Taking the Lincoln Highway to Joey’s Pizza

The Lincoln Highway, which was dedicated in 1913 and was the first cross-country road for automobiles in the United States, cuts a path through Philadelphia’s western suburbs, including parts of the storied Main Line. In the central Chester County town of Thorndale, and right on the Lincoln Highway, sits Joey’s Pizza. Its food is worthy of the great road on which it is served.

My wife and I exited I-476 onto US-30, which is also the Lincoln Highway for much of its length, in Radnor and headed west. I wasn’t sure how far we’d go before stopping to eat. There were several possibilities on my restaurant list for the day, including a couple classic old diners. One, the Frazer Diner, appeared to be closed when we drove past it.

The Lincoln Highway passes through a series of old suburban towns, including, Devon, Berwyn, Paoli, Malvern, Frazer and Downingtown, as it winds west, away from Philadelphia. There were a few good photo opportunities, although I shot them from the moving car, rather than asking my wife to pull over every time I wanted to photograph something. 

I was disappointed not to see any of the classic Lincoln Highway roadside markers and had to settle for taking a photo of a regular street sign.

We didn’t see any of the classic Lincoln Highway roadside markers, so this had to do.
I believe this church is in Wayne, PA.
The old Wayne Theater
Again, I’m not certain, but I think this is in Downingtown, PA.

We weighed stopping at one of the dinners we passed by, but continued on to the last restaurant on my list, which was also the furthest west among the options. Thorndale sits between the better-known towns of Downingtown and Coatesville.

Joey’s Pizza is nothing special to look at, inside or out. But they have plenty of seating and afford interested customers an open view of the kitchen, so I got to watch the entire process of our half-mushroom, half-sausage pizza being made. I did not have a view of the grill where my cheesesteak with Cooper Sharp cheese and fried onions was prepared from where we sat, but I could hear the meat sizzling. 

Thorndale, Pennsylvania
Our pizza, in the early stage
Almost ready

We also happened to be there while a very big block of what I assume was Cooper Sharp cheese was being sliced on Joey’s electric slicer. 

It’s tough to make out the cheese slicer because of the glare on the glass.

My wife started with a house salad and was nice enough to let me have one of the visually-pleasing croutons.

How about those croutons!

Of course, I wasn’t there to eat salad. The photos of their pizza and cheesesteaks that I had seen, not to mention the many online raves I’d read in the Facebook Cheesesteak Gurus group, had me stoked to dig in.

And there was no let down. Both the pizza and cheesesteak were fabulous. I’d rate each among the best I’ve had in the Philly region, which of course means anywhere in the case of the steak.

Joey’s pizza oven heats up to an extremely high temperature and put out this blistered beauty in just a few minutes. I’ve had enough pizza in the New Haven, Connecticut area to know that charred pizza crust is a good thing when done properly, as it was in this case. And the pizza-maker shredded on a good-sized portion of either Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese before serving it.  

Perfectly charred
Half Mushroom – Half Sausage

The cheesesteak roll was one of the best I’ve had; seeded and a little crusty, but soft inside of that crust. It contained an abundance of very tender and well-seasoned chopped beef that was beautifully mixed with the Cooper Sharp and fried onions. This was a great steak.

Outstanding in every way
With Cooper Sharp cheese and fried onions

I snapped this shot of one of the other places we considered eating at as we headed back east, after leaving Joey’s.

We considered eating at the Downingtown Diner instead of Joey;s, and may still try it at a later date. Their design is similar to my beloved Summit Diner.

We also discussed stopping at Minella’s, one of the other diners on the Highway, to pick up dessert for later, but kept going.

Eventually, after moving on to other roads, our appetites returned to the point where we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to stop at Freddy’s in Broomall for frozen custard.

Possibly my favorite fast food chain.

My wife went with a scoop of chocolate custard topped with almonds and strawberries. I asked for a peanut-butter shake. And while it was given to me with a straw, it had the consistency of a concrete, so I wound up eating it with a spoon. It was good, regardless of how I ate it.

Chocolate custard with strawberries and almonds
I’m not sure if this was a shake or a concrete. But I do know it was very good.

The Lincoln Highway runs from New York City to San Francisco. There is much to see and eat along its many miles. I’d like to experience much more of it. But there is plenty to enjoy on the old Highway that is closer to home in the meantime.

Published by BZ Maestro

I live outside of Philadelphia and have been food-obsessed for as long as I can remember. After toying with the idea of starting a blog for a fairly long time, the extinction of a food-themed message board that I frequented for years prompted me to finally take action. Thank you for taking the time to check out what I've been up to - and eating. If you've enjoyed what you have read and seen, please consider clicking the "like" button and signing up as a follower.

13 thoughts on “Taking the Lincoln Highway to Joey’s Pizza

    1. The sauce wasn’t particularly sweet.

      There are a few Old Lincoln Highway stretches in various parts of the area. There was one not too far from where I grew up. I assume those were part of earlier alignments of the Lincoln Highway. We passed by another today.


    1. Joey’s was one of the places I considered going before settling on the barbecue place that day you had to cancel after I asked you if you wanted to join me at the last minute.


  1. As long as the highway is, you could write a restaurant log (in several hundred bite-sized sections) for as long as you’re alive and never finish it. It might make a good life-time project.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: