Monthly Archives: April 2012

Best In Town Pizza

B.I.T.P

Easter pizza

Full frontal

Fresh to death

A quick bite

Best In Town Pizza
7971 Castor Ave.

Castro:

“All the pies of the earth. All you toppings and the cheese. Lift up your slices to the wonders of the Lord.”

Well, it’s Easter Sunday. And while most normal people are spending it slicing spiral hams and sucking down deviled eggs, the doughboys are out stalking our next cheesy victim. Consuming pizza on Easter isn’t a simple task. It seems closing your business on the day the Lord’s lifeless body reanimated and terrorized the holy land is quite popular in this city. However, after numerous unanswered phone calls around town, we found a little brick oven spot on the corner of Rhawn and Castor that chose pizza over church. And that’s ok in our book.

Best In Town Pizza may look like the traditional corner pizza shop, but they’re rocking a piece of equipment that’s no-show among Northeast Philly pizza parlors. The coveted brick oven. Brick ovens are usually gas fired and lined with fireproof brick, allowing them to burn hotter then most conventional ovens. Why does this matter you ask? I don’t know…but I needed some filler to make this review look more complete. Which reminds me, i’d like to build my own brick oven from scratch in my backyard sometime. Anyway, upon opening their menu, they have a pretty decent amount of pizzas to choose from. Two that caught our eye almost immediately were the chicken cordon bleu (crispy chicken tenders, sliced ham and extra cheese) and their extra special combination pie. Scroll your dirty little finger down to #6 on the specialty list and you’ll see their version of the deluxe pizza. Pepperoni, sausage, crispy bacon, black olives, mushrooms, onions and peppers. It’s days like this that make me realize why Jesus gave his life for us. It’s so we can eat pizza like this on Easter Sunday.

The #6 was picture worthy right out of the oven. The mounds of toppings were evenly distributed allowing every flavor to work together, giving you the ultimate pizza experience. It’s something you’d see on a stock photo of what places want their pizza to look like, but can’t quite get it right. Oh, how that pan fried bacon tickled my insides. The chicken cordon bleu was my favorite of the duo. This is the first place that I’ve seen to carry such a pie. The huge pieces of crunchy, juicy chicken tenders were enough to make me lean back in chair and grunt in gluttony. I can only imagine what the buffalo chicken or the chicken parm tastes like. Yo, they even have a pizza that’s topped with spaghetti. SPAGHETTI!! Best in town caught me by surprise with these pies. I definitely thought we were walking into sure disappointment. Instead, we left 2 very satisfied disappointments. Next time you need to make a pit stop at planned parenthood on Castor ave…stop into B.I.T.P for some top notch brick oven pizza. Totally doughboys approved.

Plichter:

This place definitely gets an A for effort on many different levels. For starters, it puts to shame a lot of the shitty pizzerias in the Northeast Philly area. They’ve got a brick oven as opposed to the customary convection oven, their specialty pizzas are crazy original, and their toppings are fresh. On paper, this pizza sounds perfect. But the most crucial start can never be forgotten: the crust.

Chicken cordon bleu pizza was a must, seeing how it’s customary to eat ham on Easter. Since we’ve had bad luck with supreme pizzas in the past (i.e. Tony’s), we decided to give the everything pie a chance too. The pies themselves looked SPECTACULAR. These things were loaded with delicious looking toppings, adequately spread out across the pie. However, these awesome toppings couldn’t make up for the puffy and undercooked, doughy crust. I can’t help but wonder, “What if?” Maybe if we had asked for the pie to be well done, the outcome would’ve been different. But this time around, it wasn’t meant to be.

Again, had the crust been cooked just a little bit longer, it probably would’ve made all the difference. I’m not gonna write this place off though. In fact, I’ll be more than happy to give them another try. Except next time, I’ll make sure to ask for another 3 or 4 minutes for my pie to cook in their brick oven. Stay tuned for a follow up review.

March Madness: The Championship

After force feeding 3 weeks worth of frozen pizzas down our throats and endless sleepless nights wondering who should move forward and who should perish, we finally have a champion to reign supreme in your grocer’s freezer. I know some of you will ultimately disagree with our findings, but again, it’s based of sheer taste and quality. We proudly present to you: The Championship.

Freezer burneedddd

The final contenders

Deluxe, son!

Sweet pepperoni

Piles of pep

"Ew, did you just eat sofa pizza?"

