6300 Frankford Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19134-3619
In the never-ending hunt for great pizza, the great Northeast is usually underrepresented, yet they offer pies in many venues that are significantly better than their Southern counterparts. I heard Tony's Place offered a tomato pie, and I was anxious to see if it would save me a trip to Trenton.
Tony's place is not a fancy "gourmet pizza" type place. It's a bar/family restaurant that serves a pretty decent, comparably inexpensive thin crust tomato pie. Now don't get it twisted, this is not tomato pie, but rather, tomato pie. (The following pictures are a bit dull because the lighting here hasn't changed since 1951)
The drink special was $2.25 Woodchuck ciders. Although I usually don't drink the cider, I had to do it here, on monetary principle alone. The side salad is pretty large and quite a steal at around $3.50. Nothing crazy, but more variety and size than I expected for the price.
On to the pizza. I went with the traditional tomato pie with hot cherry peppers and sausage first. The sauce goes on top, and the cheese underneath. Upon ordering I asked for it well done, and she asked if I wanted it crispy, so I was a bit flummoxed. However, I decided to just hedge my bets and go with crispy. Crispy it was. The crust was the best part (followed by the sausage). Very thin, and very crisp, it was a nice change from the thick, greasy "medium" thickness that many places around the city serve and often call "Greek style." I am looking at YOU Central Pizza. Anyway, the pizza was good, the sausage had a nice kick of fennel, and was in perfect proportion. The problem arose with the sauce, however. It just lacked flavor. I may be spoiled, but is it too much to ask for the sauce to have some salt and garlic? This was under sweetened, under salted, and just made my two other favorite sauces (Franco's and Tacconelli's) shine.
The red and white pizza was hard to pass up, as it had a tinge of patriotism to it (even though it was missing some bleu). It was a white pie, with olive oil and garlic, swirled with sauce. Now we were getting closer to home. This had a bit more of the flavor I was looking for. Garlic, oregano, olive oil, a bit of tomato, and a satisfyingly crunchy crust.
I would certainly eat at Tony's Place again, and the fact that a pie is less than $11 is another major plus. Although the sauce is a bit lacking, the crust is definitely light and crunchy, however I am still a Tacconelli's guy for thin crust in our fair city.