Sorry for the slow month in pizza postings, Im doing my best to continue the search for great pizza. However I am finding less and less good pizza in the LA area. I feel like I might be coming near the end of what is out there. I have eaten so much below average pizza in the last month I start to forget what good pizza actually tastes like. I have become jaded and have started to fall into a delirious state of mind, where I think bad pizza is good. I give bad pizza 3 out of 5 stars for nothing more than filling my stomach. The reality is, if I ate that same pizza on the east coast I would give it no more than 1 or 2 stars.
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Hollywood (the greater area)
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I recently visited Philadelphia, a city very close to N.Y.C. and very similar in pizza style. I only ate at one pizza place there, I had to save room for the cheese steaks, but it was so good it woke me up from my jaded L.A. ways. I quickly remembered what good pizza tastes like and that I have actually been eating a lot of crap pizza in L.A. for awhile.
As I ate it I just couldn't get over how simple it was. There was nothing extraordinary about what I was eating. It was just pizza, as simple as it can get. Some how though, it was miles better than most anything out here. Why can't any one get it right? Why is something so simple, so hard to replicate?
I ate at a place called GianFranco Pizza Rustica. It is on 3rd and Market in the Old City. There are 2 others in Center City and South Philly, but I think this was the first. It was a small place that sold slices. It seemed pretty busy, though it wouldn't take much to make it seem that way since there was little room to stand inside.
It was great pizza. Everything about it was done well. The crust was thin and crispy but had a doughy center. It was actually blackened on the outer edge, just short of being burnt, but that slight char gave it great flavor. The sauce was pretty awesome. Sweet fresh tomatoey flavor. The cheese was fresh and had a generous amount, that wasn't too much. It worked well with the sauce. Salty and sweet and a little oily to top it all off. Like I said there wasn't anything amazing that made this pizza stand out by itself. It was simple and all the ingredients were cooked right and worked well together. Really makes you wonder why so many places screw it up. Same goes with cheese steaks, a pretty simple food, but yet nobody outside of a small area in the East, can do it.
There might be better places in the city, though I don't think there could be too much better. There also might be a lot of bad places too. So this one place by no means represents all pizza in Philly. Though Philly in general I think has pretty good pizza that is on par with this place. There may be a greater number of bad places than in NY, but in general Philly knows its pizza. If you are in the area and have had your fill of cheese steaks, hit up GianFranco, you wont be disappointed.
Posted by JAB at 7:49 PM