Better than I though it would be.
Pizza Review
The original Santucci’s opened in 1959 on O Street in Northeast Philly. Since then, they have added 9 total franchises with 6 locations in Pennsylvania (3 in Philadelphia) & 3 spots in New Jersey. This Italian Market location is considered one of the top spots for squares in Philly. With pies & slices that are more rectangular than square, the dough isn’t super thick like Sicilian pizza; this is actually an “upside down” pie with Grandma pie style thinness. Considered “upside down” because the cheese is beneath the sauce, hugging the dough while the sauce is lightly smattered across the surface. The dough has a firm undercarriage but is very soft & somewhat spongy; despite feeling rather heavy, it’s actually fairly light & airy but minimally fluffy, with the cheese & sauce adding most of the weight to the pie. The only crisped component of the pizza is the deliciously crunch crust, my favorite aspect of the pie. Nestled against the dough, the cheese blankets the entire surface of the pizza. Thickish, heavy, melted well and mildly flavorful, this feels more like slices from a block of Polly-O than a shredded mozzarella blend. A little too thick for the scant amount of sauce, the cheese-to-sauce ratio is a bit unbalanced. Speaking of the sauce, it’s a beautifully deep red blend, not particularly sweet, not very hearty, dulled & partially bitter from the excess oregano mixed in. When the sauce isn’t super sweet, oregano is more detrimental to pies and should be used sparingly or optional. Overall, the upside down style squares (rectangles) make for a fine change of pace pie from traditional circles & Neapolitan pizzas. While the sauce is somewhat of an acquired taste, it’s not bad; combined with the other ingredients, this is very good, yet unspectacular franchise square pizza.