Author Topic: Philadelphia’s 9th Street Italian Market, any member ever visited the market?  (Read 11816 times)

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Offline norma427

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Offline norma427

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I tried a Sicilian slice of Lorenzo's Pizza.

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Offline norma427

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Offline norma427

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Since we were in South Philly we also stopped at Joey Mack’s Boardwalk Pizza.  Joey Mack was really a nice man to talk to.

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Offline norma427

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Offline norma427

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Offline norma427

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Offline norma427

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These are some of the things I purchased, but will go back again to purchase more.

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Offline norma427

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Different businesses gave us so many samples, that we weren't hungry for a whole meal.

Norma
« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 06:15:23 PM by norma427 »
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Great write up, Norma.

How were the prices?  On my trips to 9th Street, I noticed that the prices weren't NYC high, but there was definitely a mark up for the tourists.

Lorenzo's Sicilian is, from my impression, about as classically Sicilian as you can possibly get.  With the exception of L&B and the L&B clones, this is what just about everywhere in the NY/NJ shore area used to sell (and probably still does).  I hate it  ;D  It's just so bready and tasteless.  With the whiteness of the crumb, this slice looks especially flavor deprived. I've grown to be incredibly fond of Grandma slices and L&B will always hold a place in my heart, but I don't see myself ever warming up to this style of pizza.

For someone covering almost every square inch of the front of their establishment with "Famous Mack's Boardwalk Pizza" signs, the shot of that first pizza is an embarrassment. Joey may be related to Mack's of Wildwood, but, from that photo, I don't think he got the pizzamaking gene.  Nice guy or not- Mack's is a venerated institution- for him to use their name in association with that pizza, it's not right.

Don't get me wrong, the re-heated slices look half decent and this is most likely better than a lot of Philly area pizzerias.  If this were "Joey's Pizzeria," then I'd probably visit this place if I were in the area.  But the in-your-face over-the-top Mack's Boardwalk signage- that's weak.

Norma, Joey's looking pretty relaxed in that photo. It is safe to assume that he wasn't being overwhelmed with customers?

Offline norma427

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Great write up, Norma.

How were the prices?  On my trips to 9th Street, I noticed that the prices weren't NYC high, but there was definitely a mark up for the tourists.

Lorenzo's Sicilian is, from my impression, about as classically Sicilian as you can possibly get.  With the exception of L&B and the L&B clones, this is what just about everywhere in the NY/NJ shore area used to sell (and probably still does).  I hate it  ;D  It's just so bready and tasteless.  With the whiteness of the crumb, this slice looks especially flavor deprived. I've grown to be incredibly fond of Grandma slices and L&B will always hold a place in my heart, but I don't see myself ever warming up to this style of pizza.

For someone covering almost every square inch of the front of their establishment with "Famous Mack's Boardwalk Pizza" signs, the shot of that first pizza is an embarrassment. Joey may be related to Mack's of Wildwood, but, from that photo, I don't think he got the pizzamaking gene.  Nice guy or not- Mack's is a venerated institution- for him to use their name in association with that pizza, it's not right.

Don't get me wrong, the re-heated slices look half decent and this is most likely better than a lot of Philly area pizzerias.  If this were "Joey's Pizzeria," then I'd probably visit this place if I were in the area.  But the in-your-face over-the-top Mack's Boardwalk signage- that's weak.

Norma, Joey's looking pretty relaxed in that photo. It is safe to assume that he wasn't being overwhelmed with customers?

Scott,

Like all places, I think some of the prices are lower and some are higher than other places.  I think maybe a lot of customers come right from Philly.  I thought the pignoli’s were high at 24.95 a lb., but they did have a lot of pine nuts inside and outside the cookies.  I thought some of the meats and other products were faired priced.  What did you think of 9th st. Italian Market when you were there? 

The Lorenzo’s Sicilian slice really wasn’t bad.  It was soft in the crumb and the sauce tasted good, but the mozzarella was rubbery.  They reheated the slice for a few seconds.  The crumb didn’t have a lot of flavor in the crust, but overall it wasn’t bad. 

