If you've been following my past posts, you'll know that I've been pretty disappointed by what my surrogate home city, Philadelphia, has to offer in the way of pizza (Stella excluded). I could go on a rant about how it seems as though the famous Philly cheese steak has hijacked and drained all of the attention and talent out of Philadelphia's Italian population, but a recent stop at Pietro's Coal Oven Pizzeria on South St. has me second-guessing my opinion.
Heading east down South Street towards the Delaware River, past Jim's Steaks, Eddie's Tattoos, and one of my least favorite slice joints Lorenzo's and Sons, eventually you'll end up at one of Pietro's three locations. Just as it's name explains, it is in fact a coal oven pizzeria.
Shortly after grabbing a seat and taking a few sips from a refreshing Newcastle Brown Ale, I ordered one traditional pie with Ricotta on half. At Pietro's, all pies are one size and unless you specifically ask for no cheese, it comes with homemade fresh mozzarella. Just a few minutes later, my steaming pie arrived-
Looks almost like it came from Angelo's, doesn't it? It should, considering Pietro's has family ties to Angelo's and Nick Angelis of Nick's in Queens. I'm going to be honest with you- I don't really have a lot to say about this pizza. Overall it was pretty rad, probably a 7.5/10 or so, clearly taking the cake over Tacconelli's (what a disappointment that was). While the sauce had a nice zing to it and the mozz was fresh, the best part of the pizza is the crust.
The bottom is cooked perfectly, which in my opinion means a "titch" of char and enough firmness through-out to keep the pizza from looking like it's falling asleep in your hand- the ultimate pizza turn-off. They also seemed to put some hard grated cheese and pepper (?) around the edge crust, which may sound weird but I was into it at the time.
While I was scarfing my pie, I came to the realization that I was the only person in the whole damn restaurant not on some sort of a date. I've eaten plenty of pizzas on my own before, but what the hell was going on here?
Oh yeah, it was Valentine's Day, that explains it. No matter, I was happy enough with my pizza, just me, myself, and pie.