Drexel Hill Style Pizza – Broomall, PA

Drexel Hill Style Pizza - Broomall, PADrexel Hill Style Pizza - Broomall, PA - cheese pizza

So, if you know me you know that I’m from NEPA (Northeastern PA), I love the pan-fried style of pizza that is popular in NEPA, I could talk about pizza nonstop, and that I want to open up a pizzeria somewhere around Chester County, PA. Imagine my interest in being told that there exists a place in Delaware County (Broomall, PA) that makes pan-fried pizza, and according to a foodie friend of mine it is really, really good. I needed to check out Drexel Hill Style Pizza, so I went there the other day and ordered a regular cheese pizza as well as a pizza with hot sausage and ricotta cheese toppings. What I found was this:

The sauce on each of the pizzas screwed up the dough/sauce/cheese ratio by way of not having enough on the pizzas. There really wasn’t enough sauce in any one area to be able to get a solid taste to describe.

The cheese is said to be a special blend; I’m guessing mozzarella and cheddar. The cheese took on some nice browning and it also emitted that perfect amount of grease, enough to add to the overall flavor of the pizza, but not enough to make the pizza greasy.

Drexel Hill Style Pizza - Broomall, PA - ricotta with hot sausageDrexel Hill Style Pizza - Broomall, PA - undercarriage

The crust is definitely pan (fried?). It is stiff and pleasantly crunchy on both the underside and the handles, but, I couldn’t detect any residual grease like I can with pan-fried pizza from NEPA. There are pros and cons for there being no grease, but I’m of the mind that the biggest result of there being no grease or oil lands on the con side of things. While I couldn’t find any other flaws with this crust, I would say that it lacked flavor, the kind of flavor that oil, especially peanut oil, can provide. With that being said, it was somewhat refreshing to eat a crunchy crust that wasn’t greasy.

The toppings weren’t bad, but they definitely fell short from being good. Drexel Hill Style Pizza applied the ricotta cheese liberally, which is good, but it too lacked flavor. Ricotta cheese doesn’t have much flavor straight out of the gate, it needs to be worked with; add some salt and pepper, or some fresh chopped basil. Of the two toppings the hot sausage shined the brightest; it was well browned and had burnt ends, as most people desire, and it also had a good taste. The only negative thing I can say about the hot sausage is that it wasn’t as hot or spicy as I had hoped for.

Hits

–        The crust is nice and crispy / crunchy and sturdy enough to hold just about any toppings that are offered

–        The cheese blend contains cheddar

–        Ricotta cheese is offered as a topping, and is generously applied

Misses

–        The crust lacked flavor

–        The sauce seemed almost nonexistent, especially on the pizza with toppings

–        The ricotta was bland

I have to admit that I might be a little too critical with the Drexel Hill Style Pizza crust. I grew up in an area of Pennsylvania that may have very well invented pan-fried pizza, and so a bias might exist with my notion of what a pan crust should be like. I will say this though, the Drexel Hill Style Pizza crust is not only the closest to what I’m used to from NEPA, it’s also the only one of its kind that I’ve encountered in the Greater Philadelphia region so far. I also understand that not everybody likes the amount of sauce that I wish this pizza had on it. I may not have enjoyed this pizza as much as I know others do, but I can definitely see why this pizza is popular and highly regarded, and this is why I recommend that you give Drexel Hill Style Pizza a try and let me know what you think.

Drexel Hill Style Pizza - Broomall, PA

8 Comments On “Drexel Hill Style Pizza – Broomall, PA”

  1. You get around! I’ve driven past this place many times, never inspired to go in. But now I will visit next time. Looks good, not great – but it’s not another Sysco cookie-cutter pie. Nice work as always.

  2. I have no basis in fact or experience, but I’ll say it anyway – NEPA invented Old Forge and Pan Fried Pizza and there is no other place in the world that compares! Sorry, felt good to make a bold statement without having to justify my opinions like I do on my blog…very therapeutic! Good work again sir!

    • NPR, I agree with you about NEPA inventing and having the best pan/pan-fried pizza. From what I can tell, Detroit comes close on the timeline with NEPA for pan-fried pizza showing up on the scene, but I think Victory Pig beat them to the punch. In all fairness, I haven’t tasted Detroit’s version of things (it does look good!), but I’d still put my money on the flavor of NEPA.

      What I’ve been meaning to research is who beat who to the punch in PA; Victory Pig or Old Forge.

