1824 E. Passyunk
So you’re in South Philly, huh? Sure, you can get a cheesesteak or a slice of pizza from one of the endless array of overpriced slop shops at your immediate disposal…OR! You can stop at a little 8-year-old joint on the northwest corner of 1800 Passyunk avenue called “Isabella Pizza.” We’ve received a few recommendations to try the pies from here. But, not just any pie; the “Chicken Parm Pizza.” Sounds fascinating, right?! In all my years of wasting my life away, getting fat from devouring slice after slice, I’ve never had this particular concoction on a pizza before. I’m a complete sucker for chicken parmesan. Especially when I go out to semi-classless, yet totally white trash Italian restaurants. I don’t wanna give out any unnecessary plugs, so we’ll just refer to them as “Golive Arden.” There’s something about that dish that’s just so simple and reassuring. Even a little ugly baby will suck it down.
Picture this. A generous sized slice topped with diced pieces of crispy breaded chicken cutlet, totally sweet and tangy marinara sauce and a heaping sprinkle-sprankle of fresh mozzarella cheese. It was ALL THAT. My slice held up perfectly. It didn’t sag. No need for a fork and knife. All hands on deck. I even picked up and ate the pieces of chicken that base jumped from my slice to the tabletop, kinda like what one of those occupy Philly idiots would do to lit cigarette that they’d find on the sidewalk. Their menu has one of the biggest selections of gourmet and traditional pizzas too choose from, just in case chicken parm isn’t your thing (we probably shouldn’t associate anymore if this is the case.) Also I’d like to add, they have a peanut butter sandwich topped with grilled banana slices, honey and sprinkled with cinnamon. It’s simply titled “the king.” I’ll give mad props to whoever tries that delicious bastard first.
I went into Isabella’s on a completely empty stomach and I tapped out by the middle of the second slice. That’s how big these slices were. Not only that, but I spent $5.50 on 2 slices and a soda. That’s a first date type of restaurant in my book. You can use your savings to put toward the zookeeper on DVD for your loved one’s stocking stuffers. I’d say this may have very well been my absolute favorite “slice-to-go” pizza that I’ve ever had.
After living in South Philly for three years, I can honestly say a lot of pizza places down there are overrated. In fact, some places have been downright awful. The Mack’s down on Oregon Ave is nothing like the one on the boardwalk. I’ll never order from Bella pizza again after my roommate Anthony Berardi found chicken feathers on their wings. (PS- Their pizza was mediocre too. It didn’t “fucking suck” but it sucked.) But there was one place in particular that has continued to impress me since that first bite: Isabella Pizza. Aside from their impressive plain slices, their specialty pizzas are absolutely phenomenal. As easy as it sounds to make a chicken parm pizza, Isabella has perfected it.
Many pizzerias that sell slices make up for their quality by serving gargantuan slices. Others try serving tiny, gourmet slices for the same price. Isabella Pizza is the place where the best of both worlds meet. Their slices are hefty and delicious, not to mention reasonable. Thin crust that doesn’t waver, along with cheese that coats the entire slice accordingly, come together for a nice start to a perfect slice. But any pizzeria can throw together cheese and crust, so let’s get into the chicken. I don’t know how they do it, but the breaded chicken chunks take a mundane idea and make it anything but. It’s totally simple, but simply delicious. It’s juicy, lightly breaded, strips of all white meat chicken. The cheese then solidifies it in place, making sure you get chicken in every bite. Although I believe there could be more marinara in there from time to time, the chicken parm pizza at Isabella’s has never left me disappointed.
I’ve had so many assholes tell me that the best pizza in Philly is authentic South Philadelphia pizza. I’m not gonna lie, I’m a bit biased since I’m from the Neast and grew up on Gino’s. But if you’re in South Philly and need to get your pizza fix, you can depend on Isabella’s for the best in the area. If you’ve already had the chicken parm pizza there, go for the white pie with steak, peppers, and onions. You can thank me later.