|A slice of Santucci's square pie|
We arrived mid-afternoon, so it was quiet but not empty. We got prompt and friendly service, and were surprised to see a full menu, including appetizers, sandwiches, and pastas. But we had come for the square pie, and we ordered a large 17" rectangular pizza ($18) topped with spinach ($2) and sausage ($3).
|Inside the dining room|
The pie arrived relatively soon and it was beautiful. This is a "red sauce on top" pie and it was a strikingly red canvas in a golden frame, dotted with swaths of deep green and textured with lumps of sausage.
|Nicely browned underside|
The medium-thick crust was somewhere between a typical Sicilian crust and a Philly tomato pie bakery-style crust, but lighter, sturdier, and crisper. It was an excellent vehicle to support the cheese, sauce, and toppings, but it was still difficult to take a bite without getting a faceful of that generously applied red sauce. Hence, I ate most of it with a knife and fork.
The upside of sauce on top is that it becomes the star of the pie, and this sauce was good enough for that premiere role. Despite its thin consistency, it packed a solid old-world red gravy flavor. The downside is that the cheese is deprived of oven browning.
All the elements were in harmony here, and each bite had a satisfying mix of crunch, chew, tang, and savory goodness from the excellent sausage.
Santucci's has proved its Philly mettle so much that are now five locations in PA and NJ; it was the only pizza that former Eagle Connor Barwin would eat.
Santucci's is a great story -- an old-school piemaker, expanding into new territory, without any artisanal pretense. Go get some.