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Tony's Pizza - the St. Louis Style [San Francisco]

Wow. The pizza was it. I haven’t lived in St. Louis for more than 20 years (just semi-regular visits), and I have long given up on ever having St. Louis-style pizza in another town. But Tony’s has it. And does it better.

Well, I should say better than the usual suspect (Imo’s) in St. Louis—I can’t make the call on the better places that always make the ranks when St. Louisians vote on favorite pizza spots. But the crust at Tony’s is better – it is cracker-thin and super crisp. Delicious. The sauce is spot-on. Thick and sweet. Just the way it is supposed to be. And then the cheese. They called it provel, they claimed they got it delivered, but it was much better than the overly processed Imo’s variety. It had the right consistency (that gooey, plasticky nature that people who didn’t grow up in St. Louis can never really take to), but with more sharpness and nuance. It is what I think provel, with all its process-ness, should be like. With a good dose of parmesan and oregano, it was simply the perfect pizza. Well, if you are from St. Louis.

We got a pepperoni and a sausage. I prefer the sausage (it is my usual order in St. Louis), but would take either in a heartbeat.

The other pizzas that went by looked wonderful. It is too bad I will never try one.

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  1. Great report!

    4 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      That is not "St. Louis" style, it is an abomination of everything good about pizza. Sugary sauce and goo on a cracker. I grew up in St. Louis, left for nearly 20 years. I was shocked at how good pizza could be. I recently returned here and relive my pizza nightmares If you want to compare it to people's unexplained love for foods like Velveeta and Spam, I love Ramen noodles and cold Armor's chili. Ok I get it. But don't begin to convince the masses that this greasy, sticky, disgusting disk of nastiness is in any way a pizza. And what's worse, they're expensive. I would rather eat a Jacks frozen pizza for $3.00 than spend $20 on an Imo's. If you are going to tag a "St. Louis" style tag on anything, stick to St. Paul sandwiches and Gus' Pretzels.

      1. re: grillergorilla

        Abomination or not, he's trying to serve a regional style of pizza that appears to be authentic to St. Louis. He also serves a "Detroit style," square, marinara on top. Those will never be my go to pizzas at Tony's. but he takes his pizza seriously and is trying to replicate regional styles. I'm very happy he does not offer a Chicago deep dish.

        1. re: Dan Wodarcyk

          Why are you happy he doesn't offer Chicago deep dish?

          1. re: Dan Wodarcyk

            His new place in the works will specialize in Chicago style.

      2. I lived in St. Louis for a couple of years in the mid-90s. Your report reminded me of the mediocre, but cheap, pizza buffet I'd occasionally frequent at Maurizio's. I could never understand provel. I guess it's because I didn't grow up eating it.

        1. Quotable.
          http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/...

          http://www.tonyspizzanapoletana.com/

          1. Glad you liked it so much. I'll try it at some point too.

            1. with all the thread pruning (every time i see a new post, there's less total in the thread!), i think i'll have to give this controversial pizza a shot!

              1 Reply
              1. re: drewskiSF

                Yeah, this is the amazing shrinking thread!

              2. I've always wondered what St. Louis style is. Nice details. I take my family weekly, almost, and we go with the standards, because they're so good (new yorker, margherita, tomato pie.) Will have to branch out to this and the Detroit style.

                1. I lived in St Louis for a few years and the St. Louis style took some getting used to because of the provel. At first it reminded me too much of processed cheese but after having eaten it a few times (since other options that weren't national chains were hard to come by) I acquired the taste and learned to like it. At times I even miss it! Imo's was pretty awful though, very dry. Rich & Charlie's was my favorite, would get that delivered all the time - one topping, ground beef, which balanced out the salty provel cheese well.

                  1. I had the St. Louis style with sausage.

                    It's good, but it has a HEAVY cheese taste. I got tired of it before the end. I wouldn't get a whole pizza of it for myself again.

                    And yeah, the crust is cracker-thin and the sauce has the right amount of sweetness.