On Friday night, I finally kicked off the 2007 Pizza Hunt in the Great Northeast with D-Mac. We decided to head to Merc’s (8108 Roosevelt Blvd), a non-descript but quite good pizzeria in a strip mall. Here was D-Mac’s take:
When Johnny suggested somewhere in the Northeast, I knew we had to go to somewhere good. Of all the sections of Philadelphia, Northeast Philly has the best pizza. After brushing off the billboard directing us to the $4.99 pizza buffet in Bristol, we pulled up to a small shopping center off Holme Circle and Johnny got this first taste of Merc’s.
Merc’s doesn’t have the best decor or atmosphere, but it really makes up for it with the pizza. Somebody once told me it’s an offshoot of
but there isn’t a Wikipedia page for either so I don’t know if it’s true. Like Tony’s, Merc’s makes both regular and tomato pies, with the sauce on top.
It’s simply fantastic pizza. And not only is it fantastic, it’s incredibly consistent. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad pie from Merc’s. The pizza is never runny, the cheese is incredible and the sauce on top makes everything perfect. Plus, you can get a half tomato/half regular pie, which I think is the kind of pizza God gets when he goes to Merc’s. (Fun fact: Once I was in Merc’s and I saw them making a pizza, and apparently they use big slices of cheese instead of shredded. Thanks, professor!)
Our trip didn’t end so successfully, as the final innings of the Phillies game we watched with the workers didn’t go so well. The Phils were one out away from winning. One out! Effin’ Phillies. But we did get to make fun of Chris Wheeler a lot, and that’s always a good time.
I think I’m already at my word count, but Johnny said he’d pay me a dollar a word. Let’s just conclude here anyway: Sure, it’s just a dingy little spot in a strip mall, but the place is great. (Oh, and great fries, too. Great fries.) Four and a half pepperonis.
Four and a half pepperonis is crazy. I mean, the pizza was good, but simply not as good as Tony’s. And the atmosphere wasn’t even close, though it is nice when the guy cooking your pizza knows his baseball, and this guy certainly did. If Flash Gordon hadn’t blown it in the 9th, I might have given the place a 4, but his hanging curve costs the place a half pepperoni. 3 1/2. (Actually, I’d personally give it a 3, but D-Mac’s high score bumps ’em up a half.)