Florio’s Pizza – Plains, PA
Imagine my surprise when I saw an active Facebook page for a pizzeria I thought had been closed years ago. Such was the case with Florio’s of Plains, PA. As unlikely as it may be, despite having lived in Plains for several years and visiting regularly once I moved out of the area, I knew of Florio’s but was never introduced to their pizza. Couple that fact with an old sign and happenstance of never having heard anyone speak of Florio’s, I assumed that they had closed down sometime when I was too young to remember. We all know what happens when we assume; mud in my eye.
Learning that Florio’s Pizza was alive and well, I was excited to see what I’ve been missing all these years, but my indecisive nature kicked in and made it hard to decide on what exactly I was going to order. To end my indecisiveness I ordered a small cheese pizza, a small chicken wing pizza, a tray of Sicilian, and a dozen hot wings. Before I start talking about the different pizzas I must mention that the wings were really good. Both the wings and drums were full size and fried to a crisp. I got the ‘hot’ sauce, which I thought was of excellent quality. The sauce had a traditional buffalo sauce taste, and unlike many places it wasn’t too liquefied; it had the perfect thickness. As these were the ‘hot’ wings, they did have a little zing to them, but I think they are well within most people’s level of comfort.
The cheese pizza
The crust is round, thin, and is obviously homemade. The thinness was more so than a traditional New York style slice. The underneath was light in color with areas of light browning dispersed throughout. The outer edge of the crust was well browned and crunchy. The sauce was average. Please know that ‘average’ doesn’t insinuate that the sauce was bad, because it wasn’t. It seemed like something most places use; something out of a #10 can with some herbage added, and it works. The cheese was mozzarella, and also seemed… wait for it…average. The cheese tasted fine, but the only thing is that it seemed to clump onto itself and tried to stay that way when pulling away a bite. The winning ingredient for this pie happens to be the most important part of any pizza; the crust. It had a good flavor, good texture, and was decorated with some tasty charred bubbles. I would order this pizza again.
The Sicilian pizza
The crust is baked; not fried like so many other trays of Sicilian in the region. Because this pizza is not fried the underside isn’t crisp or crunchy, but it was sturdy and had some sporadic coloring. The corner pieces however had a lot more browning and even some deep charring to the point of looking burnt, but tasted very good; not burnt at all. Due to the sauce being applied all the way to the edge of the pan the handles weren’t crispy, but were nonetheless good. Again, the corners are an exception as they had more dough exposed while baking and therefore had more crunch factor. The sauce was the same sauce found on the regular round pizza, and applied liberally. I liked it, but if you’re not a fan of a lot of sauce you may want to ask for a lighter application. As I mentioned above, the sauce was applied all the way to the edges. Even though the crust wasn’t fried and there was a lot of sauce, the cuts had structural integrity and were easy to hold. The cheese was also the same found on the regular round pie. I am biased towards including onions, but I definitely preferred the half with onions over the half without them. Because it’s a thicker crust and there is a lot of sauce on this pizza it wasn’t light in weight, but due to it being baked and not fried it was lighter to eat than that of the fried variety. I would eat this Sicilian pizza again.
The chicken wing pizza
The crust was the same as the regular cheese pie; very good. The cheese was also the same as the cheese on the regular pie. The chicken pieces were small and able to be eaten without having to worry about any landing on your lap due to miscalculating the size of your bite. The sauce… this is where it got interesting! This was the same great sauce used for their actual chicken wings. Thankfully, and unlike many pizzeria’s chicken wing pizzas, this sauce was adequately applied; able to be seen AND tasted, so I have to say that the crust/sauce/cheese ratios were right on! As good as the crust was the MVP ingredient of this pizza was without a doubt the wing sauce! As I had obviously ordered more pizza than I was able to eat myself, my family ended up doing some taste testing of their own, and the chicken wing pizza was their favorite, as it was mine.
It was years in the making but I finally got to Florio’s Pizza and I’m glad I did. Florio’s is serving up some good grub, and Mike, the owner / operator was very friendly. Having placed my large order upon arrival I got to spend some time in the shop talking with Mike, picking his brain about pizza and the history of his shop as well as other things. I thoroughly enjoyed our interaction, which has served to increase my awareness of how important it is to support small and local businesses. I plan on patronizing Florio’s pizza again the next time I’m in the neighborhood, and I recommend you try doing the same.
107 West Carey Street
Plains, PA 18705
Dining: take-out / delivery
Payment: cash or card
Other: good wings, friendly service, on Facebook
Bang for the buck: sm. cheese $4.25, sm. chicken wing $5.75, tray of Sicilian $9.75