Pica’s Restaurant – Upper Darby, PA

So, I recently changed my occupation and it has thus far proven to be one of the best moves I’ve ever made. ‘Why’, you ask? Because I’m around new people who aren’t yet tired of me talking about pizza, duh! And with all of the talking I do (I mean between all of the work I do) I managed to get a few recommendations for pizza from some colleagues, and Pica’s Restaurant in Upper Darby, PA was one of them.

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I checked out Pica’s menus via their website and I had some confusion as to what I was going to be able to order. Listed on the website is a ‘Standard Take-out’ menu as well as a ‘Specialty Take-out’ menu, both of which list different pizzas, but the pizza I wanted was listed on their ‘Dining Room’ menu.  Would I get away with ordering take-out from the Dining Room menu? I did. Without knowing anything about Pica’s pizza I ordered the ‘Large Square’ with Ricotta on half.

The Pica’s pizza that I ordered is in the upside-down pizza category because they apply the cheese atop of the dough before topping it off with their sauce. With the sauce being exposed it became the first item on which I pass judgment. My overall thought was that it was good, but lacking. It didn’t have a lot of flavor, not even tomato flavor; it seemed muted. However… at the same time that it seemed muted it also seemed as if there could be a little somethin’ somethin’ in it, perhaps garlic. Either way, it was hard to get any type of sure read on the sauce. I thought that the consistency of the sauce was perfect for their pizza, not runny and not chunky; it was evenly spread out across the entire pie. Despite the sauce not having a prominent flavor, I will say that it is more of an asset to their pizza as opposed to it being a hindrance.

For me, sometimes the cheese is the hardest item to decipher on a pizza, and this one definitely wasn’t easy. My best guess is that the cheese is an average mozzarella. The ricotta that was on half of the pie? From what I can tell it was plain ricotta; what I can say for sure is that I enjoyed it A LOT and will proceed to order it on the whole pie on future visits.

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I get the sense that Pica’s is the type of place that is more well-known than I know it to be, and I have a feeling that their crust is largely responsible for some of that fame. Yes, because it’s good. And different. I think the adjectives thin, crispy, and tasty pretty much describe the crust, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t pay homage to the perfect coloring of the crust, in particular the burnt top edge (a desirable trait by my measuring system), the golden brown sides, and the tri-colored bottom (pale brown, light brown, & dark brown).

The Hits & Misses:

Missed:  I don’t think that Pica’s missed the mark with their sauce; I just think that there is room for a slight improvement, perhaps something as small as mixing in or topping the pie with some parmesan or Romano cheese.

Hits:  I think that Pica’s nailed the most important part of any pizza, the crust. The thinness of the crust, its crispness, it being rectangular cut, topped edge to edge, it being protected from the moisture in the sauce by applying the cheese first, and it being aesthetically pleasing are the factors that make Pica’s pizza worthy of repeat visits. I also love the fact that they offer ricotta cheese as a topping option; I can’t say that I remember ever seeing that listed under toppings anywhere before. The last hits are with the take-away box; it is sized for the rectangular pie, and inside is a corrugated paper insert, which helps steam move away from the pizza and not be absorbed into the crust, and it also demonstrates that Pica’s cares about the quality of their product.

Pica’s pizza is unique AND good. I’ll be stopping there again and I hope that you give them a try and enjoy their wares.

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6 Comments On “Pica’s Restaurant – Upper Darby, PA”

  1. Congrats on the new job and best of luck! You seem to be getting into some upside down pizza recently, which peaks my interest. Again, I need to get out and find some in NEPA. That slice looks ridiculously crispy and delicious. I always appreciate a look at the side and bottom of the crust (as our friend Pizza Quixote pointed out to me early on!) Def digging the hits and misses section as well.

  2. I have been attempting to pull up your “take out” menu on as many sites as I could see, to no avail! Are you changing the menu or what? I remember Pica from many, MANY years ago, when I was a young adult, I am now 85 years old and was reminded of Pica by my granddaughter, who, with her husband and young daughter, enjoyed a great pizza from you last night. One of my sons is planning on being in the area this evening so I’ve been looking for the menu. Any suggestions?

  3. Love Picas! Was always my favorite growing up and I still make pilgrimages there from Allentown. A place similar is Santuccis – They have locations in Philly and their pie is almost identical, except their crust is crispier. Definitely worth investigating.

  4. Love the pizza at picas but was disappointed with the fries they are the crispie bubbly type that have no taste. Wish they would get real french fries!

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