Joey Mack did help run Mack’s pizza as a manager for many years.  My daughter’s pepperoni slice looked better than mine and was a lot greasier.  I think Joey Mack’s uncle and father started Mack’s pizza in Wildwood.  Joey had a bunch of pictures on the one side wall of stars that said they really like his pizza on their pictures.  He also had an award on the one wall that said his pizza was the best in Philly for 2011.  I think he got some kind of bronze award.  Joey Mack’s pizza business isn’t the cleanest, but he sure was a nice guy to talk to.  Joey didn’t have any other customers while we were there.  It seems Joey parbakes his pies, then finishes the bake when someone orders a whole pie.  At least that is what he did when I ordered a whole pie to see how it tastes at home.  I saw the flour Joey Mack’s uses and it isn’t the same as Mack’s.  I asked Joey if he makes his pizzas the same as Mack’s and he said yes, but I sure don’t think so.  He had a 40 qt. mixer sitting right next to where the cheese and drinks were in the cooler and that is where the flour was.  I guess Joey does have a right to call his pies Joey Mack’s Famous Boardwalk pies since he is a member of the Mack family.  I would think that other members of the family would stop him if they didn’t like what he called his business.  I think Joey is just a man that wants to keep making pizzas and enjoys making pizzas. 

Norma   
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scott123

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Norma, it's been around 20 years since I've been to Philadelphia, so I really can't recall much.  I spent a lot of time at South Street as well as 9th Street, so separating the experiences makes it a bit harder.  I was making pretty good money at the time, living in Manhattan and covering a lot of ground in terms of seeking out the best food that NY had to offer. Philly had some incredible coffee places (to date, the best coffee I've ever had), but, everything else, in comparison to what I was used to in NY, was very disappointing. I had a lot of slices from random places and one after the other was mediocre- kind of like what the NY area is like now.

I wouldn't mind a trip back- not necessarily for pizza, but for other things, like cheese steak.  During my travels to Philly, I was either a vegetarian, or, for other times, I was a picky eater and uncomfortable with the veggies typically found on cheese steaks, so I never had the chance to try one.

Dough has an insulating effect.  The thicker the crust, the less heat reaches the cheese from below.  When low moisture brick mozz bubbles, the structure breaks down and it becomes tender.  Without the heat from below, though, the cheese has less propensity for bubbling.  This is why the cheese on your Sicilian slice was rubbery and it's one of the reasons why I avoid Sicilian slices- the cheese rarely melts right.

This is going to sound a bit harsh, but if Joey were putting out a Mack's quality pie, he'd have a lot more customers then you two on a Saturday afternoon. Mack's location drives a great deal of their enormous business, but you can take that pizza, put it in any urban area, and you'll have wall to wall customers on a Saturday afternoon- especially on a hot Saturday afternoon when people don't want to cook.

Mack's pizza built their brand to be what it is by putting out a superior product.Taking an inferior product and putting that label on it isn't right, imo.  I'm sure that he has a legal right to the name, but it still doesn't justify his actions.  Quality should dictate rights to the name, not blood. The other family members might not be scrambling to sue him, but I bet you that if you had a chance to speak with them and they were being honest, they might not have the nicest things to say. If I had a relative selling pizza of that quality and using my name, I wouldn't sue, but I'd sure be a bit miffed.

Offline jeff v

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What a trip! Thanks for all the pics too. I'd be interested to hear what you think of the foods you bought as you work your way throu it-specifically the sausage, and fresh mozz.

I've always wanted to visit, but haven't had the chance.

I wish I talked like that just once!  :-D Jeff
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Offline norma427

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Norma, it's been around 20 years since I've been to Philadelphia, so I really can't recall much.  I spent a lot of time at South Street as well as 9th Street, so separating the experiences makes it a bit harder.  I was making pretty good money at the time, living in Manhattan and covering a lot of ground in terms of seeking out the best food that NY had to offer. Philly had some incredible coffee places (to date, the best coffee I've ever had), but, everything else, in comparison to what I was used to in NY, was very disappointing. I had a lot of slices from random places and one after the other was mediocre- kind of like what the NY area is like now.

I wouldn't mind a trip back- not necessarily for pizza, but for other things, like cheese steak.  During my travels to Philly, I was either a vegetarian, or, for other times, I was a picky eater and uncomfortable with the veggies typically found on cheese steaks, so I never had the chance to try one.

Dough has an insulating effect.  The thicker the crust, the less heat reaches the cheese from below.  When low moisture brick mozz bubbles, the structure breaks down and it becomes tender.  Without the heat from below, though, the cheese has less propensity for bubbling.  This is why the cheese on your Sicilian slice was rubbery and it's one of the reasons why I avoid Sicilian slices- the cheese rarely melts right.

This is going to sound a bit harsh, but if Joey were putting out a Mack's quality pie, he'd have a lot more customers then you two on a Saturday afternoon. Mack's location drives a great deal of their enormous business, but you can take that pizza, put it in any urban area, and you'll have wall to wall customers on a Saturday afternoon- especially on a hot Saturday afternoon when people don't want to cook.

