Mrs. Pie and I paid a short visit to the Philadelphia area to visit our son, The Philosopher, and our lovely daughter-in-law. While family getting together like this is a blessing, the sad part is that the dietary habits of this group don’t include enough pizza! Nonetheless, I managed to persuade everyone that bringing home a pie to accompany our evening of board games was the proper thing to do. Earlier that day while visiting a local record store, I spotted a place that I just had to try. Called Phil’s Famous Pizza & Steaks, it would not only get me some pie, but fill the void of the Philly Cheesesteak I have yet to have on this trip.
Phil’s is a well-lit and positioned place on the “Main Line.” I headed over to get a pie and cheesesteak to bring home for all but planned to eat a fresh slice on site for journalistic purposes. Situated on the side of the road like this, Phil’s offered plenty of free parking out front and its inside was quite spacious with plenty of tables. While not so busy at the tables, it was a Saturday night and deliveries and pizza pickups were bustling.
Being so late in the day, it was not surprising that they only had one slice left. Fortunately, it was a Tomato Pie slice which I assume was Phil’s specialty by the “From the Jersey Shore” message on their outdoor sign. So, I ordered the day’s final slice which I would consume while waiting for the whole pie (of the non-Tomato Pie specie) and my cheesesteak to take away.
I was concerned that the freshness of my slice may have expired, but it was sure beautiful looking when it arrived. Perfect would be the best adjective to describe its construction: good width and the proper amount of sauce and cheese.
Getting down to business, my first reaction was that Phil’s slice was a bit low in the flavor department, especially in the cheese. The stripes of tomato sauce didn’t add enough either. Although lacking in pizazz, it was a good eat in that it was delightfully crisp and crunchy. The slice could have used some spicing up, but as I have said before, that’s not my job to do! When I got to the finish, I found the end crust to be somewhat dry. Good slice and a tasty treat, just not one to knock my socks off.
I found it quite respectful of Phil’s to bring the Tomato Pie to the Philly area. At home, we all enjoyed the regular pie although I’d steer you to their Tomato Pie instead. And while the cheesesteak was unlikely to be Philly’s best, it was quite good and enjoyable. All in all, it was a successful evening’s adventure.
PIZZA SNOB RATING **** Near Perfection
Phil’s Famous Pizza & Steaks
521 Lancaster Ave.
Berwyn, PA 19312