Driving down West Chester Pike can easily make your stomach grumble. From La Locanda in Newtown Square to the West Chester Fellinis, your taste buds are bound to have you exploring Italian cuisines. Although, sometimes, you may not be in the mood for a fancy Italian meal. Maybe you want casual options, like pizza, but also want the option to order seafood, pasta and meat options. Pica’s is a superb spot for those indecisive eaters.

Just a couple of doors down from Nick’s Roast Beef is a large, grey-stoned building: Pica’s of West Chester. You can’t miss it! Pica’s was founded in 1941 by the late Frank Pica Sr. Pica, who opened his original eatery on 62nd and Race Street in West Philadelphia. Here, you would only find a few tables and an old-fashioned brick pizza oven.

In 1956, Pica, along with his son, relocated their pizzeria to Upper Darby, PA. Eventually, this establishment blossomed into a full-serve restaurant. The West Chester location recently opened in January of 2017.

After hearing many positive critiques on Pica’s, this past homecoming weekend was my first experience there. Before heading to our reservation, I previewed the menu. My sights were set on the eggplant parmigiana, and that was not up for debate. Or so I thought.

“The smooth sensation of the red sauce on my taste buds were like broad strokes on a painter’s canvas.”

As soon as we sat down, my friends immediately exclaimed they’d order pizza. I’d feel distanced ordering the eggplant at this point: pizza it was! To start, the waitress served us bread with a side of green peppers. Initially, I questioned why she randomly placed a miniature bowl of peppers on the table, until I found myself consistently putting them on my plate. Admittedly, it was a nice break from the usual “bread and butter” getup.

Besides food, what else is crucial to mention? Yes, atmosphere! Pica’s of West Chester is no doubt a spacious venue. From what I’ve witnessed, there are a variety of table set-ups, from two-seaters to eight-seaters. Long windows coat the perimeter of the restaurant leaving for a glorious view of the pike; better than nothing, right?

It is evident that the facility is kept up with. Even more so since they have carpet instead of hardwood floors, cleanliness immediately becomes more significant.

Voíla! The pizza had arrived. It was in square shapes of which I learned was something that is unique to Pica’s reputation. Warning, this next statement is NOT an exaggeration: I took my first bite and resided in euphoria. Let me tell you, the smooth sensation of the red sauce on my taste buds were like broad strokes on a painter’s canvas. It wasn’t too sweet nor bland, and paired finely with the extra crispy, slightly dark crust. The pizza was thin, making it light with no power to bloat one’s insides. Hands down, my top three quality pizza choices.

Hopefully, you all haven’t waited as I have and experienced the infamous Philly-born eatery. If not, take a break from America’s Pie or Amore’s one night and venture the extra distance. They even have a large dish of peppermints at the check-in- funny, how I see that less and less now. Be there or be square!

Madison Starinieri is a second-year student majoring in English education and special education. MS882527@wcupa.edu.

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