Friday, August 28, 2009

Pagano's Market : Philadelphia

A single person rec'd Pagano's on Chowhound and I was quite intrigued that they'd feel so strongly about this place and I'd never heard of it before. I also found it mystifying that it was so close to where I lived and yet I've never seen it.

When my gf and I found the place, it was evident why I've never seen the place. It's tucked away from the street, behind the fountain of the courtyard of 2001 Market St.

And regarding not hearing of it before, it's aimed at the business folk in the building and closes at an whoppingly early 5pm. And going inside, it's pretty evident that's who its target customers are. The place looks like a company cafeteria. Perhaps slightly more gourmet than your average one, but still.

Yet, little things seemed a bit different. A sign advertising their use of local Jersey tomatoes (which are lovely lovely things). A note with a quote from a NY publication remarking it had one of the best prosciutto cheeses on the East coast (sorry that's so vague, memory's fading on this one).

Anyhow, my gf and I ordered the Original Hand-thrown pizza with pepperoni and mushroom. And despite it being greasy as hell (we were patting down the pieces with napkins) and salty, my first thought wasn't "this is overly oily and salty," but rather did these guys miss the memo that company cafeterias and the like don't care this much about fresh ingredients?

My suspicion is that both the saltiness and oilyness came from the pepperoni which tasted like a real honest-to-goodness salted/preserved sausage and which was quite refreshing. The mushrooms actually tasted fairly fresh.

And the crust was quite satisfying. Thin, not crunchy at all, but chewy/bready in a good way.

All in all, the pizza seemed to reflect a place run with some personality and pride. Perhaps this isn't a destination place like I've heard Tacconelli's supposedly is, but this was a solid pie.

Yes, this is geared for the lunch-time work crowd. Yes, we did get a few strange looks for ambling in with our t-shirt, jeans and sneaks. But if I get a chance, I'd go again to try out some of their other stuff.

Pagano's Market
2001 Market St Philadelphia PA 19103 (Map)‎

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