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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Philadelphia Pizza

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.

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.

Gianfranco Pizza Rustica on UrbanspoonGianfranco Pizza Rustica on UrbanspoonGianfranco Pizza Rustica on Urbanspoon


  1. Rustica is ok. Tacconelli's is the indisputed best in Philly.

    be sure to read "How to Order" before you go though.

  2. I love pizza more than I love my own grandfather, Ducky Schofield!

  3. Pizza in philly NO WAY!!!!

    Been all over philly and had pizza nothing like New York, not as bad as pizza down south or out west but can't touch N.Y.C.

    What makes a great pizza New York City tap watter mostly Manhattan and Brooklyn but thats it, thats why the pizza in New York is the greatest in the world.

    philly pizza don't make me choke!!!
    more like philadelphia cardboard!!!!!

    Your chessesteaks in philly are very overated, I have had better in New York!!!! Chessewiz on a chessesteak thats nasty, some people put chessewiz on a cheesesteak in New York, you can get that version, but in New York or Boston its nasty. Cheesewiz goes on Nachos not a chessesteak. Provolone and mayo New York style chessesteaks are the best. How can you have a cheesesteak without mayo. I here in Atlantic city the put provolone on chessesteaks also.
    Try Carl's Steaks in New York or Morties their the best in the world. Their was a chessesteak I had in Brooklyn that mite of been the best I ever had at a pizza place but i forget what the name was!!!

    New York pizza the best no equal and their will never be!!!

    New York cheesesteks are better than philly too!!!!






  5. philly does not know what good pizza is!!!

    New York pizza is the best!!!!

  6. If you want pizza you come to New York!!!!

    If you want chessesteaks you still come to New York!!!!

  7. Philly pizza stinks

    The phillies stink also

    So you won the world series its about time philly won something. The phillies world series was the least watched world series in history. Nobody even watched it on T.V. Only philly would have a 2 day last game in the world series due to rain. Who cares about the Rays vs Phillies world series?

    Just because the phillies won the world series dose not change the fact that the phillies were the 1st team to loose 10,000 games in all major sports this includes: NFL,MLB,NBA,NHL. The phillies have the most losses in the history of sports. HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!

    philly pizza stinks !!!!

    and the phillies stink!!!

    New York has the best pizza in the world!!!
    Mets are the best to!!!

    GO METS!!!!!!

  8. philly pizza HA HA HA HA HA!!! don't make me laugh!!!!

    New York pizza baby

  9. New York pizza!!!!

    once you tried it you will forget pizza in philly!!!

  10. Captin Crooklyn$$$$September 4, 2009 at 7:51 PM

    New York City greatest pizza!!!!!

    philly has pizza? No really their is such thing as philly pizza? No Way!!!!

  11. " A slice of pizza is a slice of pizza, but a slice of NEW YORK PIZZA is a slice of heaven"!!!

    philly pizza don't really know what to say about that?

    Wait I know philly pizza sucks!!!

  12. " The Man of Manhattan"September 4, 2009 at 7:59 PM

    Ryan Howard sucks, Brad Lidge sucks, Jimmy Rollins sucks, Jasson Werth sucks, Cole Hammels sucks.

    Oh yeah philly pizza sucks!!!

    New York pizza is the best!!!

  13. Hey JAB,

    Been to Philly and didn't let me know? I know LA is your territory but Philly pizza is my expertise. I created another blog that says so. I will be diving into the depths of Philly pizza while trying to disprove the naysayers who just don't know. Most people think Philly is known just for cheese steaks but have no idea how weak that perception is. Come take a peak if you have some time.

    Have a great Labor Day weekend!

    Blog Pizza

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. wow thats a lot of hate towards not only philly pizza, but philly in general, from the cheesesteaks to the baseball team.
    I can't believe these so called New Yorkers have such discuss for Philly. It's not Boston you know, there isn't some evil rivalry between the two cities. When you provoke Boston, they come at you. Philly can't be provoked, they know they are a great city and don't need to talk other cities down to prove it. I love NY and I love their pizza, but give Philly some credit.
    And please, the METS.... really.....

  16. Hi Jab,

    I just read your post and couldn't agree more. Let NY talk all the trash they want...they are just jealous! JAB, you live in LA but I can tell you are a true Philly fan at heart! By the way NY fans, here is a little blog about where the real Philly cheese steaks come from:

  17. To New York Jet:

    If I want good pizza, I'll go to New York.

    If I want to watch sucky, pathetic baseball, I'll watch the METS.


  18. Also to NEW YORK JET

    How exactly do you "loose" 10,000 games? Just wondering.

  19. Typical "New York attitude" by some of the dillweeds on here. They think their sh!t doesn't stink and that their city is the be-all and end-all of everything. Guess what, not all cheesesteak joints in Philly use whiz. If you think that's all there is in Philly and the surrounding areas, you're sadly mistaken.

  20. Jab,

    Just reviewed the same Gianfranco Rustica pizza joint that you went to and agree with your conclusions. Here is the review:

  21. This pizza is looking really nice. I love pizza more than anything.

  22. Hi! Thanks for the great information you have provided! You have touched on crucuial points! i bookmarked it and will be back to check some more later. Chopstix

  23. I think I'll stick with my boys from The Good Pizza, I'm a picky chick. The Good Pizza – Westchester 7929 Emerson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045 310-215-1883.. I swear you'll thank me.. If you've not go check them out and review them, the guy is pretty chill with people coming to review it, keeps winning awards so he's all for it.


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