2119 W. Oregon Ave.
About a month ago, I was sitting in juvenile court downtown, when I noticed a guy staring at me. He politely walked over, sat down next to me and said, “Hey, are you one of the doughboys?” I can’t help but get super hype when someone knows me from the blog. I imagine it’s similar to how Jonathan Taylor Thomas feels when people recognize him in public. Anyway, we got to talkin’ about the pizza sitch in South Philly. He’s a cop who works the beat down by the stadiums. He proceeded to enlighten me about how most of the places in South Philly weren’t doughboys worthy and that they’d probably just end up being a complete waste of time. He did mention a place that he eats at on the reg with dynamite pizza and signature fries. Uncle Oogie’s (pronounced Uncle Loogies). The name alone is hilarious enough for a visit. This isn’t the first time that Oog’s managed to make it onto my radar. They’re known city wide for their infamous “bubba fries.” Crispy french fries topped with seasoned ground beef, bacon, pickles and smothered in mozzarella cheese. If this were the doughboys french fry blog, I have no doubt in my mind that these would get a killer write up. Here’s a tip. Grab a pinch full and place it on your pizza. It’s like doing a bump of Walt’s blue sky crystal meth. It’s the ultimate high. Since Hurricane Sandy was busy ripping trees from the ground and knocking down power lines, we decided to keep this one a delivery special.
Let’s start with one of Oogie’s top sellers. The “Big Lou.” Marinated chicken, sautéed asparagus, caramelized onions and finished off with a ricotta and mozzarella cheese combo. As soon as I opened the box, I was hit in the face with a scent that can only be described as what your grandmother’s homemade chicken noodle soup might smell like after simmering on low heat all afternoon. The enormous slices of juicy grilled chicken were a perfect mate to the sweet onions and salty, chopped sautéed asparagus. Ricotta cheese on pizza always makes me a bit uneasy. I’m not a fan of the texture and wetness of it. They seasoned it up very well, where I actually didn’t mind this clumpy, moist cheese making an appearance on my pie. I’d like to give a round of applause to Oogie’s crust. Extra crispy and it handled perfectly. I love me an over abundance of crust bubbles. All in all, it was a decent combination of toppings that made for a super unique tasting slice.
Having said all that, the award for best actor in a dramatic role definitely goes to the “Junk Yard Dog.” As soon I laid eyes on the menu, I knew the world must hear about this pie. It’s a breakfast pizza, but to the likes of which you’ve probably never seen. 9 slices of a square, semi-thin, old world style za. First, a blanket of American cheese slices creates a base layer for this monster. Then, it’s lined with scrambled eggs and topped off with some of the best breakfast meats imaginable. Sausage, bacon, ham and….wait for it…WAIT FOR IT…pork roll. Have you ever even heard of pork roll on pizza? Because I haven’t. Considering it’s one of my all-time favorite breakfast meats on the planet, needless to say I fell in love at first bite. All 4 greasy meats worked in unison to create the ultimate voltron of grizzly and manly pizza toppings. Rest in peace to the many swine who thoughtlessly laid their lives down so that Plichter and I could enjoy this breakfast feast. Cue the meat sweats.
Uncle Oogie’s reintroduced South Philly as a major player in this pizza game. They have the originality and top notch quality to throw hands with the best of em’. Undoubtedly, there will come a time in your life when a plain or pepperoni pizza just won’t cut it for supper anymore. You’ll end up needing a break from the same old grind of cheese and sauce. When that day should happen to arrive, I truly hope that you will be at the exit gates of normality to greet Oogie’s “Junk Yard Dog” with arms wide open. Remember, Mom always said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
It’s really a shame that I spent my time in south Philly going to school and work constantly, because I really missed out on some awesome eats. I must’ve driven past Uncle Oogie’s at least 20 times between 2008 and 2010, but never actually went inside. It just never clicked in my brain. Even if I were hungry and driving by, I’d just stare at the place and keep on my way. Only years later when Castro mentioned Uncle Oogie’s did I finally get a chance at redemption.
For over 15 years, Uncle Oogie’s has been serving up a “unique blend of Italian and South Philadelphian cuisine.” After establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the Jersey Shore pizza circuit, they have since added a second location at 21st and Oregon. One look at their menu and I knew that this place was legit. Not only were their options hilariously named, they were ridiculously original. Ordering the Big Lou, the Junk Yard Dog, and the Bubba Fries was a no-brainer.
Even though we didn’t order until about 3pm, I was pleased to find out that Uncle Oogie’s serves their breakfast pizzas all day. So we started off with the Junk Yard Dog; a square breakfast pie topped with scrambled eggs, American cheese, bacon, sausage, pork roll and ham. It’s a miracle my arteries didn’t completely harden after housing three slices of this bad oscar, but it would’ve been totally worth it. Considering breakfast is my least favorite meal if the day, I would have no problem eating the Junk Yard Dog at any given time. The American cheese and scrambled eggs, combined with the chewy Sicilian crust, gave it a taste similar to a breakfast sandwich. No need to pick and choose your favorite breakfast meat on this thing either, since they’re all there for your enjoyment. (I would’ve preferred some scrapple on there too, but I’m not sure if that’s even considered a type of meat.)
Next on deck was the Big Lou; a white pie topped with marinated chicken, sautéed asparagus, caramelized onions and an extra helping of seasoned ricotta cheese. All these toppings together created a taste reminiscent of a Thanksgiving feast. The seasoning of the ricotta, caramelized onion and sautéed asparagus especially tasted like a holiday stuffing after sitting for a few minutes. I can only imagine what this would taste like with a side of chicken gravy, and I’ll be putting that idea into practice in the future.
Apparently no order from Uncle Oogie’s is complete without an order of Bubba Fries, but you didn’t have to twist my arm to order these once I heard about this delicious mess. Crispy fries topped with ground beef, diced pickle, American cheese and bacon? Never have I been more proud to be a fat American than when I read about the Bubba Fries. Uncle Oogie’s is just the place to encourage my hedonistic lifestyle, and will undoubtedly continue to for a while.