Sarcone’s Bakery – Philadelphia, PA
If you follow the blog then you know that I sometimes have trouble (ahem… procrastination) getting to certain places for pizza reviews, particularly Old Forge, PA and Philadelphia. Well, I was finally able to penetrate Philadelphia’s deflector shields and keep my word at the same time.
I’m on Twitter as @PApizzaCritic and I follow a lot of people and businesses, one of them being Sarcone’s Bakery (@Sarcone813). Even though I was never at their bakery I am a big fan of Sarcone’s hard rolls on which I’ve had numerous hoagies thanks to a pizzeria local to me. One day a couple of weeks ago I was having a quick back & forth with someone about hoagies & pizza when I received the following message from Sarcone’s: “@PApizzaCritic try our pizza it’s all fresh and baked in a real brick oven since 1918, been making pizza since then.” Getting to Sarcone’s Bakery was on my to-do list for a while already, so how could I say no? I tweeted back informing them that I would stop by for some pizza the next time I was in the city, and so I did.
When I arrived at Sarcone’s Bakery I didn’t see the brick oven where the magic happens because it wasn’t out in the open like I had hoped, but what I did see was a clean and classy shop whose wares were presented in the same manner. The pizzas I had to choose from were red (no cheese, except parmesan), cheese with pepperoni, and cheese with hot peppers. I got a few pieces of the red and one piece of cheese with the hot peppers.
I took my first bite out of a red piece and immediately knew that I’d be patronizing Sarcone’s again; sooner than later probably. Without hesitation I knew that this was the best ‘bakery pizza’ that I had ever had. Sarcone’s sauce might be classified as savory, but it goes a bit beyond savory into what I’d call zesty. It worked really well with the garlic undertone, which, if I had to guess was emanating from the crust in the form of garlic powder, but that’s just a guess. Oooooh, the crust! Well, the body was thick like Sicilian pizza, but nice and tender. The handles are where the magic pixie dust must have been applied. They were crunchy and had a flavor that is too hard to explain other than saying they were really good! Remember the candy bracelets and necklaces that were able to be worn & eaten when you were a child? Well, if necklaces and bracelets made of Sarcone’s pizza crust were available, I’d be the freak wearing & eating them!
The cheesed piece with hot peppers had both undertones and overtones of garlic. It was garlicky. A lot of people shy away from a healthy dose of garlic and it’s probably those people who will disagree with my evaluation of this piece of pizza, but I will not succumb to conformity; this piece rocked it! This piece had the same great crust that the red piece had, but it eliminated the sauce and added mozzarella and a few slices of hot peppers. And more garlic. The cheese seemed to be average mozzarella that carried some nice and even browned areas. The peppers added a little zing to the piece, but nothing most people couldn’t handle. There was a big increase of garlic flavor, but it was enjoyable for me, especially with the layer of mozzarella and the goodness of the crust. This piece was full of flavors that blended well.
The pizza at Sarcone’s doesn’t seem to fit within the traditional ‘bakery style’ or ‘Philadelphia Tomato Pie’ styles of pizza found at many bakeries and grocery stores. It’s better than that. With their rolls and pizza as good as they are, I’m interested in what Sarcone’s has going on in their bakery and I plan to find out with more visits in the very near future. Again, I sacrifice myself in the name of pizza.