Monthly Archives: January 2012

Drougie’s Pizza

Drougie’s Pizza
3542 Cottman Avenue

Castro:

Druggies? Drew jee’s? Drow gee’s? Regardless of how it’s pronounced, we decided to savor one of the better-known pizza shops in Mayfair. Honestly, I’ve been living here my entire, sad and miserable life and I’ve yet to sample a Drougie’s pie. Just by logging onto their website, you’ll have a massive build-a-pizza workshop at your fingertips. Their various toppings, sizes and specialty pizzas are sure to keep everyone happy. French fry and cheese whiz pizza? Sure! Chicken finger and honey mustard pie? Why not?! Bacon and egg pizza? Uh huh! How about a gigantic 28” pizza? Yup! I was actually quite surprised at their selections. Since Plic and I are working 2 totally different and bogus work schedules this week, we decided to split the review up. I kept my picks simple, yet semi-extravagant. I went with a large half hot sausage and half hot peppers pie. Hot sausage as a topping is scarce, so seeing it on the menu was a sight for sore eyes. Kind of like not seeing the episode of full house where Michelle tanner falls off the horse and then turning on ABC family when it just so happens to be on.

First off, let me say this…Fuck all the haters on Facebook who spoke words of woe on this pizza. I don’t like to throw the word “perfect” or “best” around too often when it comes to pizza, but this was pretty damn close. I am fully aware that I may very well have made a few enemies with the previous statement but so be it. I don’t know if it was the combination of toppings or if it was because I was extremely hungry, but man was it good. The hot sausage was loaded with generously sized slices of spicy link sausage. Not crumbles or shavings, which I really enjoyed. The sausage had a little kick to it but not too much where I couldn’t enjoy that delicious meat in my mouth. The hot peppers weren’t the normal hot peppers you usually get on your cheesesteaks. They were actual red and yellow banana peppers. I was blown away at how great they tasted. Thinly sliced, super juicy and exploding with flavor. I even put a few little squirts of Frank’s Red Hot on both slices, which only enhanced my spicy topping experience. My only regret is that I should’ve combined the sausage and peppers. It probably would’ve been the super megazord of pizzas. I wouldn’t place their pizza under the “thin” category, but it was just the right thickness for my blood. The crust was blistered, blackened and crisped to perfection. It was a little on the thick side, but still bangin’.

I walked into Drougie’s half expecting slop, based off the reviews of some of our followers and yet I walked out of there EXTREMELY satisfied. I even stored their number in my phone because I know I’ll be placing some more orders in the near future. I’d recommend that particular pie to anyone looking for a great pizza to eat at home on a Friday night while watching lethal weapon 3. A round of applause is in order for the best pizza of 2012 thus far. Hats off from this Filipino Irishman.

Plichter:

“Let me get this straight… They opened a new pizzeria at Cottman and Frankford and named it Druggie’s? Yeah, that seems about right.” This was my exact reaction about three years ago when Drougie’s Pizza first set up shop. Skepticism doesn’t even come close to describing my initial feelings based on their name alone. Why would you want to cram another shoddy shop into a strip already clustered with subpar pizza? And furthermore, why would you give it such a terrible name? Many of the pizzerias on Frankford Avenue are notorious for not only serving some of the worst pizza around, but for lacking any sort of originality whatsoever. It was going to be an uphill battle for Drougie’s to impress this Dough Boy.

If you’re looking for a fine dining experience in a quaint pizzeria, you should probably look elsewhere. Drougie’s only has one table inside, and various employees and drivers usually occupy it. But that didn’t stop me from ordering a large pepperoni and eating it in my car! Although it had been quite a while since my last meal, the extra ten minutes spent waiting for this bad boy to cook was totally worth it.

I hardly hesitated to open the lid and dig right in after I jumped into my car. Word to the wise: Eating a fresh from the oven pizza in a Chevy Blazer isn’t exactly the ideal way to eat Drougie’s. A conglomerate of cheese, sauce and grease descended into the box with every bite, as my savage hunger caused me to tear through that pizza like a Kleenex at a snot party. (That’s a Simpsons reference, by the way.) It was cooked to perfection, with the semi-burnt edges and cheese almost reminiscent of a pie from Gino’s right down the street. However, the thicker crust and extremely greasy pepperoni hindered such a comparison. This pie was good, but definitely not on the same level as Gino’s.

Drougie’s Pizza was a much-welcomed change when compared to the rest of the crap served on Frankford Avenue. Decently priced, well proportioned and genuinely tasty, the competition could definitely learn a thing or two from Drougie’s. They’ll never be as good as Gino’s, but then again no other pizzeria in the neighborhood will be. There’s no shame in being runner up. Well done.

Ernie’s Pizza

Ernie's

The goods.

