Ah, pizza. The one food I could eat everyday, for every meal. The one food my grandpop would not eat, even when his army buddies got him drunk. The one food people have very specific likes of: thin crust, thick crust, deep dish, pepperoni, white pies, cold pizza, hot pizza, frozen pizza from the toaster oven, steaming hot right out of the oven pizza. The list goes on and on.
Anyone with half a brain can make a pizza. But to make a great pizza requires skill and a really great oven. This brings us to Tacconelli’s. Tacconelli’s is a pizza place in my neighborhood, the Port Richmond section of Philly, on Somerset street. They have a very cool brick oven and they know how to use it.
You can’t just pop in there and order a pie. I mean, you can, but it is easier to call ahead and order your dough. You can tell them what to do with it when you get there but you better call ahead, because it’s a one man, one person oven and they only make so much dough every day. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Needless to say, this makes the pizza desirable, to say the least.
My friend Joe Moore is from the Jerz, and had not had really any good pizza in the Philly area. Every time he would say that, it occurred to me to mention Tacconelli’s and then I would forget. We finally got it together and got on over there. Now, you have to understand, Joe is no ordinary pizza shmoe. He is what would call a connousseur of pizza, a lover of the pizza pie. He was also really excited about the outing, as was I!
We decided on getting the Regular pie (with a little cheese and sauce) and a Margherita pie (with fresh basil and fresh mozzerella) and a third pie with pepperoni.
All of the pies were great! The thin crunchy crust was perfect, and Joe was surprised by the sweetness of the sauce.
I liked that the pepperoni was sliced a little thicker. Some places slice it super thin (or, I should say, buy thin sliced pepperoni). It may have added grease, but pepperoni grease is delicious (you know it, I know it and everyone else knows it).
As you can see in the picture here, the crust is super thin, so you can really put away a lot of this pizza. In fact, we put away about 75% of it. I don’t know about Joe, but I had to actually stop myself from eating because I would have gone on and mowed through the rest of it (thank god we saved some for his wife Emily, or I would have really hurt myself).
If I had to pick a favorite, I would have to say the pepperoni one was the best, but the Margherita wasn’t bad either. The pepperoni pieces were smaller then you would get at a regular pizza place, but they were a tad thicker and they are not stingy with it. If you are a regular reader at all of this blog, you know I hate stingyness!
The fresh basil on the Margherita really gave it some depth, even tho I could have done with more of it. The problem with basil is that too much and you end up with everything tasting like basil (and not this Basil). Overall it was delicious, thin, crispy and slightly sweet.
Joe, being the pizza guy he is, wrote up a little piece about what he thought of the pies as well:
I had heard a lot about Tacconelli’s pizza and was pretty excited to finally try it.
Dinner At Hinge
I’m of the belief that you can never have enough local places to eat. Wether it’s a little luncheonette, a hoagie shop, a cafeteria style place or a straight up cafe style restaurant, it’s all good.
A few weeks ago I went to Hinge Cafe with my friend Mary Kate, her baby Lucy and her friend Carol. Hinge is a great place in Port Richmond on Somerset Street, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and they have some really kick ass desserts (well, they look kick ass, I’ve always been too stuffed to order). As of then, I have only been there for lunch and I didn’t have time to hit up the menu on the website so I was hoping for an awesome surprise.
And I was rewarded.
When we got there, the place was empty, and considering we had a baby with us, that was awesome! Our waiter was super nice and attentive, the music wasn’t annoying and we got down to brass tacks. Let’s eat!
We ordered a bunch of apps first. I forgot to take a picture of the Crispy Beef Dumplings. They come with a sweet duck sauce like dipping sauce. They were so delicious, I could have eaten an entire table full of them, and we quickly decided to order more but then remembered we ordered a ton more stuff.
Next was the Prosciutto and Cheese.
Mouthwateringly good. They used buffalo mozzarella and the freshest bread toasted up with buttery olive oil.
Mary Kate also got the Hinge Dinner Salad. When you think of dinner salad, you think of a regular salad on steroids, or a salad in a smaller plate piled a little higher. This salad was ridiculous with spring mix, canneloni beans, roasted red peppers and a raspberry vinagrette dressing.
I ordered the Thai Chili Filet Mignon. Since I am a Libra, I always have trouble ordering but I saw “thai” and “filet mignon” and WASABI MASHED POTATOES and I was sold. Sold, I tell ya!
It also came with Bok Choy, and I wasn’t sure how I’d like that, but it was suateed with garlic and delicious! The wasabi mashed potatoes were hot and creamy. I want to make them all the time!
I cannot oversell the filet. It cut like butter, cooked perfectly. It was just spicy enough, so that it didn’t overpower the meat and yet left an impression on the tastebuds. I could have eaten ten of them.
Carol got the Chicken Grand Marnier.
It is breast of chicken with jumbo lump crabmeat, mandarin oranges and dried cranberries finished with a Grand Marnier and sweet basil cream sauce served over white rice. The description is a mouthful and so was the dish. The sauce was sweet and creamy and deliciously melty. The chicken was buttery goodness as well.
Needless to say, there was little chatting during the main courses.
I love this place and you really should too. If you are in the area, stop on in and try the fantastic stuff on the menu. By the time we finished eating, Lucy let us know it was time to go:
So, full and happy, we took Lucy home so she could work on getting bigger. Soon she can eat at there as well!