La Rosa was on my radar for a while, I forget where I heard about it - actually, upon further introspection, I think I may have eaten it once a long time ago. Whether that happened or not is hardly relevant to the matter at hand; which is that fact that I tried it last night, after I was reminded of my desire to get some potato pizza by these guys. I have to say, despite the fact that I would normally not expect much of anything that came off of Broad and Snyder, this pizza was incredible. (Disclaimer: I say was, which is a stretch, because I am currently eating a portion of the massive amounts of leftovers, and I am thoroughly enjoying every bite)
I was hungry and in my never-ending quest for impartial food journalism, I decided it was only right to order two pies, and try three topping combinations therein. (I am becoming ever so clever at masking my gluttony under the guise of journalistic integrity) So I tried to find a menu online, to no avail. Apparently, and I mean this in all sincerity, they do not have one. So I called to verify this, and it appears to be true. You literally just call and tell them what you want. If they have it, they will make it, if not, they won't. You have to love South Philly. I called and asked for a pepperoni, black olive and onion pizza, but they didn't have black olives so I subbed mushrooms. I knew I had to try the potato pizza, so I ordered an additional pie, half white with potato and half sausage and green pepper. I also ordered them well done. This was a wise move. I guess for every ten poor moves in life (such as writing this while "studying" for finals), something has to come up roses. So they said it would be delivered within the hour. And the waiting game began. After an hour and fifteen (mostly spent staring out the window and jumping up every time I thought I heard a car), I was about to start eating my hand, and there was a knock on the door. I would have eaten an Ellio's with glee at this point. It was $24 for two pies, which is a really good deal. I was also relieved because they did not offer the price during the ordering phase and they only accept cash. The gruff yet polite delivery man was an additional treat. So I bring the pizza inside and as I am getting ready to binge like I am in Animal House, my phone rings. I can't be bothered with unknown numbers at this point, so I let it go to voice mail. It turned out to be La Rosa calling to let me know my pizza didn't have enough peppers to meet their standards and I wasn't charged for it. A+ for effort, and honesty.
The pizzas are square and HUGE. Like a Sicilian, but considered "Roman style" which means thinner and better I am assuming. (I don't care much for deep dish, subject to certain exceptions) The pepperoni was fantastic. I loved that the pizza was actually well done, and the onions were cooked on top, and slightly burnt. Perfect. The mushrooms were canned (whatever) but they were acceptable in this application, I suppose. Again, the pepperoni itself was great, not overly greasy, and packed a wallop of flavor. The crust is thick and rich, yet airy and crispy. I was/am a huge fan. This was definitely some of the best pizza I have had in Philly. It fills a niche I didn't even realize I was in search of.
The potato pizza was on another level. The potatoes were soft and tasty, slightly browned and sprinkled with a healthy dose of rosemary and pepper. Perfect. I LOVED IT. The sausage (which apparently is procured in South Philly somewhere) was also great. It had the perfect amount of grease and really added so much flavor to the pie. I have to think that this is what Pizza Hut originally started as, and we won't get into what a mess it has become. This is tavern style square pie at it's finest. Might be my new go-to for delivery. You also can't beat the fact that it was $28 with a nice tip for two pies delivered that could feed 6 easily.
Note the grease glistening below. Delicious.
The lack of peppers was hardly noticeable.
Next day reheat, turned out perfect after 5 minutes on the pizza stone in a preheated oven. Crispy perfection. Look at all of that rosemary.