Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pica's Pizza Restaurant

Pica’s Restaurant is located at 7803 West Chester Pike, Upper Darby, PA 19082. The history of this restaurant is worth mentioning here as this is one of the oldest active pizza places left in Philly.

Established in 1941 by Frank Pica, Sr., Pica’s first location was in West Philadelphia on 62nd and Race Street. Frank Pica sold only his original square pizza there as a very modest business. In 1956, Pica’s growth required the move to a much bigger place at their current location.
Some interesting observations about Pica’s old pizzeria:

At that time women had to be accompanied up to the second floor by gentlemen. There were no exceptions as this was the house rules at the time. Also, Frank Pica’s original pizzas were $1 for a large and $.75 for a small. It is interesting to compare these prices to that of today where pizzas went up on average almost 1500%.

Pica’s small pizzeria is now a large restaurant that features a large menu of food in addition to the original square pizza that built this business. The place is very nice and would be a few steps down from being a high class restaurant. The staff was very friendly and made me feel at home. They have a bar that you can sit and drink at too.

Although the menu was very large, I came there for the pizza. Their options are all square pizza but have many toppings to choose from. I tried half pepperoni and half regular. They don’t have Margherita pizzas there. Actually, this is what bothers me a little that I know New York pizza critics will give Philly slack about. This pizza establishment has been in existence since 1941 and they don’t even know what a Margherita pizza is. I am finding this a lot in Philly. Even though the pizzas can be very good and unique. How can you have a pizza business this long and not know pizza’s roots and history?

Despite their lack of pizza knowledge and Margherita pizza option, Pica’s pizza was very different than many other Philly pizzas. They have only square pizza like Santucci’s Brothers Square Pizza but yet different. Their pizza is served fresh on the square tray it was cooked on. Pica’s put their cheese on the bottom and then sauce on the top. Their sauce is very distinguishable. It is a very basic tomato sauce yet very sweeter than many other Philly pizzerias. The cheese is a nice amount under the sauce and is very stringy when you bite into it. Also, the pepperoni pizza had giant thin slices places two on top of each slice.

The crust is slightly blackened (charred) and has a small crackly edge on it. They serve 8 slices in a pie for a reasonable price of around $10.

All in all, I liked Pica’s pizza as they are truly an original and historical pizza place in Philly. I do, however, still question their lack of pizza knowledge considering their length of being in the Philadelphia pizza business.

Pica's on Urbanspoon

3 comments:

  1. I do not understand why people flock to this place. Everything I've had there (including/especially the pizza) has been mediocre, at best.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Italians from different parts of Italy call all sorts of things pizza, some of which are barely recognizable as pizza to Americans. Italian immigrants who came to this country back in the day were often completely ignorant about the foods eaten in other parts of Italy, so they made what they knew, and they probably just didn't care about what other people were doing if what they were doing was successful. Some of the best eateries in the world are run by extremely single-minded monomaniacs. The square style of thin crust pizza with cheese on the bottom and sauce on top is a very traditional Sicilian style and is served not only by Pica's & Santucci's, but all over the country, particularly in the Midwest. It's the style that many Sicilian grandmothers made for their families at home before the advent of the modern pizzeria. Thick crust Sicilian Pizza is more well-known in the USA, but thin crust is just as authentic.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Pica's and Italian Delight (Broomall) are my two favorite pizza shops in the Philly area. I love Pica's for so many reasons. I think their pizza is fantastic and unique-I havent tasted anything like this anywhere. It just doesnt seem to be replicated. The other thing I love is that it is such a nice restaurant. It can be casual, dressy, or formal for large events. Its a huge place and its quite nice inside. The servers all wear uniforms which is rare these days. Love this place!!!!

    ReplyDelete