Though pizzazz and tomato pie are worthy claims to fame, our pizza scene has been much maligned. Just look to the Chowhound board or Phillyblog to hear hungry hopefuls and NY transplants gripe like... well, NY transplants that Philly is lacking in the pie department. It is true. What's a Philadelphian to do? We like the plain pies at Marra's, but only when eaten at Marra's. Something strange happens to a Marra's pizza between the time we pick it up and the time we get home. Same goes for Celebre's. Phenomenal pies on locations; droopy and wet on the kitchen table. With locations in Old City and South Philly, Gianfranco Rustica has been reliable for delivery (their white pizza with pesto is oustanding), and Cacia's foccacia-style squares (pictured) baked in ancient metal pans never disappoint, though they close early. We hear Tacconelli's is fabulous, but calling ahead to reserve dough like you would reserve a table at Vetri is a little ridiculous.
Tonight will be the second Friday in a row we're calling SliCE, the new pizzeria that uses capitalization like a seventh-grader on her MySpace. Located in the former Britt's on 10th & Federal, SliCE turns out both traditional and gourmet thin-crust pies with quality ingredients like artichoke heats, prosciutto, Gorgonzola, and Maglio sausage. Check out their menu courtesy of MenuPages. So far we've had the Bertucci's-esque (in a good way) Margherita. The San Marzano tomato sauce was stunningly red with a great velvet texture but was a touch bland. According the owners via a Phillybog post, they've rectified the issue by amping up the seasoning. SliCE doesn't skimp on the fresh mozzarella; there were plenty of cheesy white buttons dotting the pie, and shower of bright green basil set the pizza off in anisey fireworks. We'll have to wait till tonight to see how round #2 is. As you know, pizza delivery is all about consistency. In the mean time, we're open to suggestions on our constant quest for great pizza. Let's have 'em.
Photo: Cacia's Bakery