October 26, 2006 |
IN CHICAGO, Lou Malnati's serves the city's classic deep-dish pizza. In New Haven, Conn., it's Pepe's or Sally's for a heady white clam pie. Wolfgang Puck's duck-sausage pizza still rules in Los Angeles. And in New York, fuhgeddaboudit, nothing tops the smoky, charred pies from the coal ovens of Lombardi's or Totonno's. But is there a pizza that Philly can call its own? The brick-oven-baked beauties from Tacconelli's in Port Richmond and Marra's in South Philly are strong contenders, but Philly isn't really a brick-oven pizza town.
October 19, 1994 |
I'm old enough to remember Saturday matinees for 50 cents and pizza slices for a quarter. My mom would drop me off at our old neighborhood theater so I could watch a Tarzan movie, a serial and cartoons while she worked as a waitress at a nearby restaurant to earn a few extra bucks for the family. I wondered whether such cheap entertainment could still be found. So I asked my colleague Phantom Rider, who knows how to make the Indian cry on a buffalo nickel. "You should go to the Devon in Mayfair," said Phantom, "and make sure you stop in at Tony's afterward for a tomato pie. " That's what we did. At the Devon, we saw a movie about Andre the seal, who swam every year from the Boston aquarium back to Rockport, Maine, and the family who loved him. The movie tickets were $2 each.
April 4, 2001 |
The hair on the back of Frank Santucci's neck stands on end when a customer orders "tomato pie. " "To one it means a pizza with no cheese, to another it means pie with sliced tomato, and to another it means cheese and sauce," laments the owner of Santucci's Original Square Pizza, 4019 O St. "When they order 'tomato pie' we have to ask 'What do you mean by that?' And every time we ask we get a different answer.. . .Sometimes I don't think they even know what they're asking for. " Santucci's been in the pizza biz since '76, back when "if you wanted a pie with no cheese you'd SAY it. " But lately - as in the last three or four years - he's been getting a lot of requests for tomato pie, which - in case you are among the uninitiated - is a pizza with tomato sauce, no cheese.
April 4, 2001 |
They're close-mouthed with their recipes Nobody, but NOBODY will reveal the exact recipe for their tomato pie. "Don't get mad at me," says Wink Hall, co-owner with his wife, Minelly, of Gaeta's Italian Bakery on Castor Avenue. "It's my bread and butter. " We understand, Wink. And we take up the challenge to figure out - on our own - how to make a jaw-dropping, mouth-watering pomodoro pie. We realize that genius can be found in simplicity. And, having tasted several area tomato pies, we also realize that no two pies taste alike.
August 7, 2015 |
The initial plan to move Gennaro's Tomato Pie from Jackson Street to a larger space beside East Passyunk's Singing Fountain was thwarted by a lack of juice. Owner Mike Giammarino simply couldn't bring enough electricity to his new address to fuel the high-tech ovens that give Gennaro's round pies their signature crispness. So Giammarino, who still spends half the week in Manhattan running the family's historic Lombardi's, decided to use old-school gas-deck ovens for a genuine ode to his nonna Grazia Carbone (the "Grace" in Grace & Pat's)
October 11, 1996 |
Family Fare recently completed its second year of reviews in its current incarnation. The assignment has had a civilizing effect on our boys. Nick is almost 10 and now takes a full nine minutes to eat his meal. Beeka the Destroyer is 7, and we've been able to remove the muzzle and leash. To celebrate, we offer a list of the top five restaurants we've visited. Our list is not based so much on food - we omitted several places where the food was great - but the combination of food and kid-friendly ambiance.
May 15, 1987 |
I remember a segment on "All in the Family" some years ago in which Edith tried to foist some exotic ethnic food on Archie. Archie rebelled by saying, "To hell with this, I'm going out to eat something American - pizza. " Pizza is America's No. 1 food, outstripping hamburgers and hot dogs. The 38,000 pizza restaurants in the United States represent more than 10 percent of all restaurants, and that total keeps multiplying like so many amoebas. Pizzas have now gone far beyond the basic red-sauced pie to include almost any topping, filling, and shape imaginable.
March 9, 2007 |
Poets are people, too. I know it doesn't seem that way. Most of us approach a poem with all the enthusiasm of a child forced to eat soggy vegetables. I didn't discover Dickinson, Whitman and Frost of my own free will. I had a high school English teacher standing over me, cracking her intellectual whip. If I didn't interpret the poem adroitly, a ghastly grade would serve as my sentence. At that point in my life, I saw poets as torturers who had struck some perverse bargain with frustrated educators.
October 7, 2010
NOT TO BRAG, but when I happened across a story in yesterday's Daily News by my colleague Catherine Lucey about how more people are calling Philly home these days, I couldn't help but do a little chest-thumping. The City of Brotherly Love is the bombdiggedy, as they say. We already know the cost of living in Philly is way cheaper than Washington and New York City, and the city's neighborhoods are all that . . . but here are my reasons why Philadelphia is a great place to live.
May 1, 2015 |
What's new The first Greek American chef at the mod Greek spot Opa (1311 Sansom St.), Bobby Saritsoglou has revamped the menu top to bottom. It's all small plates. Mike Giammarino, who owns the century-old Lombardi's in Manhattan as well as Gennaro's Tomato Pie in South Philadelphia, just debuted Grace & Pat's , a family friendly ristorante at 1533 S. 11th St. (215-336-3636), across from the Singing Fountain on Passyunk Square. The cash-only BYOB - done up in New York subway kitsch - has an early, limited menu of pizza, appetizers, salads, and desserts.