Chew On It
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By Andrew Kochirka staff blogger
Food has been an integral part of Andrew's life from a young age; from cooking with his mother and grandmother to creating recipes in his own kitchen. Now he scours the area's non-chain restaurant scene to find the best of the best of local food from chicken wings to French cuisine.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-878-2230

T-J’s Pizza

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This summer marks the 26th year for T-J’s Pizza. From their booth at the Crawford County Fair to their shop at 307 Poplar St. in Meadville, they are cranking out fresh subs, pepperoni balls, and of course, pizza. Last night, Amanda and I drove down to T-J’s to pick up some pizzas and head over to our friends, Whitney and Justin Catalano’s, house. I called in the order around 6:45 and it was ready in about 25 minutes. Owner John Erie was inside making my pizzas himself when I arrived and I couldn’t wait to eat.

tjs-pizza_half-cheese-half-pepperoniOnce we got to our destination, we all sat down with some drinks and a salad to start, and dug in. We got the standard half plain cheese and half pepperoni as well as a white pizza with tomato and sausage. I started with the plain cheese. The crust is made fresh daily and stretched to order. The crust was similar to the pizza we had last week from Lucchetti’s, but slightly thicker. The bottom of the crust was beautifully golden brown. It was firm enough to hold up to the sauce and cheese without being tough or leathery. The cheese was flavorful without weighing down the pizza too much. The cheese-only side wasn’t too greasy, so the cheese stayed in place. The sauce was full of herbs and seasoning which gave it a great home-style taste. I wish traditional pizza from my kitchen was this good.

The pepperoni side was a bit greasier, but it wasn’t overwhelming. As much as I love the cupping pepperoni, the larger typical pepperoni was fantastic. Its spicier flavors were able to make their way through the cheese and really permeate the entire pizza. I personally would love a double layer of pepperoni to give it even more spice. I will try that next time for sure.

tjs-pizza_white-with-sausage-tomatoThe white pizza this week was awesome. The oil and herbs used under the cheese were tasty and the cheese sealed everything into the crust. The fresh chopped tomato added some moisture to the pizza, but not to the point of making it soggy. The sausage added heartiness and gave each bite a spicy kick. This pizza came with a side of garlic sauce which was buttery and delicious. I might ask for some added garlic or oregano to be put directly on the pizza next time, but this was a great pizza.

Thank you, John, for such a fantastic dinner. I will be back again, and soon, to try more pizza and hopefully the wings. The phone number for ordering is (814) 337-2330 and their hours of operation are Mon. through Thur. from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm and Fri. and Sat. from 11:00 am to 12:00 am.

Keep sending me your recommendations for local favorite pizza to or to the Beard Vs. Food Facebook.  Remember to come back and vote as well.

Until next time,

Andrew – Beard vs. Food

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Read more of Andrew's thoughts about Pizza 2
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