's. The crust is very light, the ingredients are fresh, the sauce is perfect, and they don't overload the cheese. Pair that with one of their salads and a glass of Chianti and go to heaven.

                                                      2. Just went to Zavino at 13th & Sansom. Oven is gas, but ~900 degrees F. Pizza is similar in style to Stella but IMO crust is much better; way more flavor and character and held its crisp perfectly while keeping a glutinous chew just below the toppings.

                                                        Enjoyed this meal much more than Stella and wine is currently on the house as they do not have their liquor license yet. Only downside: they do not have any pizza with egg on it.

                                                        Def check it out, Stella was a let down for me and Zavino delivered for 2/3 the price. Try the veal meatballs.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: barryg

                                                          So glad to read this positive report. I cannot wait to give this place a try.

                                                          1. re: barryg

                                                            Just went to Zavino's for the first time.
                                                            Definitely good pizza. Didn't love it, though - not quite sure why. Got the margherita; crust was excellent, sauce was excellent (and plentiful). Cheese wasn't great, but the cheese is never my favorite part. And there was a lot of basil, which I like.
                                                            Somehow, the different elements didn't meld as well as they should. I can't put it better than that.
                                                            I'd go back and give them another try, but I'm not in a rush to.
                                                            I think I'd take Earth BB over them.

                                                          2. Bertucci's, although a chain, does have a great pie, as uromac brought up. It's exactly what I like in a thin crust pizza. They don't advertise the DOC designation anymore, at least not on their site. I grew up in Philly area and moved to DC, where they had an even bigger pizza issue than Philly. I went into Pietro's a few years ago and will return, though I'll have to check out the other suggestions in this string. Plenty of good pizza to look forward to. Then again, when I do make it back home, it's the quality cheese steak or hoagie that's my priority.

                                                            1. Savas, new wood-fired pizza place with other menu options and a full bar, recently opened at 35th & Lancaster in Powelton Village.

                                                              Curious to hear what the pizza aficinados think of their pie. I really enjoyed a Greek special -- stuffed eggplant with sides of feta and roasted potatoes for $8.95.

                                                              I

                                                              1. Has anyone tried Joey's on South Street? My friend LOVED it. She said it was better than Tacconelli's or Slice.

                                                                1. ***** wow! i have tried pizza all over the world and country. gone to pizzeria bianca in phoenix (not so hot) and trastevere in rome, etc. big taconnelli's fan...zavino totally cuts the mustard! the crust is not a throw away, which many of the others are! the sauce was awesome and the toppings good, pure, generous enuf but not over the top. i highly recommend this place. they are taking a lot of pride in their product!

                                                                  1. my favorite non-fancy, most reminiscent of the NY pizza I grew up on is found at NYPD Pizza, on 11th.

                                                                    11 Replies
                                                                    1. re: phillylunchjamie

                                                                      Dolce Carini makes really great pizza in this style as well. I prefer it to NYPD.

                                                                      1. re: barryg

                                                                        Finally tried the pizza at Zavino and was very impressed. Definitely the best pizza in Philly I have had since Lombardi's left town years ago. Really enjoyed the Polpettini(tomato sauce, provolone cheese & veal mini meatballs) pie and thought the Kennett (béchamel, Claudio’s mozzarella, roasted onions w/oyster, cremini & shitakes) was good too. The pies were perfectly charred around the edges and had a great crust. Not soggy like Stella or cracker-y like Slice! but just perfect. Also had equally good appetizers incluing red and golden roasted beets, grilled zucchini, and fabulous octopus with green beans. The service was great, they have their own device for making sparkling water, and it was a very, very pleasant surprise...

                                                                        1. re: bluehensfan

                                                                          darn, i've tried zavino a couple times now and decided it's just not for me. soggy no, but too doughy, yes, IMHO. but i suppose i'll accept some sog in a super-thin pie over overchewiness in a thicker, doughy pie. in zavino's margherita pie all i tasted was dough, everything else was lost. d'oh! i like the saltiness of stella's cheese, too.

                                                                          and usually i'm not one to complain about atmosphere; after a few glasses of wine i can cozy up nearly ANYwhere, but zavino on a crowded night can leave me feeling downright claustrophobic!

