Editor’s Note: Giraldi’s Italian Eatery & NY Style Pizza, which at the time of this post was known as Pete’s New York Style Pizza, is now closed. A new restaurant – Chicho Bella Pizza & Subs – is now in the location.
October is my favorite time of the year.
I spend my summer months anxiously looking forward to our annual celebration of National Pizza Month and four weeks of blogging Berks County’s best pizza shops.
Choosing which places to visit is the hardest part because there are dozens of great pizzas that I haven’t tried yet. So every year I rely on review sites to help me find them.
One of the names that kept appearing among the best was Pete’s New York Style Pizza on Lancaster Pike in Shillington.
In a past life, I spent a summer working next door at the Speedway (then a Hess). Pete’s was not yet Pete’s, and Berks County Eats wasn’t even an idea yet.
I don’t remember the name of the restaurant that was there previously, but I remember we ordered dinner from there once and it being nothing memorable.
Pete’s still doesn’t look like much from the outside, but I was impressed by the interior. There’s not a lot of space in that little building, but they managed to squeeze in two rows of booths, some high-top tables and a counter along one of the windows. It’s probably more than enough seating for what is mostly a take-out business.
We went in with no clue what we were getting, but the pizzas sitting behind the counter were enticing. So we decided to order a couple slices.
Let’s get this out of the way now: Reheated slices are never as good as a fresh-made pizza. The crust gets harder. The toppings can get a little dry.
That’s exactly what happened with our slices.
I had a supreme with pepperoni, peppers, onions, mushroom and sausage. It was a solid slice, no skimping on the toppings, but that second trip through the oven wasn’t kind to the crust, drying it out significantly.
Julie’s stuffed chicken bacon ranch stuffed slice was much the same. There were plenty of toppings, including lots of bacon with a nice ranch dressing drizzle on top. She never eats her crust anyway so the over-done dough at the edge didn’t bother her much.
Both slices were good, exactly what we expected. Next time we’ll have to try a fresh pie.
We knew that slices probably weren’t going to fill us up so we got 10 wings to help with that. Above the counter were listed Pete’s new wing flavors, and we were really excited to try the zesty orange. Unfortunately, we were told that it was unavailable.
So instead we got the sweet red chili. The sauce on the breaded wings was more chili than sweet. It wasn’t a burning hot, but it was enough that I went through my drink faster than I had expected.
In hindsight, slices were not the smartest decision. It’s not just because of the leftover nature of them, but because the stuffed and specialty slices are pricy ($3.60 for a specialty, over $5 for a stuffed) so our total bill was north of the $20 mark.
What we should have done was ordered a fresh pie. It would have been a better gauge of Pete’s pizzas at a better value.
And that’s exactly what I plan to do. Hopefully before we get to next year’s National Pizza Month celebration.
Pete’s New York Style Pizza
2342 Lancaster Pike
Shillington, PA 19607