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Before I learned that the authentic Neapolitan pizza at Philly's Pizzeria DiMeo's (and its cousin DiMeo’s Pizzaiuoli Napulitani in Wilmington) is getting all the buzz, my DiMeo confusion led me and my dining companions to DiMeo Pizza in Berwyn.
Our group of three arrived expecting a high-end Neapolitan place with the wood-fired domed oven. However, upon entering, DiMeo Pizza looked like your average strip-mall storefront pizza joint that uses mass-sourced ingredients to make cheap, tasty, but ultimately ordinary fare.
The pizzas behind the counter indeed looked very ordinary; we agreed that they showed little promise. Nothing here made us think that this pie would rise above the ubiquitous storefront joints hashing out mediocre pie. We did see a glimmer of hope in that the menu offered a good variety of red and white pies; we chose the "Capricciosa" featuring prosciutto, black olives, mushrooms, tomato sauce & mozzarella.
The pie came out relatively quickly. It was mostly an attractive presentation, other than the pale and sickly look of both the mushrooms and the prosciutto. On the first bite, we noticed that the sauce had a lively tang. The cheese was standard grade dry mozzarella, and merely a role player. The mushrooms were canned and the prosciutto was low-grade in appearance, texture, and flavor (but still tasty).
|An excellent crisp and chewy cornicione|
Every pizza lives or dies by its crust. And, surprise - the crust, thin and crisp, had an excellent texture and nice flavor! Each bite closer to the cornicione, it got better. This is definitely a place where you should be sure to eat the pizza bones.
DiMeo uses a conventional oven, and apparently the pie cooks on a screen or a screened tray. Despite that dubious technique, the good crust elevates this pie above the other mom and poppers. If I were to return, I'd keep it basic and get a pepperoni pizza here; low-grade pepperoni is a better topping choice than low-grade prosciutto.
|Cooked on a screen|
Service was pleasant, except for the cigarette smoke wafting in from the kitchen. DiMeo Pizza in Berwyn earns a 6 out of 10. Better than a frozen pizza -- and many strip-mall pizza places can't beat that fundamental metric.