                                                                          i feel like i'm all alone here, as everyone else seems to rave about the joint! perhaps this is my pick for that other thread!

                                                                          1. re: rabidog

                                                                            try the pasta next time.

                                                                            1. re: barryg

                                                                              You could try some of the apps too...they seemed just as good as the pizza. And if you feel claustrophobic, go for the booth right by the door. It's a little secluded and the A/C vent blows freely over the table which is a good thing these days.

                                                                              I did like the Tartufo pizza at Stella actually but with the soggy crust, I was constantly trying to maneuver my pizza slice so that the food wound up in my mouth and not on me. I was not a big fan of the communal table thing tough...reminded me of that pizza chain that closed ages ago where everone sat at big tables and they'd show Little Rascals reruns. And when we were there for lunch at Stella the crowd was a weird mix of twentysomethings dropping the F bomb seated right next to young parents with kids in strollers. I guess that's why there is no need to show movies...

                                                                              1. re: bluehensfan

                                                                                Not a pizza joint, but I had an absolutely excellent Tartufo pizza at City Tap House the other day. Great flavor and nicely done crispy crust, not too thin and not too thick.

                                                                                1. re: bluehensfan

                                                                                  heeheehee... re: zavino, this is gonna sound weird and off (pizza) topic, but i did get the octopus appetizer (a special) when i was there last weekend. the octo was cooked perfectly, but the sauce overwhelmed its subtle flavor. it was a local tomatillo sauce (i believe), which tasted *exactly* and overwhelmingly like pot. and everyone at my table agreed. not sure what else they might have been growing amongst THAT crop!! :) i'm sure the kitchen had a good laugh over that one!!!

                                                                                  1. re: rabidog

                                                                                    That's what happened...we must have been stoned into thinking we had a good meal! And wait...one of our pizzas had...shrooms! Wonder what else was in those veal meatballs?

                                                                                    1. re: bluehensfan

                                                                                      based on rabidog and bluehen's comments I'm heading right over to zavino after work!

                                                                                      1. re: bluehensfan

                                                                                        Sheesh. Went back to Zavino last weekend. The pizzas were fine but seemed much saltier this time around. Like noticeably so. But the big bummer was the apps. We tried the meh carrots and this time our beets were much bigger so way under-roasted. And there was no cannabis octopus on the specials menu either. But that salt...

                                                                                        1. re: bluehensfan

                                                                                          awe, no cannabis octopus? bummer, duuuuude :)

                                                                                          meh carrots cracked me up!

                                                                                          still out there searching for the best pie. right now my vote is going to dock st's margherita which has sauce that has a hint of ?sage?

                                                                        2. I really like Anthony's Coal Oven Pizza (Horsham) because I like my crust well done. All fresh ingredients and a well done crust. I also have always enjoyed Cafe Michelangelo on Bustleton near Byberry in NE Philly, been going for 15 years plus. It never seems to get any love when talking about pizza in Philly. To each his/her own I guess. Wood burning oven, consistent good pizza and nice atmosphere especially in warm weather outdoors.

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: bsquared11

                                                                            Anthony's is supposed to open in Wayne in September per M. Klein.

                                                                            1. re: leepinleemur

                                                                              I tried Anthony's in Wilmington last weekend and was pretty much underwhelmed. The crust was nicely charred but a bit cracker-like (although not as much as Slice) but was pretty good overall. The toppings basically killed the pizza. We tried their version of a margherita which had tomatoes and cheese that both tasted like what you'd find at any grocery store and the small shredded pieces of basil were virtually undetectable to the palate. Anthony's traditional pizza was even more of a disappointment, as the sauce they used was rather acidic and had a spicy taste that remided me of one of those hideous frozen pizzas you can buy anywhere (think Red Baron). I can't see rushing back.

                                                                            2. re: bsquared11

                                                                              Michelangelos does get love, but one has to live somewhere in the NE to even know about it. We've been going there for ages, but now that we live in center city, it's been a long time. Love that bocci court.

                                                                            3. Celebre pizza on Patterson Ave - just west of Broad is great.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: FriskLamb

                                                                                Celebre's is on Packer Ave and it is pAT&Tison Ave, not Patterson.