Sexy close up

Even kids get down with ernie's

The great white delight

Ernie’s Pizza

1618 Cottman Avenue

“Haven’t I told you to call me Ernie…or Big Ern?” This review was somewhat of a fluke and pretty much fell into my lap. I hadn’t received any recommendations nor have I had any prior history with the slices at Ernie’s pizza on Cottman. You see, while Plichter was busy getting shitfaced and partying with the likes of Danny Briere, Braydon Coburn and other various members of the flyers organization in Nashville, I just happened to drive by Ernie’s on a whim. Remembering the decent and husky cheese steaks they’ve produced for me in the past, I decided to give their pizza a whirl. Trying not to get beat up by those Northeast high scumbags, I dipped in to be greeted by a pretty extensive list of toppings. I proceeded to slam my fist on the counter and demand that the lady behind the register hit me with their best slice. Well, actually I didn’t say that but it would’ve been pretty awesome if I did. I did however ask what the most succulent pizza they could construct for me was. I was informed that their signature pie was a white pizza topped with thick, juicy cut tomatoes, fresh spinach and finished off with hefty scoops of ricotta cheese. “Mmmm, that sounds good. I’ll have that.” And since I was completely and utterly hungover from a wedding the night before, I felt like I needed a healthy dose of grease to get me back on my feet. A half pepperoni seemed in order. 8 slices should be enough for one beastly and bulging man, right?

I must say, the half white and half cheese on top was a perfect, non-discriminative pick on my part. The white pizza could’ve been a little more garlicky for me. Seeing that we’ve hit nothing but home runs with white pizzas in the past (Johnny’G’s, Vince’s, Stogie’s) I kind of had my standards held high. The massive portions of flavorful tomatoes and spinach more than made up for it. The ricotta cheese was a rare and creamy addition to my pizza eating résumé that I enjoyed thoroughly. The crust was a little too doughy for my taste. I ate my slices to the edge and slung my crust on the table like I was tossin’ hunnits in the club. Having said all that, the pepperoni was without a doubt my favorite of the two halves. Nothing beats a bunch of greasy, salty pieces of pepperoni. They were plentiful, they were crispy and they hit the spot for a much needed post-night of drinking. After devouring 6 slices, my Iphone screen was glistening and shimmering with grease, kind of like Plichter’s forehead on a steamy July evening. The prices here are extremely reasonable and you can grab 2 slices and a coke for about $5, all day erryyy day. Now I wouldn’t go out of my way to hit up Ernie’s again but if you’re looking for a good quality slice of pizza on the go…Ernie’s definitely has your back, boy.

Jules Thin Crust Pizza

Jules Thin Crust Pizza

817 Old York Road, Jenkintown PA

John Plichter:

It’s really hard for a Dough Boy like myself to appease all my followers with so many recommendations constantly coming in. Work and geographic location prevent me from eating pizza in the Philadelphia area more than once a week if I’m lucky, so every suggestion is considered thoroughly before we visit. But after being badgered by Pat Sicilia and Brian Drennen for long enough, I knew there was one place in particular that was overdue for a review: Jules.

While many pizzerias claim to use only the freshest ingredients (like that crap factory Papa John’s), Jules puts them all to shame. The fact that all of their ingredients are locally produced and organic is certainly something to boast about. Their sauce is made fresh daily with organic tomatoes and olive oil.  Only the finest mozzarella and parmesan cheeses are used. Aside from traditional topping selections, gourmet choices such as portabella mushrooms and roasted eggplant break the mundane mold that has become the standard. They also offer a gluten-free pizza for those with food allergies or celiac disease, allowing those affected to enjoy a dish that was once intolerable. With so many options to choose from and none of their pies exceeding $20, the possibilities are endless.

I started off with a slice of the Meat Selection #3: Hormone-free roasted chicken, chopped organic tomatoes and onions, mozzarella, limejuice, cilantro, and extra virgin olive oil. Even though their pizzas may sound expensive, a slice of this elegant bastard was only about three bucks. The unique, oblong, thin crust was a crispy and sturdy enough base for the toppings above. I honestly think that this topping combination had to have been handed down from God himself, as if he passed off two stone tablet pizza menus to a pie-slinging Moses. Never could I fathom such a winning combination. The hint of limejuice with every bite was a welcomed change from the norm, while the fresh ingredients really cut through the clutter and stood out. Whereas it sometimes gets lost in a sea of flavor with the other toppings at certain pizzerias, the cilantro at Jules served a purpose.

Just as I finished my individual slice of #3, our other pizza had arrived. “Kim’s Pie” starts with the same hormone-free roasted chicken as before, but with portobello mushroom, caramelized onion, mozzarella, balsamic BBQ sauce, and chives. If I had given that first slice a perfect 10 rating, this one was an 11. The balsamic BBQ was a little lighter and tart than your normal BBQ sauce, which totally meshed well with the mozzarella. I never had caramelized onion on anything other than red meat, but I’ll def be adding it to my chicken and pizzas after this experience. Again, the freshness of the chives allowed them to transcend garnish status. This was the type of pizza that you buy a couple of when you’re there so you can enjoy the leftovers for a few days afterwards.

Jules Thin Crust Pizza meets at the intersection of Chic Street and Appetizing Avenue. I was skeptical of their trendy interior and exterior, but their pizza speaks for itself. An original and delectable take on an old classic, the options at this distinctive pizzeria will certainly have me coming back for more. Outstanding.