La Porta – Media, PA
Reader Beware: my experience behind this review was extraordinary, and it’s for that reason that I’m a tad bit reluctant to ask myself ‘where do I go from here?’. Let’s start at the beginning…
A fellow pizza reviewer, Pizza Quixote, recommended that I try La Porta because he believes that it has some of the best pizza out there. I was thinking, “La Porta, hmmm. I never heard that name before.” Then I thought, “pizza that good in Media, PA? C’mon, the best local stuff is in Philly, right?” I knew that I was going to have to try La Porta’s pizza, but I wasn’t in a huge hurry; actually, I waited a couple of months.
My wife had an unscheduled day off last week on which I had planned to pay some pizza joints in Philly a visit. I wanted my wife to come along for some reviews but she didn’t feel like going into the city, so it became the perfect time to pay La Porta a visit.
As we sat and studied the menu I knew that I had to make sure my wife placed her order first because what I was going to order depended on what she was getting. The server came back for our orders and my wife ordered a Margherita pizza; BINGO! This allowed me to order the ‘pizza of the day’, Pizza Delgiorno, which had me salivating when the server described it earlier. For those of you who don’t already know; I try to review traditional cheese pizzas from the places I visit in an attempt at comparing apples to apples.
Our pizzas arrived right when I was thinking about how high my expectations of this pizza were, and that I was probably going to be let down a little. The photos I took do not do these pizzas justice! In person, these two pizzas looked every bit of perfect. And they were! No matter how many pizzerias I’ll patronize in my life, I’ll never claim that I’ve just eaten the best pizza I ever had, but I’ll be damned if these two pizzas weren’t trying to get me to do just that!
The Pizza Delgiorno was constructed with sausage made in-house, red peppers, caramelized onions, mozzarella cheese, and grated mozzarella and Asiago cheeses. The sausage was excellent; it came in generously sized chunks and delivered a flavor that would undoubtedly win the ‘Best Sausage on a Pizza’ award if there were such a competition. The red peppers and caramelized onions were applied perfectly in quantity and added an enjoyable depth of flavor; they reminded me of the Whack-A-Mole game with how they’d punch your taste buds then disappear before reappearing somewhere else really quickly. The cheese was a good quality mozzarella. The sauce was well-balanced on the acidic and sweetness dichotomy. The grated mozzarella and Asiago cheese… with as many flavors as this pie had going on, the flavor of these two cheeses stood out in a good way, particularly on the handles of each slice.
The Margherita pizza… the sauce, mozzarella, and grated cheeses were the same as those used on the Pizza Delgiorno, add fresh basil and you have yourself another one of those Gestalt pizzas, where the pizza is somehow better than the ingredients used to make it. An excellent pizza!
But what about the crust you say? Yes, I was saving the best for last. I’m convinced that somebody sold their soul to come up with a crust as unique and good as La Porta’s. The body/underside had a slight crisp to it; it is pretty thin, but strong enough to almost eliminate tip-sag completely. The handles were crispy on the outside, tender and moist on the inside, and disappeared with a slight buttery finish. It’s too soon in my pizza journey to start thinking about any ‘best of’ lists, but after having had La Porta’s pizza I can’t help it. I can’t wait until I can get back to La Porta to try another one of their pizzas; I highly recommend that you try some as well. Now, with having had pizza this good, where do I go from here?
1192 North Middletown Road
Media, PA 19063
Dining: eat-in / take-out
Payment: cash or card
Other: restaurant (smart casual +), whole pies only, lunch/dinner menus, accepts reservations, beer for take away
Bang for the buck: very good