When dining out, I try to always have a Plan B ready in case my original plan doesn’t come to fruition. I’ve had more than a few occasions over the years when a restaurant at which I intended to eat was closed for one reason or another. Yesterday was one such occasion.
I had intended to try a pizzeria that sells promising looking cheesesteaks in the town where I grew up; Southampton, PA., which is a northern suburb of Philadelphia. In fact, the restaurant I planned on going to with my friend, John, is in the very spot where I probably ate my first pizza as a toddler.
Back in the late 60s and early 70s, the pizzeria that sat at that location was Longhitano’s, which has since moved a few times and is now around the corner from their original spot. My earliest memories of eating pizza, with my parents when I was probably 3-5 years old, were at Longhitano’s, which was replaced by another pizzeria called Cecil’s Hut from the mid 70s through some time in the 90s.
This is what the place looked like when it was Longhitano’s.
It’s even possible that I had my first taste of a cheesesteak there, but I have no such memories, so I can’t be sure.
I’ve been to Longhitano’s current location – where they’ve been since the mid 90s – a few times in later years and enjoyed the food. But I became aware more recently that there is another restaurant called Semolina Pizzeria in their original spot and have been wanting to try them. Excellent-looking photos of their cheesesteaks – along with positive reviews – have popped up a few times on the Facebook cheesesteak board that I check out regularly, and their pizza also looks good.
It appears that the original structure has been replaced or radically redone since my days of eating at Longhitano’s with my parents.
Unfortunately, dining at Semolina will have to wait a little longer. When John and I arrived, they were closed in spite of their online hours indicating otherwise. I messaged an inquiry to them last night and received a quick reply letting me know they had changed their hours and are no longer open Tuesdays. I’ll get back there soon.
While checking out the current Southampton pizza and cheesesteak scene online a while back, in addition to discovering Semolina, I also noticed there are two other pizzerias within a few doors of them. One of those – conveniently named Southampton Pizzeria & Restaurant – didn’t have much online in terms of steak photos and commentary, but their pizza looked very good, making them an obvious Plan B yesterday.
Southampton Pizzeria has an appealing exterior and a much nicer atmosphere than is typical of neighborhood pizzerias. We appeared to be their first customers of the day and had our choice of tables in the empty dining room.
I didn’t have any notion of how good their steaks are and decided to change things up a bit by getting a cheesesteak stromboli instead. John and I split both that and a small pizza with sausage on one half.
The pizza was above average, with a sturdy crust and tasty, somewhat sweet sauce. I could have perhaps done with a little less cheese, but that’s a minor complaint. The quality of the cheese was perfectly good.
The stromboli was also enjoyable; my one complaint being that it could have been a little thicker, which would have required more meat. But the flavor was excellent. I prefer cheesesteak strombolis with sauce on the side, rather than being baked into the stromboli with the meat and cheese. And that’s how this one came.
I wouldn’t go well out of my way to eat at Southampton Pizzeria, but if I lived in that area, I’d probably be at least an occasional customer. That is unless Semolina Pizzeria turns out to be good enough to make alternatives unnecessary. I intend to find that out in the next week or two and will let you know.