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Pizza is the perfect food any time, any place


Three questions heard around West Chester: Henderson, East or Rustin?; Granite Run, Exton or King of Prussia?; and Benny’s or New Haven’s?

Let’s just say, I have a fondness for pizza. I could eat it every day and I did just that for each of two summers. It’s the perfect food.

That summer, my brother worked at a pizza joint and brought home what was left over from the “slice pie.” It often had eight full slices.

While my brother acted as delivery driver, we at home would warm up the oven for the “left over” pizza when he was expected home.


We saved some for my mother’s lunch. She should have been Italian considering all the tomato paste she consumed.

It wasn’t a coincidence that I recently discovered a living pizza museum, Pizza Brain, in Kensington.

Five hundred and sixty-one pizza-related items cover the walls here at the “Guinness Book of World Record”-certified largest collection of pizza memorabilia.

It’s also a working museum/pizza shop. I bought a huge slice named after “Leonard Bookman.” Next time I’ll ask who he is. They call these types of pies artisanal.

The white pie was smothered with mozzarella, fontina, ricotta, black pepper, garlic and fresh oregano. I tend to prefer my pizza plain or with just pepperoni, but this was a delicious slice of heaven.

There are pizza boxes displayed at the museum, pizza cutters including one depicting “Star Trek,” movie posters, photos and VHS tapes, including, “Mystic Pizza” a flick with Julia Roberts. Years ago, I even made a pilgrimage to Mystic, Conn., and sampled the pizza there myself. Yum!

Pizza Brain employee David Scott said pizza tourists come from all over to visit and eat and are a majority of the shop’s weekend business.

An ex-girlfriend had regularly raved about Grotto Pizza. Prior to Grotto being located in Wilmington we took a road trip all the way to Rehoboth Beach simply to sample what has become my favorite pizza. It’s stacked differently: Crust on the bottom; next cheese; and then sauce on top. Yum! So delightful and worth the nearly hour-long drive to north Wilmington along 202 on a Friday night.

I’ve never had a bad slice of pizza in Chester County. I enjoy the paper-thin slices at Las Vegas Pizza. The slices as big as your head at Lorenzo’s. What I call “race track” pizza, waiting for us on a sometimes revolving rack with a heat lamp, at Sam’s Pizza Island is wonderful. And the Chicago-style at Pizzeria Uno’s is delectable.

I enjoy heating up Ellio’s pizza procured from ShopRite, but only after doctoring it up and adding a massive amount of cheese, and sometimes pepperoni, or fresh onions and green peppers.

I’ve consumed the 99-cent slices near Times Square. None of those Big Apple Ray’s pizza shops are a match for our pizza. I’ve tried to eat like a New Yorker but folding a slice in half just doesn’t work for me.

Friday nights, my two buddies and I often go to the same pizza joint, Season’s in Frazer. Yum! We most always get the same thing: An extra-large pepperoni pizza cut into six slices, which stifles arguments.

I once applied for a job at a pizza joint. How hard would it be for me to figure out? I lasted two hours.

I delivered for one of the chains. The pay was good and almost everybody tips at least $2. I lasted a just a day after I called my car insurance company to report I was delivering. They told me they’d drop me as a customer if I delivered pizza.

In Chicago, I enjoyed a deep dish pizza with sausage, onions and green peppers and was shocked when the waitress figured out as I was a tourist and said, “You know it will take 45 minutes for the pizza to cook?”

I asked why, and she said, “Because that’s how long it takes.” It was worth the wait.

I passed on Papa John’s when in China. The shops are everywhere over there and are almost as popular as another American export, KFC.

I assume, like almost everyone else, we’ve sampled those salty anchovies just once. Fish and pineapple should not be added to pizza.

Everybody has a favorite and I wish I could list all the pizza I’ve enjoyed in the county.

So, Benny’s or New Haven’s? I wish I could help. You’re on your own. Yum!

Bill Rettew Jr. is a weekly columnist and Chester County resident. He usually can’t wait and regularly burns the roof of his mouth. You may contact him at brettew@dailylocal.com.

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