Mack's pizza built their brand to be what it is by putting out a superior product.Taking an inferior product and putting that label on it isn't right, imo.  I'm sure that he has a legal right to the name, but it still doesn't justify his actions.  Quality should dictate rights to the name, not blood. The other family members might not be scrambling to sue him, but I bet you that if you had a chance to speak with them and they were being honest, they might not have the nicest things to say. If I had a relative selling pizza of that quality and using my name, I wouldn't sue, but I'd sure be a bit miffed.

Scott,

Thanks for telling me how long it has been seen you have been to Philly.  I can understand about the pizzas you tried.  Sounds like you got around quite a bit about 20 years ago. 

I love Philly cheese steaks, but didn’t want to eat too much today since it was so warm. 

Thanks for explaining why you thought the cheese was rubbery on my Sicilian slice today.  It wasn’t really rubbery, but wasn’t how I like it.  I never have problems with my cheese being rubbery anytime I attempted a Sicilian pie.  I just thought that they had used a cheaper cheese and that is why it was kind of rubbery. 

I know Joey should have had a lot more customers on a Saturday.  I wish now I would have asked Joey to make a fresh pizza for me to take home.  I asked him when he took out the pie for the parbake why he did that.  He said do I mind if he does that.  I said I didn’t mind, but would have liked to see him open a dough ball and dress the pizza and also see how he baked it.  The flour I saw that he used is a much lower protein flour than Mack’s uses.  That might be why his crust is different.  As for the cheese and sauce the sauce did taste like Mack’s, but I can’t be sure about the cheese.  My slice didn’t have enough on it to really tell if it was the same cheese as Mack’s uses. 
 
If you are interested and look at this article, this is I guess what happened to Joey Mack and how he started his pizza business where he is now.  http://archives.citypaper.net/articles/2006/08/24/Off-The-Menu  If you also look though these pages, you will see Joey Mack working at Mack’s pizza when he was younger.  I think there are 9 pages.  http://www.funchase.com/Images/Macks/MacksPizzaPg1.htm   I sure don’t know why Joey Mack doesn’t use the same flour as Mack’s does, but sure would think he would know how to make the same pizzas since he did work at Mack’s and was a manager.  I guess Joey is just content to be who he is and to make the kind of pizzas he does, whether it is right or wrong.  Joey told me he really liked to make pizzas. 

What I really was interested in knowing when I visited Joey Mack’s today was if the cheese tasted like Mack’s.  I had already read all the reviews and had saw on the web what his pizzas looked like.  I knew I wasn’t going to be getting a real Mack’s pie when I went there today.

Whether Joey Mack is right or wrong in what he is doing, really isn’t up to me to decide. 

Norma   
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Offline communist

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Nice pics and write up for the Italian Market Norma!  I was at a graduation just outside of Philly today and the only pizza they were talking about was Taconelli's - which I have never had. - I have to get back to the market real soon.  It is a unique experience.  As my past experience indicated, there does not seem to be a premier pizza parlor in the Italian Market, but a whole lot of good food and shops.  Thanks again for the pics!  Mark

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What a trip! Thanks for all the pics too. I'd be interested to hear what you think of the foods you bought as you work your way throu it-specifically the sausage, and fresh mozz.

I've always wanted to visit, but haven't had the chance.

I wish I talked like that just once!  :-D Jeff

Jeff,

Glad you enjoyed the pictures that were taken at the Italian Market today.  I sure could have taken a lot more.  Some of those businesses had so many things that I would have liked to try.  All those cheeses, Italian meats and all that other stuff was really neat.  

I will let you know how the sausage and fresh mozzarella are.  That sausage place sure was cool.  The Riserva Prosciutto tastes great, but that had so many varieties of Prosciutto that it had me confused.  The man that was waiting on me was trying to get me to try so many samples.  If I made more Neapolitan pies, I would have purchased a lot more stuff.

Hope you get to visit the Italian market someday.  :)

Just once is one of my Pa. Dutch sayings.  :-D

Norma  
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Offline norma427

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Nice pics and write up for the Italian Market Norma!  I was at a graduation just outside of Philly today and the only pizza they were talking about was Taconelli's - which I have never had. - I have to get back to the market real soon.  It is a unique experience.  As my past experience indicated, there does not seem to be a premier pizza parlor in the Italian Market, but a whole lot of good food and shops.  Thanks again for the pics!  Mark

Mark,

I never tried Taconelli’s pizza either, but if everyone was talking about that pizza it must be good.   ;D

You are so right, that the market is a unique experience.  Thanks for your help too!  :) I really liked all the good food shops.  If I could have, I would have come home with a car full of items from the market.  :-D  Many items I can’t purchase near me. 