  3. Philly native/WY Valley newcomer here. I’m not sure if you’ve already covered this in your blog, so I apologize in advance if this is old news to you, but the type of pizza served up by Drexel Hill Style is quite common throughout the Philadelphia Area, and is just as (if not more) ubiquitous than Philly’s take on the NY style pie. This pizza, which tends to consist of a well-spiced sauce and mozzarella/cheddar/and or provolone blend atop a thicker crust baked in a well-oiled pan, is known as “Greek” pizza, because it tends to be made by Greek-American pizzeria proprietors. Because this style is even more common up around Boston, it’s sometimes known as “New England” style as well.

    Sadly, your underwhelming experience is not atypical. As explained by SeriousEats:

    “There’s a reason the old saying that “pizza is like sex—even when it’s bad, it’s good,”* exists, but it fails to take into account Greek pizza, which is only ever good when it’s not terrible. There’s no real middle ground here.” http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2011/08/the-pizza-lab-how-to-make-new-england-greek-style-pizza-at-home.html

    Suffice to say, the pizza you had was on the low end of the curve and doesn’t look all that much better than the “bad” Greek pizza shown in the article: http://slice.seriouseats.com/images/19-reg-styles-new-england-greek.jpg

    GREAT Greek pizza, on the other hand, looks like this http://slice.seriouseats.com/images/20110804-georges-pizza-cape-cod-greek-3.jpg . As a lover of good Greek pizza who instantly fell in love with the superlatively greasy crust, unconventional but delicious cheese blend, and robust sauce featured on pan-fried Sicilian pies, I’m pretty confident that you’d be a fan of a high-quality Greek pie as well.

    If you ever find yourself on the Eastern Main Line, I highly recommend my childhood favorite of Boston Style.

    • Hey Alex, thanks for commenting! I totally agree with the SeriousEats article. As for Drexel Hill Pizza… I’m not the biggest fan of thick crust pizza, but if it tastes good then it’s good. Unfortunately, Drexel Hill Pizza lacked flavor, which for me compounds the displeasure of eating a thick crust pizza.

      Thanks for letting me know about Boston Style Pizza in (North Wales?), I’m definitely going to make it a point to give them a try. I am a bit surprised by your claim that Drexel Hill Style pizza is popular in the Philly region; I was under the impression that it is more unique than anything, but then I have a lot of work left undone in that area.

      When you say that you’re in the WY Valley, do you refer to the Wyoming Valley in Northeast PA, or WY the state? If you’re in NEPA I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts on some of the pizzerias in that area.

      FYI – my next review will be from a Greek restaurant.

      • While Greek crusts tend to be on the thicker side, Drexel Hill style does look a bit “meatier” than usual.

        Boston Style has locations in Wynnewood, Merion, and North Wales. Just go to whichever one’s closest. They’re all owned and operated by the same people, AFAIK (at the very least, the menu items look the same).

        I could be wrong, but just looking at pictures/reading your descriptions, it seems that Drexel Hill serves a mediocre Greek pizza, albeit with their own personal flair.

        I refer to the Wyoming Valley upstate! Wilkes-Barre, to be precise. I love pan-fried Sicilian (Pizza L’Oven >> Victory Pig)! Old Forge is pretty good (Arcaro & Gennell >>>> Revello’s). I’ve also had Colarusso’s coal fired pizza in Dickson City (the eggplant parm pizza was fantastic). After seeing it hyped on NEPA pizza review, I tried the grandma pizza at Rosario’s in Clarks Summit. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t blow me away either. Finally, I’ve had Gerry’s, which swirls the sauce on the pizza. I wasn’t a fan of their “sweet” sauce, but their crust, cheese, and toppings were very good. A two-topping nine-inch pizza set me back less than $5. Can’t beat that deal!

        • I grew up in the Wyoming Valley; of course I’m biased but it’s a great region for pizza! I haven’t had much pizza in the Scranton area; NEPA Pizza Review took me around one day to some places, all of which were good but my favorite was probably Amberdonia Bakery (link to review – http://keystonepizzacritic.com/2014/02/13/amberdonia-bakery-dickson-city-pa/).

          I haven’t yet reviewed any Old Forge pizzerias, but I have eaten it a long time ago, and from what I remember my feeling on OF pizza is that it is good but it doesn’t live up to the hype. The pan-fried pizzas, that’s where my heart is at! I love Victory Pig, Pizza L’Oven, Pizza Perfect, and Ceccoli’s, which are all ‘related’ in a way but my favorite is probably Ceccoli’s with Pizza Perfect being a close second.

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