Castro:

This week I decided to give a fresh start to both opponents. I sat each of the team’s starters who have been battling valiantly since the beginning of last month and played two newcomers who are fresh off the bench.

Stouffer’s French Bread:

When this competition first started, I chose a Stouffer’s that would/could/should appeal to every pizza eater. This week, I went with my personal favorite in the French Bread arsenal. DELUXE. Pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, red/green peppers and oooooonions. It’s the perfect balance of toppings for a piece of pizza this size. It really doesn’t get any better than a deluxe FB, crisped to perfection and then immediately searing the skin off the roof of your mouth on the molten cheese. I spent 90% of my high school friday nights doing just that with french bread pizza. There’s a reason they made it this far in the bracket. It’s the simplicity of throwing it in the toaster oven, coupled with the small portions of great tasting pizza. I will forever have french breads stockpiled in my freezer until I die.

California Pizza Kitchen:

CPK’s margherita has been kicking ass and taking names since the sweet sixteen was in full effect. However, for the championship, I found a new gem in the pizza kitchen’s line-up that I’ve never seen before. “The Signature Pepperoni.” It has all the inner workings of their other gourmet pizzas, but this one has a combination of mozzarella AND smoked gouda as well as diced tomatoes. Not to mention being smothered with handfuls of thick cut, juicy pepperoni slices. The thing I love about CPK is that they pre-season all their pizzas with different spices that give their frozen pies a flavor that far surpasses anything the competition can come up with. It just seems like they want their customers to have the best quality, reasonably priced pizzas around. I have no doubt that if you walked into a CPK restaurant and ordered this exact pizza from the menu, it would come out tasting almost identical to this one. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again…quality over quantity every. single. time. My taste buds have spoken. California Pizza Kitchen hit the fadeaway jumper at the overtime buzzer that sealed their fate as frozen pizza champions of the universe.

Plichter:

I’m sure most people will disagree with our decision, but they’ll just have to taste for themselves. CPK had an uphill battle, beating out four classics and personal favorites. I don’t care what anyone says, I eat Tony’s at least once a week. Red Barron, Ellio’s, and Stouffer’s are all classics, but had to take a seat on the bench to make way for a new star in the frozen pizza category. Throughout this competition I tried a couple different California Pizza Kitchen pizzas, and each one satisfied and impressed. You can never replace a classic, but you can add a new one to the category. Congratulations are in order for California Pizza Kitchen.

Winner, winner, pizza dinner

Aldo’s Pizzarama

Aldo's

Sausage and peppers and pepperoni oh my...

Tawppings

Sicilian

Real men don't fold their shit

Nice glasses, four eyes

Aldo’s Pizzarama

10201 Bustleton Avenue

Castro:

This week we hit the far Northeast to a place that’s been baking pies since Alien and Rocky 2 were topping the box office charts. Aldo’s has had the same owners, same location, and the same style of pizza making for over 33 years. I mean, even the decor inside in reminiscent of the disco era. I think it’s kind of cool that the Aldo’s family hasn’t given in to corporate consumerism. Even Carmen, the pieslinger who took our order, has been working there since the year I was born. A fair amount of our fans have some mixed reviews of Aldo’s pizza. Some people claim they were better years ago, while others say their pizza was flat out under par. But there are some who said it’s one of the better pies up that way. We wanted to set the record straight and see what they really had to offer.

Going in we knew we wanted to get something with sausage on it, so we decided on half sausage and green pepper, and half pepperoni. You can’t go wrong with either choice of toppings anywhere you go. Off the bat I noticed the crust was crispy and it was perfectly well done, which wasn’t a bad start. The sausage was sliced into shavings, as if the links were sent through a deli slicer. It was fairly tasty and had a little kick to it. I think that when you slice it down that thin, you ultimately end up losing a good amount of flavor. Nice sized chunks or balls of sausage are my preference when it comes to dead pigs on pies. I think the peppers gave that side of the pizza the taste it needed to win my heart. The pepperoni was my favorite of the halves. It was a little spicy, and totally reminded of the meat you would get from corner Italian deli. When I held my slice vertical, my paper plate sopped up the grease drippings like a sponge. Seems like it’s the ideal pizza if you need a quick fix of cheese and sauce.

