Saturday, December 27, 2008

East Coast Pizza

East Coast Pizza located in Chesterfield Valley has been around for several years. It is a family owned and operated pizza joint. Their Menu states they are from Philly and New York and that they lived in New Jersey for years. The Philly influence is seen in their menu with items like TastyKake's for dessert and Amoroso Bakery rolls for their sandwiches, both famous Philadelphia landmarks.

East Coast Pizza is what I would call a full service pizza joint. They have everything; soups, salads, appetizers, pizza, calzone - stromboli, hot & cold sandwiches, dinners and desserts. You can get your pizza by the slice or whole pie. They have hand tossed and Chicago style crust with homemade red sauce, you can also get both crust as White Pizza (mozzarella cheese, garlic, olive oil and parmesan cheese).

For me it was the usual hand tossed crust with pepperoni, meatballs, ham and onions. Leena my reviewing apprentice ordered a slice of cheese pizza. First thing you notice is the crust is a bit thinner and crispier than what you might find at other New York style pizzerias in the area. The crust still needs support when hot though. Next is that the meatballs are no longer in the form of meatballs, but more of a seasoned finely ground beef. The pepperonis were not overly spicy, the ham was thinly slice and the onion's were chopped. The cheese is of course Mozzarella. The toppings were all fresh with good taste. The sauce was a bit on the mild side. The cheese pizza could have used a little more cheese in my book (yes I was allowed one small bite), but was well liked by my 5 year old apprentice.

Overall the pizza was quite good. Not necessarily at the top of my list, but it passes the "Would I pay for it again" test. In fact East Coast Pizza is on my list for a few return visits as I need to try the White Pizza, the Philly Cheese Steak (their from Philly so it's got to be good right?) and I have yet to sample the TastyKake's. East Coast Pizza is located at 17304 Chesterfield Airport Rd at Boone's Crossing in the Vally. You can reach them at (636) 536-7888, for more information check out their web-site(click on the title link).



Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Pizza House, Merrill's Pizza or...

The phone rings, when I answer it's my contact. "How many do you want? I need to know by tomorrow". My reply as always is "I can do three, let me know when they are ready". Let me set the record straight right here, I said contact and that would be my pizza contact, not my drug dealer.

To make a long story short, this review starts in the early 70's, and if you read my earlier post you will have read a bit about the Pizza House and my humble beginnings in the world of pizza. So in the beginning (1970's) there was the Pizza House, next came Merrill's Pizza (mid 80's), the short lived McKenisey Junction steak house (late 90's early 00's) that sold more pizza than steak, until the new highway came along. When McKenisey Junction was closed we (Pizza House fans, I'm not alone) thought that was the end, but as you can see from the photo above we were wrong. I don't know who's idea it was, Merrill's (chief pizza maker and all around good guy) or a fan, but with in a year's time word spread Merrill would be making pizza again. The way it works is, Merrill goes down his phone list asking how many they want and telling them when the pizza's will be ready. Ever since his phone list has grown, he makes something like 800 pizza's a session. My contact and I are small time, combined we may order up to 10 pizza's. Once the call comes in I have about 2 weeks to plan the 6 hour round trip to pickup my pizza's. My 3 pies will last about 4-5 weeks, with the first gone within 2-3 days.

Once the pizza's are in my freezer, I'm only 20 minutes away from 35 years ago. Preheat the oven to 450, place the pizza directly on the middle rack and cook for 15 minutes, put it in the pizza box, cut it into 8 pieces, and close the box and let it rest for a few minutes. When you open the box it's just like you walked in the house from the pizza joint, if you really want the proper experience sit in your car with the pizza for 10 minutes (if you can last that long). I'm a creature of habit, so this is the same pizza we would order back in the day. Back then it was a Spartan Special with hamburger, today it's pepperoni, Canadian bacon, and hamburger. Starting at the bottom, the crust is thin, but not so thin it can't hold up whats on top, the edge is almost crunchy. I believe the crust has evolved since the early days, but it's been so long that I can's say which is better. The sauce is thick and not over spiced, it's spread around in just the right amount. The cheese is "100% Real Mozzarella Cheese" and what ever you do don't ask for extra cheese, Thats a whole other story. The Canadian bacon is the real thing, not just sliced ham, the pepperonis bight back just the right amount, and the hamburger comes from a local butcher shop. I have to make myself stop eating without some strong will power I will power through the whole 14inch pizza, and not realize what I've done. When I hear the word Pizza this is what pops into my mind.

At this point I would normally give you some contact information, but I have none to give. Even if I did have a phone number or email address I probably wouldn't give it out, as it may get me stricken from the next round of pizza's. If you aren't in Merrill's phone book you are out of luck, that includes me as I rely on an intermediary. So for those in the know (you know who you are) I highly recommend Merrill's One Man Pizza Show. for the rest of you to bad...

Highly Recommended.