Monday, January 18, 2010

Palermo Sicilian Cucina

Sicilian Magic: Palermo
Springfield is full of restaurants. Many of which offer pizza. Some are good, some are not so good and some should be avoided. When it comes to pizza, we are chomping at the bit... so to speak, to get a taste of the pizza from Palermo Sicilian Cucina. We had already visited Palermo a few times and had been very impressed with their pasta and salads. So on Valentine's day we stopped in and tried one of their heart shaped pies.

Where they're located:
751 S. Durkin Dr.
Springfield, IL 62704

Call Em: 217-546-3050

The Pizza(s):
Carnosa (Sausage, pepperoni and ham)

Crust: Thin

The Dish: We were lucky to get into Palermo after nothing more than a 15 minute wait on Valentine's day evening. This small, family run establishment might be one of the best kept secrets in Springfield. The more people that find out about it, the longer the waits will be to get seated. But how is their pizza?
After being seated we made our order. We ordered the Carnosa (All meat pizza) and a small cheese pizza. The Carnosa also would come in the shape of a heart in honor of this February holiday. While waiting for our pizzas to arrive we enjoyed a delicious salad made with crisp greens, plump, juicy cherry tomatoes and generous addition of black olives. Another in our party had chicken cacciatore added to his salad and was very pleased with it.
Personally, I enjoy some cold beer with my pizza and was excited to down some Peroni beer on this evening with the Palermo pies.
When the pizzas hit the table, we were still drying off after a slight miscalculation of proper balance and angle to carry a drink tray. A baptism of water and Peroni delivered by a nervous waitress had the potential to ruin the evening... but we carried on anyway. Truthfully, only a couple in our 5 person party were spilled on and the waitress was mortified. To her credit she got things cleaned up quickly and although she probably just wanted to crawl in the pizza oven and hide, she stuck it out and provided stellar service the rest of the way.

How'd it eat?: Let me preface by saying that this pizza is not Sicilian style even though the restaurant is run by Sicilians. It is Neapolitan style which is the classic style of pizza you most often see sold in the U.S.. The Carnosa was certainly heart shaped and loaded with toppings. There wasn't an inch of this pie that didn't have some sausage, pepperoni or ham. The cheese, fresh mozzarella, was used in just about the right amount to melt all throughout the meat toppings but did not totally overtake it. While I would have liked a little more sauce, the amount used worked well with the other toppings and it had a nice garlic/tomato flavor.
The meat toppings, especially the pepperoni and sausage were nicely seasoned with hints of black and red pepper and really went well with the crispy crust this pie was baked on. It was cut party style in squares was given a thumbs up by everyone seated at our table. I devoured 5 squares on top of the tasty salad and my pizza craving was well satisfied. There's no doubt that the folks at Palermo know what they are doing in the kitchen. I hesitate to post a review about how excellent the Palermo dining experience is only because I'll have to start competing with other Springfield residents for table. It's that good, and worth the wait. We'll be back often.

SPP Ranking: 8.3

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