All in all it was an enjoyable pie. It wasn’t spectacular, but I definitely didn’t hate it. I’d recommend it to anyone who was looking to grab a pie in a jiff. Remember that scene in Donnie Brasco when Lefty says “When I introduce you, I’m gonna say that you’re a friend of mine. That means you’re a connected guy.”? Aldo’s is without a doubt “a friend of mine.” I’d vouch for their pizza all day. However, if you really want to make the Doughboy’s infamous “best of” list, you gotta do something to stand out from the rest. This way when we introduce you to our fans, we can say “This is a friend of ours. That means you’re a made guy…and nobody can fuck with you.” Aldo’s just didn’t have that single quality to give them the edge over the competition. Good pizza. Easily forgettable.

Plichter:

I should start by mentioning how much more enjoyable our reviews are when Castro brings his gun along. Our business cards let these pizzerias know we’re legit, but the gun tells them we’re serious. It also gives us the option of shooting the remaining slices after the review if it doesn’t meet the cut, or maybe even strike some fear into the hearts of shitty pizzeria proprietors. But enough of this nonsense, let’s talk about Aldo’s.

Aldo’s Pizzarama, on the outside and in, resembles a true pizzeria that the passing of time has overlooked. Every time I drive by, I feel compelled to stop in and grab a slice by the looks alone. The nostalgic exterior resembles something out of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, or maybe even Dazed and Confused. Based on looks alone, this place wins.

After our usual meet and greet we turned our attention to the television, which was playing highlights from the Flyers game earlier that afternoon. It didn’t take long for the manager Carmen to notice this and start talking hockey. So right off the bat, this place had two wins in my book. We placed our order, and waited patiently for our well-done pie to cook. While waiting, I decided to indulge in a highly recommended slice of their Sicilian pizza. I’m not usually a fan of thick crust pizza, but this one was pretty decent and kept me happy. The thickness and crispiness of the crust, along with a slightly burnt cheese on top, was worth a try based on the word of mouth I had received. But we all know that there’s no substitution for a good, thin crust pizza.

Shortly after the Sicilian, our half pepperoni/half sausage and green pepper arrived. Now I’ve eaten so much pepperoni pizza in my lifetime that I’m usually drawn to whatever our alternative half may be, but this was not the case this time around. The pepperoni was crowned victorious, but only by default. The tangy and generously portioned pepperoni had beaten a dull competitor. Had the sausage been ground pork instead of sliced, maybe made with more oregano, basil, and/or thyme, it would have been more impressive. Not being much of a gambler (HA!), I’d stick with the safe bet: pepperoni.

Here’s the gist: Aldo’s is good. If you’re in the area and need your fix, hit them up. The retro feel, friendly staff, and decent pizza is worth a try if you’re nearby. But I wouldn’t go out of my way to pay them a visit.

 

March Madness: Final Frozen 4

The Final Frozen Four

The final frozen four go head to head in a battle to the death to see who moves on to claim the title of “World’s greatest frozen pizza.” On Friday, April 6th, we’ll post the championship in which the winner will be announced following a violent and gruesome deathmatch to the end.

The inverted blow

Ellios Schmellios

Ellios VS California Pizza Kitchen

It’s finally down to the final four of the frozen pizza world. The poor man’s dinner pitted against the upper echelon of cheese and sauce. I totally understand that these are 2 different styles of frozen pizza and probably appeal to a different audience of pizza eaters as well. Ellios is cheap and fairly simple to make. If you want to heat up a single sheet, you can wrap the rest up for your next late night freezer raid. Ellios has been a part of my worthless and miserable life forever. It’s gotten me through some cash-less times. I’ve devoured it toasted and microwaved. Folded over like a sandwich and topped with leftovers from the night before. Burnt to a crisp and still frozen in the center. I could never turn my back on them. Cue the California Pizza Kitchen. Easily gourmet frozen pizza at it’s finest. CPK offers everything from individual to large pizzas. Traditional to garlic and BBQ chicken. They only use top notch ingredients on all their products. My decision is base solely on quality and not personal history. Alot of you are gonna hate me for this, but I gotta give the win to the west coast pizza. CPK undoubtedly makes the tastier pie of the pair and advances to the championship. – JC

I want some fuckin' french bread

Toom Stown

Tombstone VS Stouffer’s French Bread

This was by no means an easy matchup to referee. Here we have two classics, respected and revered by many, in a battle to the death. But whereas Tombstone can be classified with so many others because of its shape and crust, Stouffer’s French Bread Pizza is in a class of its own. Congratulations to Stouffer’s for making it past the Frozen Four and into the championship. – JP