Jack'ss BBQ & Pizza opened recently on Buffalo Road, just west of Elmgrove. Here's an early report.
I stopped by at lunchtime and asked if they had any slices. The person behind the counter told me that they are all made fresh. I guess I wasn't quite sure what she meant, but I asked for a cheese slice.
It took some time for my slice to come out, so it certainly was fresh. I wondered if perhaps I should've just ordered a small pie, but no matter.
This was a quarter of a pie. I didn't measure it but I'm assuming it was from a large (16") pie.
The thin-to-medium thick crust had a dry but soft underside, with a pan-baked appearance, brown in some areas, lighter in others where the dough had bubbled up and lost contact with the surface of the pan.
Both the shape and color of the outer edge indicated that the pie was baked in a "sided" pan. Along the side of the outer edge, the crust was noticeably paler than the rest of the crust. My hypothesis is that the relatively cool side of the pan insulated that part of the crust somewhat from the heat of the oven.
The slice was topped by a well melted, slightly browned layer of cheese. The slightly tangy flavor of the cheese suggested that it may have been a blend, perhaps of mozzarella and provolone. The moderate layer of sauce underneath was marked by some herbal notes, particularly of oregano.
Jack'ss offers 20 different pizza toppings, and 11 gourmet pizzas, including standbys like Buffalo chicken and meatlovers pies, as well as an El Greco (tomatoes, feta, olives and white sauce) and a Napolitano (sausage, ricotta, sauteed peppers and onions). They also serve calzones, wings, hot and cold subs, burgers and plates, pasta, salads, fried chicken, and barbeque. It's counter service, with a few tables and a self-serve soft drink cooler.
I'm always a little wary of rating places right after they open, because I know it can take a while for a restaurant of any kind to settle in and develop a consistent approach in the kitchen. But I didn't see any indication that Jack'ss was still working out the bugs in the system, so keeping in mind that I stopped there within days after its opening, I'll go ahead and give it a provisional grade, meaning that I'll try to revisit before too much time passes for an update. This was okay pizza, a little soft for my taste, but not greasy (which is at least equally important for me), with pretty good balance and flavor. I'll give it a C+.
Jack's BBQ & Pizza, 3055 Buffalo Rd., 14624. 247-0123
Sun. - Thu. 10 a.m. - midnight, Fri. & Sat. 10 a.m. - 4 a.m.