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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Via Veneto (Norristown) - Sicilian Pizza

Appears a corner cut of a thick crusted pie with a nearly charred outer crust, and a large amount of deep red tomato sauce with a smoldering of melted mozzarella cheese. - 4

The crust is crunchy and crisp along the edges and the bottom but it yields to a soft, Italian bread that you can really chew and sink your teeth into. Obvious high heat as evidenced by the near charred edges but the inside is the real winner with this Sicilian pie. - 4.5

The sauce is conjured up from the same base of crushed tomatoes that Sam's in Wildwood, NJ uses. It's fresh with a tangy flavor. - 4

The cheese is ok. I believe they use Polly-O whole milk mozzarella, as I see several buckets of it around the kitchen area. Creamy, milky, gooey...I'll take it. The cheese on this one plays second fiddle to the crust and sauce. - 3.5

Overall, this is a favorite pie for Sicilian pie fans in the Norristown area. This has been a family & friend favorite for years. If you dig the thick crust pizza, these guys make one of the best ones out there. - 4.5

Total Score: 4.1/5

Via Veneto's Website:

Via Veneto Pizza on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 17, 2009

Carmine's Pizza(Blue Bell) - Boardwalk Pizza

Appearsa medium slice with crispy edges, a thin crust, browned bottom, and a layering of red sauce and a mix of cheese. It looks appetizing right off the bat. There could be a bit more of the toppings spread closer to the edge but it's not too bad, overall. - 3.5

The crust is crispy, thin, with a nicely finished underside that works well as a "boardwalk" style pie. It works well with this pie. I give them credit for giving this option because their regular pie was a bit more bready, and airy with lots of visible fermentation cells. This one was flat and crisp. - 4

The sauce is meant to be sweet on this one. Some people take to it, others simply don't. It's got some sugar added to the sauce, along with a large helping of basil, which infuses with the acidic tomato base to make it more appealing(to kids) than a rustic style crushed tomato sauce. Heck, this sauce may even be as sweet, if not sweeter, than Franzone's of Bridgeport & Plymouth. Again, I'm a huge fan of the sweet basil sauces, so keep that in mind before ordering a full pie. I don't think Tom B. was much of a fan of the sweet sauce but I'm a sucker for it. - 5

The cheese is a mix of mozzarella & cheddar. It's got a nice flavor, and texture that goes perfectly against the crispy crust and the sweet sauce. They apply the cheese in bits of blotches, which makes each bite pop with a nice bite of cheese, or sauce. - 4.5

Overall, it made a good impression on me. I stumbled upon this delicious pie during a beer tasting at my buddy Steve's place. His wife, Trish, usually picks up different pies and happened to grab this one, which certainly won me over. If you're a fan of the Franzone's pie, or want to try something a little different, give this one a shot. It's a nice addition to the pizza options. - 4

Total Score: 4.2/5

Carmine's Phone # (610) 278-7500

Carmine's Pizza on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 3, 2009

John's Pizza (Frazer) - Cheesesteak

Appears a 12" roll that is packed. I wouldn't say "overflowing" but it's got a good amount of meat piled in the roll. Sauteed, chopped onions sharing space with the thinly sliced sirloin & cheese. - 4

The I suspected(& confirmed), a Conshy roll. I'd be willing to say that 75% of the better steak sandwich places in the 'burbs use the Conshohocken steak sandwich rolls. I've been through the drill with this roll a few times. See any of my other posts. - 4

The meat is thinly sliced sirloin that is cooked just enough where it retains it's juiciness and tenderness. It seems to be seasoned nicely too. It's a good mix of mild spice, pepper, and oil coming through. - 3.5

The cheese is properly executed, here. It's abundant enough to stand out and touch most of the strips of shaved beef. - 4

Overall, this is one of the best cheesesteaks in the Main Line, Lancaster Avenue area. It's certainly the best place to get a cheesesteak in Frazer, or Malvern. I remember going to the old, smaller place back when I was a kid. Still the same sandwich that I remember. People come from surrounding areas to grab this sandwich. Get some. - 4

Total Score: 3.9/5

John's website:

John's Pizza on Urbanspoon

Blue Ox Bistro (Philadelphia / Fox Chase)

I've wanted to check this place out for quite some time. While passing through the Fox Chase section of the city, I finally had the opportunity. They have a nice, spacious parking lot right on Oxford Ave. Upon entry to this establishment, you pass a small hostess area with stairs leading up to a seperate dining room. There are also seats arranged downstairs, and a nice sized bar featuring 10 beers on draft of mostly German, or German style brews. There are a few Belgian and American micro's featured as well. Over 30 bottles featured on the menu with mostly German standouts, and some of the better Belgian beers.
The food menu is rather large, consisting of American pub grub, pasta, steaks, seafood, chicken, burgers, sandwiches, and a small, authentic German menu.
We opted to go to the outdoor Biergarten, which is a small patio with 6-7 round tables shaded by umbrellas.
We opted for the pierogies as a starter with a Franziskaner Hefeweizen & a Radesberger Pilsner.
We moved on to the potato pancake & bratwurst sandwich. The only thing that made this German meal complete was the finishing favorite German beer, Aventinus.

With a lack authentic German brauhauses left in the Philly area, check this place out for some fine brews, pub food, and German fare.

Blue Ox Bistro's website:

Blue Ox Bistro on Urbanspoon