Norma
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Thanks for the photo tour Norma. Here in Denver, I need to travel all over town to find 1/8th that many goodies!

Offline norma427

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Thanks for the photo tour Norma. Here in Denver, I need to travel all over town to find 1/8th that many goodies!

Paul,

I also have the same problem.  I can't find much of any of those goodies where I live either.  :'( There were many things I didn't take pictures of.  Many kinds of olives and lots of other goodies.   

Norma
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Offline sajata

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sorry this is after the fact but Sarcones Bakery http://www.sarconesbakery.com/ has the best bread ont he planet, it is a block or two north of the market on 9th.  when i met my wife i told her that she need to adapt to two things a commercial stove in the kitchen and second sarcones bread.  she agrees with the sarcones part.    Also the south end of the market is Cheese Steak heaven.  i know i am going to start a religious war here but i am a Pats fan for steaks and a Geno’s fan for cheese fries.  "Cheese wit!"

Also for a sit down place to eat is Sabrina's http://sabrinascafe.com/

Offline norma427

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sorry this is after the fact but Sarcones Bakery http://www.sarconesbakery.com/ has the best bread ont he planet, it is a block or two north of the market on 9th.  when i met my wife i told her that she need to adapt to two things a commercial stove in the kitchen and second sarcones bread.  she agrees with the sarcones part.    Also the south end of the market is Cheese Steak heaven.  i know i am going to start a religious war here but i am a Pats fan for steaks and a Geno’s fan for cheese fries.  "Cheese wit!"

Also for a sit down place to eat is Sabrina's http://sabrinascafe.com/



sajata,

I posted at Reply 12  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,19792.msg194185.html#msg194185 the picture of Sarcones Bakery right next to Ralph’s Italian Resturant.  I didn’t purchase any of Sarcones  bread, but did purchase the pepperoni roll I posted the picture of the second picture down in that above post.  My daughter and I did eat some of that pepperoni roll and it is the best thing I ever tasted.  ;D I took pictures and am going to start a new thread to see if anyone might know how to make those pepperoni rolls.  The roll part is so soft and the taste of the crust is great.  I do want to purchase some of Sarcones bread on my next visit to the market.

Thanks for posting about Pat’s for steaks and Geno’s for cheese fries.  Sound great to me!  ;D

Norma
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Offline Trinity

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Great pictures Norma! :)

  But now I crave about 20 different things... :-D

I wonder what rabbit tastes like. >:D  They are taking over my yard, and whole neighborhood. :-D
It's an Earth food. They are called Swedish meatballs. It's a strange thing, but every sentient race has its own version of these Swedish meatballs! I suspect it's one of those great universal mysteries which will either never be explained, or which would drive you mad if you ever learned the truth.

Offline norma427

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Great pictures Norma! :)

  But now I crave about 20 different things... :-D

I wonder what rabbit tastes like. >:D  They are taking over my yard, and whole neighborhood. :-D

Trinity,

Lol, about you craving 20 different things now!  :-D  I used to eat wild rabbit that my dad killed during hunting season and thought it was okay, but guess the rabbits they sell at market would be better.  Maybe you should try rabbit.  ;D

The one thing that kind of grossed me out was that animal hanging up with the eyeball staring at me.   :o

They had so many fresh fish and seafood stands at market also.  Loads of customers were there from Philly.  I could tell by the way they talked and they did know the vendors by name.

Norma
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Offline Meatballs

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Norma,

Thank you so much for the photo tour of 9th street.  Your pictures bring back so many memories for me when I was growing up.  My father used to take me down to 9th street when he went down to pick up some of his favorites.  I remember going into the cheese store and the sausage store with him and just watching.  First he would say hello in English and catch up for a minute, with I am assuming, must have been one of his old high school friends.  Soon every other word was Italian and then in another minute the English would disappear and it was all in Italian.  Although he never taught me Italian, I knew the deal was being made and I would soon be breaking my back carrying out a big box of something really tasty.  I remember taking my (now wife) girlfriend from Alabama there and showing her around Dad's old haunts and buying from the street vendors.  I think it was a major piece of the Italian charm I laid on her that eventually persuaded her to marry me.  I took her to Fanta's to show her the tools she would need to keep me.  I still order from Fanta's to this day on-line but the experience is just not the same.

Again, thanks for the photos, seems the place is timeless.

Ron