'Pennsylvania' on Serious Eats

First Look: Pizzeria Vetri Opens Doors in Philadelphia, PA

Chefs enjoy when their food's the primary topic of discussion, but at Pizzeria Vetri, it's the oven that captures the conversation. Six feet across and four-plus tons on the scale, the Renato Riccio-made beast is definitely a looker, but it's the peculiar schematics—dual facing mouths, with counter on one end and kitchen on the other—that allows peel wielders to shout orders into the oven and have them float out the other side. Calling up a Caesar or checking in on a calzone? For best results, yell directly into the fire. More

First Look: Simple Pies at Kermit's Bake Shoppe, Philadelphia

New to a largely industrial strip of Washington Avenue jammed with warehouses and construction wholesalers, Kermit's was opened by Adam Ritter, a Philly publican who runs the craft beer bars Sidecar and Kraftwork. Named after New Orleans jazz fixture Kermit Ruffins, the beautifully muraled space has an edgy-but-accessible commissary feel, with its buzzing-about-in-aprons staff, high-output equipment, and towering ceilings. We paid a visit to pizza chef Brian Lofink to chat about his pies. More

Daily Slice: Corropolese Bakery, Norristown PA

To be clear on definitions right off the bat—the "Tomato Pie" we're talking about here is very different from Trenton Tomato Pie, or even the Northeast Philly version. In the Tomato Pie Belt that runs roughly from South Philly through the western suburbs of Manayunk , Conshocken and Norristown, it's a square pie that consists only of soft, foccocia-like dough, thick, slow-cooked sauce, herbs and a shake of parm or romano, and is ideally purchased at room temperature at a bakery, not a pizzeria. More

Daily Slice: Veggie Slice at Pizza Rustica, Philadelphia

The veggie slice ($2.50) at Pizza Rustica in University City is really all about the vegetables. The super-thin, cracker-like crust is merely a vessel for a cast of veggies featuring fresh mushrooms, spinach, artichoke hearts, caramelized onions, sun dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and little blobs of sweetly roasted garlic. A bit of crème fraîche mixes in with the mozz, accounting for a base that's a little bit more creamy than cheesy, adding a lightness that matches its veggie-centric toppings. More

Daily Slice: Pizzaz at Celebre's, Philadelphia

Celebre's Pizzaz begins with a medium-thick crust with plenty of good chew and crunch. It's topped off with a layer of the tell-tale American, slices of fresh tomato, a generous scattering of bright yellow and red pickled peppers, and finished off with a good shake of oregano and salt. All together these gooey little slices are salty, spicy, and totally satisfying in a way that honestly has more to do with a hoagie or a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich than a slice of pizza. More

Daily Slice: Vic & Dean's in Wayne, Pennsylvania

The Philly 'burbs are a vast reserve of uncharted pizza territory, chock full of neighborhood pizzerias that have been around forever—some just OK, others outstanding—but rarely mentioned outside of a 5 mile radius. Vic & Dean's was recommended as one of the best in the Wayne area. More

Daily Slice: Sheet Pizza from Wolf Street, Philadelphia

Looking at Wolf Street Pizza's menu I was intriguied by the "sheet pie" listed separately from the Sicilian and the regular pizza. Thinking it might be similar to the square bakery pizza or tomato pie that's fairly common in Philly, I inquired about the sheet pie, and was told "It's sheet pie. Square." Hoping to discover a sub-variant of an already obscure regional pizza variation, I ordered a "half sheet" ($9.25). For lovers of ridiculous amounts of stretching, oozing, ribbons of sliding mozzerella without the bready crust of a standard sicilian, this is your pie. More

Daily Slice: Joe's Pizza, Philadelphia

Joe's Pizza rightly calls itself the best kept secret in Center City, Philadelphia. Located on an unremarkable stretch of 16th Street, Joe's has been there for years serving quick, cheap slices to a lunch hour crowd. It's the sort dime-a-dozen pizzeria that you'd walk right past if you've never stopped in for a slice. More

Daily Slice: Kim's Pie from Jules Thin Crust, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania

Usually portobellos and balsamic on pizza have me running for the hills, but on Kim's Pie ($2.50) they totally worked when paired with shreds of roasted chicken, caramelized onion, mozzarella, balsamic barbecue sauce, and chives. Way more hors d' oeuvre or ladylike snack than a classic slice, Jules has its own thing going on — light, healthy flatbread pies done very well. More

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