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Friday, June 18, 2010

Palermo's, Elmgrove Road

Palermo's Sub Station on Urbanspoon
Elmgrove Road near Rt. 531 has become something of a pizza hotspot of late, with five pizzerias along a one-mile stretch. Anchoring the southern end of this "pizza mile" is Palermo’s, which serves up a variety of subs, pizza and wings.
Though you'll find references to this as "Palermo's Sub Station," their website bears the name "Palermo's Subs & Pizza," and I think pizza is either a relatively recent addition to the menu, or maybe they've just decided to give it more prominence, so that people don't think of Palermo's as just a place to get subs.
I had assumed that this was affiliated in some way with Palermo's Meat & Food Market, which has locations on Culver and Winton Roads, but in poking around the internet, I don't see any indication of that. So as far as I can tell, they are separate entities.
Anyway - I stopped by Palermo's in early spring for a couple of slices, one pepperoni, one cheese. The crust on these was thin, with what I call a “pancake bottom,” meaning that resembles the underside of a pancake:  brown, with some bubbles, and a somewhat oily surface. I'll have to ask a professional sometime, but my surmise is that pizzas like this rise, and are baked, in an oil-coated pan. I could be wrong, but it just doesn't seem to me that if a pizza were slid directly onto the deck of a pizza oven, that you would end up with something that looks like this.
This was not a particularly greasy crust, but it did have a slightly oily feel. Despite the pancake appearance, it was also not overly soft or spongy - it wasn't bad, really - but it certainly wasn't crisp, either. The thin lip at the edge wasn't bad either, not quite as crisp as I would like, and again just a bit oily, but with pretty good flavor.
There was very little sauce on either slice. The slightly browned mozzarella cheese was OK, and applied in good balance with the crust. The slices appeared also to have received a light dusting of Parmesan or Romano, although the sharp flavor of those cheeses was not apparent to me. I did pick up some herbal flavor in the background, however, perhaps of dried basil, oregano, or a blend.
And of course there was the pepperoni, which was very generously applied; even the cheese slice had some pepperoni on it. These were cut from a pie that had a pepperoni side and a cheese side, but either the slices weren't cut quite right, or the pepperoni was applied to more than half of the pie before it went into the oven. I guess they figured since I was also getting a pepperoni slice, I wouldn't mind getting some "bonus" pepperoni on my cheese slice.
Palermo's pizza menu has all the usual toppings, and seven specialty pizzas, plus breakfast pizza. They also serve baked chicken wings, hot and cold subs, wraps, paninis, soup, salads and sides.
This pizza was all right, but to me, it could have been better. The crust wasn't bad - the flavor was good - but my feeling was that the baking process didn’t optimize its potential. With four other pizzerias just up the road (and DeLinda's about a half mile south on Buffalo Road), Palermo's has some serious competition to deal with, and for my money, I think there's some room for improvement here, at least on the pizza side of things. I'll give this one a C.
Palermo's Subs & Pizza, 910 Elmgrove Rd. 426-8400
Sun. - Thu. 10 a.m. - 9 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.

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