10201 Bustleton Avenue
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.
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.