                                                                              2. rabidog - after going to Zavino this past week for lunch, I sadly have to say that this now makes two of us against the grain. I agree with you that the pizzas are far too doughy and nothing was memorable about any aspect of them. At least the prosciutto was good... I'm sure I'll be back. Slightly off topic but does anyone have any recs for the pastas?

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: ramenbound

                                                                                  I just ate at Zavino tonight. Early dinner, and with the rain the place wasnt crowded. Had table by the window, which was nice of them since there were only two of us. Beer selection was acceptable but uninspired.. had Ithaca Apricot and Victory Hopdevil. I do not understand why more italian restaurants dont have more Italian Micros. There are some incredible ones out there.

                                                                                  We started with an heirloom tomato salad, which had a balsamic reduction and some pecorino cheese with it. Very nice. The Zucchini was very nice too, served on a bed of romesco sauce was very nice.

                                                                                  We ordered two pizza.. spinach, and the polpettini. The crust was thicker than others, had a nice char, but I found the sauce very bland. I ended up adding some red pepper flakes to give a bit more flavor to the pizza. Overall this pizza is behind both Osteria and Stella. Their pies are good, but not quite up to par with those two. I also hope they improve their variety of pies as well.

                                                                                  My final plea is about desserts. When you are situated right across the street from Capogiro's, why not make it easy and just serve Capogiro gelati? I would have stayed longer and ordered coffee as well.

                                                                                  1. re: cwdonald

                                                                                    thanks for that review... the tomato salad does sound awesome... but yeah... pizza.

                                                                                    i TOTALLY missed my roommate's birthday last month (month!!!) so to make up for it we're going to take a bike trip up to port richmond friday night to revisit tacconelli's... stopping at kraftwerk on the way for a hopefully hoppy happy hour. anyone know if kraftwerk has a carry-out license, too, or if i'll need separate arrangements for bringing my own to tacconielli's?

                                                                                2. Although I certainly like good pizza, it is rarely something I crave, expecially since Rizzo's went downhill a few years ago, but the BF introduced me to Franzone's off of Ridge PIke in Plymouth Meeting last week, and I am craving!!! Thin crust, wood fired, slightly sweet sauce, and artfully arranged. Unfortunately they use canned mushrooms instead of fresh, but I can just skip them the next time. The best plain pizza I have had in ages.

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                                                                                  1. re: doxiemom

                                                                                    Wow, I think that may be the understatement of all time...saying Franzone's sauce is slightly sweet. I just moved to Plymouth Meeting a couple of months ago, and Franzone's was our first attempt at ordering pizza delivery. My boyfriend and I took two bites each and tossed the whole pie. It seems like there are a lot of people who are bonkers over it...but I thought it tasted like someone accidentally dumped a vat of sugar into the sauce. Sorry...I found it inedible. We've ordered plain and brick oven from Rocco's a couple times since...pretty good, it does the trick...but would still like to find something better. Ah the neverending quest for good pizza...when I finally found some in Center City (Dolce Carini), we moved. It's hard to ask people about good pizza, because everyone has their own idea of what's "good pizza," depending what they grew up with, and individual preferences regarding crust and sauce.

                                                                                  2. excited to revisit tacconelli's tonight! i'll report back, of course...

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                                                                                    1. re: rabidog

                                                                                      back from tacc :)
                                                                                      that was a much better experience than my first one years ago. maybe that time i went wrong because i ordered a margarita pie. this time i went for straight-up tomato and cheese (regular) and it was superb. perfect cracker-thin crust, amazingly simple and delicious sauce, and just the right amount of cheese. my only complaint is that the cheese could have been ever so slightly saltier (the tomato sauce kinda overwhelmed the subtle cheese) but otherwise, pizza perfection. i would not mind revisiting this joint right away, and i probably will!

                                                                                      we paired our pizzas with some brooklyn brewery selections. i particularly liked my pie with the east india pale ale. i was a little apprehensive about bringing a cooler into a restaurant, but upon entering, i found we were in good company. coolers all around, and in some cases, boxed wine. i was very comfortable. :)