Naughty or nice? The Pizza Ninja decides which list Larry’s Steaks is on.
Hello pizza fanatics and welcome to the Christmas edition of the pizza review, brought to you by the man who has a Santa-sized belly from all of his pizza eating.
For this month’s edition, the Ninja tries some pizza from a shop famous not for its pizza, but for its cheesesteaks. Larry’s Steaks – Home of the “Belly Filler” on 54th & City Line Ave in Philadelphia, PA, across from St. Joseph’s University. Popular among local celebrities, sports stars, and college kids seeking 2AM drunk food alike.
The Ninja himself had fond memories of attending Larry’s for an undergrad in pizza reviewing while simultaneously attending St. Joe’s for an undergrad in some useless degree not related to pizza years ago.
In the past, the Ninja has touched on utilizing GrubHub for getting pizza from any given pizza shop to you, but there is a new player in town for pizza delivery: UberEats. If you aren’t familiar with Uber or other ride-sharing apps, the concept is simple; you can summon a car at nearly anytime, anywhere to give you a ride.
So how does UberEats expand on that concept? It allows you to summon a delivery driver to bring you food from nearly anywhere in the city. Basically, it takes ride-sharing, adds pizza, and makes it better. This is exciting news because it opens up a whole host of pizza delivery possibilities. Ride-sharing concepts applied to pizza delivery? Unlimited pizza options? Too good to be true? Read on to find out.
The Ordering Experience (3.5 out of 5)
When ordering food from the UberEats app, your ordering options are just that: ordering through the app. You can’t call the shop directly to place your order because most often they don’t normally deliver to your area and Uber has to be the middleman. No pizzeria owner on the other end of a phone line.
While this may be nice, the drawback is that if you ordering any sort of custom item, for instance, Aunt Irene only wants olives on 2 slices of the pizza, or sauce on half, or triple meat, you are left at the mercy of entering your request in a notes or comments box and hoping the restaurant takes note.
The Ninja fired up the app at 6:30PM and decided on pizza from Larry Steaks. The app estimated a standard 35-45 minute delivery time.
After the order was finalized, the app then gave a more specific ETA of 7:09PM along in its order tracker. 39 minutes, okay fine. That’s in between 35 and 45 minutes, acceptable:
One benefit of the app is that you get to follow your order from start to completion, to even tracking where the delivery driver is along their route.
At approximately 6:54PM, the Ninja was watching his app intensely and saw that the pizza was completed and picked up by an Uber delivery driver. Wait a minute, arrival has slipped to 7:13, and another order is going out first!?! Whoa, the Ninja’s pizza is on a wild goose-chase in Fairmount, nowhere near Larry’s Belly Filler or the Ninja residence.
After some lucky customer received their order first, and much yelling at the app by the Ninja as he watched wrong turns being made, the pizza made its way over to East Falls for a 7:13PM arrival time. Five minutes later than the quoted delivery time, and quite frankly, a little lukewarm.
The Pizza Experience
Presentation (4 out of 5)
Look at this box, beautiful. Maybe one of the Ninjas favorite boxes so far. It’s a perfect mix of a custom branded box with artwork that can only be described as 70’s kitsch. The box reminds you, once again, that this Larry’s is first and foremost a cheesesteak shop.
Good looking pizza at first glance and it certainly smells great, although the Ninja is docking points for uniformity. The bottom has a nice golden hue – optimal level of doneness on the cheese. The top looks a smidge less melty in comparison.
Let’s take a taste:
Cheese (4.75 out of 5)
A rich, milky and at times, slightly salty cheese. Really a joy to eat and a creamy explosion in your mouth. The ratio was a little high here, bordering on extra cheese, would like to see Larry’s bring the amount of cheese down ever so slightly.
Sauce (5 out of 5)
Very, very tasty sauce, and very sweet, if you’re into that thing.
Crust (4.25 out of 5)
Curious crust. The pizza itself is thin, yet the crust is extremely solid, dense & heavy. Much like the cheese, rich & buttery in flavor. It’s almost like the crust is comprised of enough dough for 2 pizzas, as if no yeast was utilized and it was an unleavened dough (which it’s not). If you look at the pizza ratio, it’s almost 3/4 crust, 1/4 cheese/sauce. This doesn’t have the mouth feel of a thick crust pizza, but it’s a sturdy crust nonetheless.
Conclusion (4.3 out of 5)
Ninja says: With efficiency and flavor in some areas comes compromise in others, but Larry’s definitely makes the nice list.