Saturday, June 11, 2011

Review: Bravo Brick Oven Pizza, West Chester PA

Bravo is a fairly recent addition to the "Banbury Shoppes" strip mall at the intersection of Rt. 100 and Boot Road in West Whiteland Township (West Chester mailing address), PA. Their flyer says "A Different Kind of Pizzeria" although it fails to explain why and its menu choices -- pizza, sandwiches, pasta, burgers -- are distressingly familiar. I stopped in on a Friday night with modest expectations.

Here are some positives: the place is modern and clean, but with the absolutely typical and charm-free ambiance common in storefront pizza joints. The staff was friendly, and even though they were moderately busy, service was swift.  Prices are moderate, from $4.99 for a personal pie (same as one slice at DiFara) and $11.50 for a 16" large plain.  "Gourmet Pizza" goes $17.99 for a large and offers things like Taco Pizza, Chicken BBQ Pizza, and Greek Pizza.

I ordered a personal size pie with sausage for takeout. It appeared to be just one more faceless pizza -- better than no pizza at all, with some promise of being better than chain pie but perhaps not better than rising-crust frozen pies like Digiornio.

The sausage, to my disappointment, was not slices of real Italian sausage like you find at Totonno's or the scrumptious huge chunks found on a DeLorenzo's tomato pie; instead, it was those cylindrical pellets that look a little like kibble and a little like rabbit poop. The only lesser form of pizza topping is the sausage granules that some places use to provide a gritty brown surface.

How did it taste?  Well in fact, it was quite tasty, and I scarfed it down in a hurry. There was nothing distinctive about the sauce or cheese, and I did add salt, freshly grated pecorino romano cheese, dried red pepper, and some dried basil.  The crust was typical of the genre, but its bland breadiness did benefit from some above average-execution. It had a nice golden bottom and edge.

Ultimately, this was just another forgettable West Chester pizza. It leaves me wondering why, with all of the high-end gourmet food available in the region (especially downtown), why is there so little distinctive pizza in Philly's Western burbs? Bravo gets a 5.5 rating, out of ten. Because it's close to my home, I may go back. But this is convenience pizza, not destination pizza.

Bravo Pizza on Urbanspoon


  1. The Bravo on route 30 in Paoli is decent. Yes, it's a chain, but I'll take it over most of the other chains. Their sicilian is particularly good though I'm sure it can't compare to any of the finer establishments you've written about. But it's good for a quick lunch and change of pace from work on occasion.

  2. Ah! I have been there, it did not register that they are part of the same chain. I agree, they are better than the typical chain pizza.