Grotto Pizza – Wilmington, DE
My wife and I were doing some tax-free shopping in Delaware the other day when a Grotto Pizza appeared before us; it was a no-brainer that Grotto would be our lunch. Admittedly, we had both had Grotto Pizza before; I first had it at their Harvey’s Lake, PA location where the Grotto story began, and the misses first had Grotto Pizza at their Wilkes-Barre, PA location where I have fond memories of $.25 wing nights which were always accompanied by plenty of beers.
Anyway, we decided to split a regular 12 inch cheese pizza and I got an order of (8) chicken wings. Other than reviewing the pizza I usually don’t say too much about an establishment’s other food options, but I was so put off by the wings that I decided to subject you to my moment of bitterness by including my complaint at the end of this review.
Grotto’s pizza is nothing if not unique, or as they call it, ‘legendary’. The look, smell, and taste of a Grotto pizza make it easily identifiable. Like the o’s in the Grotto sign, their pizza is fashioned in a swirl pattern, which is easily accomplished by covering the dough with cheese before ladling the sauce in a big spiral. The smell and taste are a tad trickier to explain, but a major component contributing to each of them is the sauce. The sauce has a robust flavor, but not quite the same as robust sauces from other places; it’s better. And while the sauce is robust, there are no visible signs of herbage. The consistency of the sauce is perfect; it’s neither runny nor pasty, but it’s there in healthy doses.
Grotto’s dough is ran through a dough sheeter, and produces a crust slightly thinner than your average N.Y. style pizza. The crust has browned crispy handles with the occasional bubble, and the underside is well-browned, firm, and crispy.
Grotto’s cheese covers the whole pizza (minus the handles) and has some small areas of browning which add to the aesthetics, and it is good. Grotto’s cheese happens to be a highly sought after secret blend. The prevailing guesses have it being a blend of mozzarella and cheddar, but even if that is accurate it doesn’t even start to answer the tough questions: What is the blend ratio? What kind of cheddar? What kind of mozzarella? What state and company are the cheeses from? How long were they aged, and so on?
I love Grotto Pizza. I can’t say that it’s the best there is, because due to the unique taste I place Grotto’s pizza in a category of its own, with the closest resemblance being that of Tommy’s Pizza in Kingston, PA. Grotto’s pizza is just dough, sauce, and cheese, but the ingredients and processes used has served Grotto Pizza well, as is evidenced by them having 21 locations throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland. If you’re in an area that has a Grotto Pizza I recommend stopping in and chowing down a pie.
So, the wings… I knew I was going to pay $8.99 for (8) wings which I already felt was a little overpriced, but they taste good and I wanted them. You have to understand that I really love food, and I really really love chicken wings, so you could imagine my disappointment when the wings arrived at the table and they were smaller than and had less meat on them than my pinky (seriously). I mean, I know that I’m getting older and prices aren’t what they use to be; inflation, chicken shortages, feed prices, blah blah blah, but did you see the picture? Most places that I know of are offering more than (8) wings for that price ($1.12 per wing), but more importantly they’re not comparable in size to that of a bumble bee. Have I totally lost it? Am I now the old, senile cheapskate who remembers when (insert memory of cheap item here). Please let me know. Seriously; leave a comment and let me know who is off of their rocker over these chicken wings, me or Grotto Pizza.
2015 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19803
Dining: dine-in, take-out, delivery
Payment: cash or card