Sunday, March 14, 2010

Liberty Pizza

Wednesday March 10th 2009
Liberty Pizza, 7th and Fairmount, Philadelphia, PA

I’ve heard in the past that Philadelphia has the most pizza places per capita of any other U.S. city. Wether this is fact or fiction I’m not entirely sure, but whereas Philly might be known for having a lot of pizza places, it’s not known for having very many good ones, and quantity over quality is never the way to go. A slice from any random pizza place you happen to pass by in Philly is more likely than not to thoroughly disappoint you. Overly crispy, almost pastry like dough, and small slices loaded with bland low grade mozzarella are the common product.
This being said, I’m hesitant to try new pizza in this town out of fear for possibly getting a slice thats sub par even for Philly standards. I generally keep my distance from nondescript bullet proof glass style pizzerias, at least when I’m looking for food, but my co-worker James, a connoisseur of the eastern Spring Garden area highly recommended Liberty Pizza.
“It’s better than Plaza Pizza.”, He told me.
Which isn’t really saying much, Plaza Pizza being a Greek pizza joint down the road, great for a funny atmosphere and exceptionally friendly daytime staff, but fitting itself right into the mediocre category of Philadelphia pizza quality.
Liberty Pizza might not have the beer selection that Plaza does, their cashiers might not call me “Babe”, and maybe I can’t sit down and watch crazy people play with their soup, but I CAN eat a decent slice of pizza. Slices at Liberty run you $1.50 for cheese, and I think $1.75 for a topping (this is a halal place, so I’m not sure how they feel about pepperoni), and they come in a cone which is made by stapling the edges of a paper plate together, convenient for transport.

Taste wise, a Liberty slice is sort of like the best New York style pizza you could find in a cafeteria. And I mean nothing bad by that, it’s literally as if you ordered the “New York Style Pizza” in the hospital, and then you were like, “Wow! This is actually really good!”. The dough has a nice chew to it, there isn’t too much or too little cheese, and the sauce is spiced in a pleasantly subtle way. When held by the crust, the rest of the slice might sag a little bit, but generally holds its form, and without spillage of sauce or cheese. Napkins unnecessary.
It’s interior is typical for a lot of these unintentional variety stores you’ll find in Philly. There’s a snack cake section to the left of the door, a lightly stocked deli that might not get as much use as they’d like, several drink coolers, and they may or may not sell cigarettes, phone cards, and headache medication, it looks like they would.
I like Liberty Pizza, but at best it’s only decent, and its sad that in a city full of pizzerias something merely decent should be rare. But, hey, that’s the way it is, so congratulations to Liberty Pizza for not making whatever mistake it is that so many others have made.

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