Daily Slice: Al Pastor Pizza from San Lucas, Philadelphia
I'm a big fan of what you might call "street level fusion" whether it's bulgogi cheesesteaks or Cincinnati chili burritos, even though the results can sometimes be a mess. I wasn't expecting much from this combination pizzeria/corner store in South Philadelphia. A few tables, bulletproof glass, phone cards, cigarettes, and a hastily written menu—it didn't look like much. But according to a trusted source this is the real deal, an awesome secret Mexican spot. I gave it a try and I was not disappointed.
Think wide New York–style fold-over slices, with a slightly chewy crust sturdy enough to hold the heaping piles of freshly made al pastor or carnitas. The only way to eat these without losing half the toppings is to curl the slice into a boat shape, almost like a gyro or giant taco with a slice of pizza replacing the tortilla. It could have been nightmare, but the ingredients were perfectly prepared and delicious; as good as any taqueria in town.
The Al Pastor slice was the highlight: delicious ribbons of pork slathered in a smokey homemade hot sauce (some chipotle going on, plus a sort of cinnamon kick) and topped with a confetti of fresh onions and cilantro.
I also tried the Carnitas slice loaded with tender pork and lime wedges on the side, the Hawaiian and the Mexicana (refried beans, chorizo, sauteed pepper and onion, jalapenos, fresh sliced avocado and cilantro) which seems to be the Mexican Pizza standard.
Along with the pizza there are also tacos and tortas on the menu, Mexican style Hawaiian cheeseburgers, roasted pork leg and jalapeno stromboli, and all sorts of amazing Italian-American-Mexican-South Philly fusion. This is the kind of stuff I really go nuts for, and it's even better when it also actually tastes really really good.
They're open 'til 1 a.m. on Saturdays so if you find yourself stumbling out of one of South Philadelphia's many wonderful bars you might want to take a walk a few blocks west to for a massive slice of mindblowing Mexican Pizza for only three bucks.