Saturday, April 14, 2012

Tale of the Pie: Vinnie's Pizza

A lot of people think that running a pizza blog is all glory because it means that you get to eat pizza all the time. And true, it is nice. This being said, there is a great deal of curse that comes along with that blessing.

For instance, trying new pies is a bit overrated. Don't you think I would rather just go to the incredibly reliable Charlie's Pizzeria every time I want pizza. I'd get delicious and abundant sauce! Melty, fresh cheese! A thick, foldable, ideally textured crust. Spicy, tangy pepperoni! It would be great! But no, the object of this blog is to search for the "perfect pie." That means, we can't just go to Charlie's every time. If there is something better out there, we want to find it. The quest has brought us many culinary rewards. And it has brought us many disappointments.

That brings me to Vinnie's Pizza in Oaks. We saw it one day when we were driving down into Phoenixville. Seemed like a place we should try. Situated in a slightly isolated spot on Egypt Road, it had a very nice little outdoor eating area. While we were not able to take advantage of that on this cold early spring evening, we were able to find a seat in their somewhat small dining area with tables bedecked with homey plastic picnic-style table clothes.

We ordered a Caesar salad and a plain pie, although the pie was to be made in "upside-down" style. In other words, it was a red-topper (this is key). The salad we got was extremely average. It was served with a stringy Romaine and croutons. The salad dressing, which was almost certainly store-bought, was served on the side and it was scarce. Factor in the fact that the silverware situation was very confusing (we had to ask the guy for it three times and then it turned out that we were supposed to pick up plastics from a station near the register, but were never told this information) and the salad was pretty much a bust. I will say that they offered a nice bread side with it. It was nothing fancy. Just a warmed up roll with garlic and butter. They wouldn't have a session about it in a cooking class, but it hit the spot.

Then there was the pie. Truthfully, when you compare it to the pie, the salad seemed gourmet. Let's start with the least offensive element, the cheese. It was fine. The flavor wasn't standout, but it was gooey enough. The crust, however, was thin, dry, and devoid of flavor. As it got colder, it became hard and tough to eat. I had to purchase a second drink to get some moisture back in my mouth.

As for the sauce (and the application of the sauce), I might struggle to find the words to describe how awful it was. Let me take out my thesaurus for some assistance...OK, I'll go with "abomination." Boy, was this stuff soupy! No, I don't mean that it was a bit on the watery side. I mean that it literally tasted like a can of Campbell's tomato (Spicy Hawaiian also likened it to tomato paste and the always dreaded ketchup). Then let's pretend for a minute that it was good: they actually found a way to skimp on the sauce for a red-top pie. There were whole sections of the pie that had no red. It was like eating a white pizza. It was as if someone at Vinnie's not only had to go back to school to figure out how to make a decent sauce, but they also had to consult the glossary of terms just to discover what a "red-topper" is supposed to be.

The price of the meal (with two drinks) was $24. We thought that was a little pricey at first, but now that I look at it, maybe it is about what you would expect. Then again, after sampling the goods emerging from the kitchen of Vinnie's Pizza, I'm thinking they should be paying you to eat it.

Pros: Cheese was good enough; Nice garlic bread with the salad
Cons: Horrid sauce; Dry, flavorless crust; Store-bought dressing for salad

Vinnie's Pizza
1058 Egypt Road
Oaks, PA 19456

Vinnie's Pizza on Urbanspoon


The Pizza Project
Just a nibble:
Single slice:
The full pie:

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