1334 Pine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
It's not often that I'm in the UArts neighborhood for lunch, or for any other reason, but here I was with a short break and a hankerin' for some comforting, relatively fast food.
Just east of Broad Street, you can't miss Paolo Pizza, it's got signage for days.
Their advertised special boasted 2 gourmet slices and a soda for $7 and that sounded like one hell of a deal. Gourmet slices usually run around $4 a piece, so there was no way to pass this up.
The inside is enormous, with lots of eat-in seating, and not to mention the innumerable selection of regular and gourmet pies from which to choose. I have a weakness for Mexican food, and so when I saw the 'Taco Pizza' with finely chopped cheesesteak meat, lettuce, tomato, onion and taco sauce, I couldn't resist.
My other selection was their 'Fry Mega Pizza' with french fries, bacon bits, cheese whiz and mozzarella. Even given all of the other irresistible options, my dining partner ordered the exact same two varieties. The taco slice was up first and, man, was it delicious!
I admit, it was a bit sloppy with some of the ingredients slipping this way and that, but the flavor combination was right where it should be. The crust wasn't thin, but it wasn't overly bready either. It held its own and, if a bit crispier, probably would have held the 10 pounds of toppings with no trouble at all. I must say, even with the non-traditional cheesesteak meat in place of ground beef, the slightly wilted iceberg lettuce and warm tomato dices, the pizza tasted like a taco. A damn good one in my book.
Now it was time for the Mega slice, but I had just consumed 1,000 calories in my first one, so I took the cheese whiz, bacon and fries to go. Went to the Phillies game that night, so I offered it as a pre-xfinity live! snack. At room temperature, it probably didn't have the same effect, but luckily the whiz offered enough lubrication to balance out the dried up fries. Crunchy bacon added unnecessary salt, but the value here does not go unnoticed.
If you're in the area and looking for some good, indulgent eats with maximum bang for your buck, Paolo's is the place to beat.
-posted by gabulous