As promised in a recent post on my pizza roots, I returned to Semolina Pizzeria in Southampton, Pennsylvania – the town in which I grew up – after finding out the hard way last week that they are closed Tuesdays.
My friend, Andy, and I met there for lunch today – a Thursday. It’s a little spiffier, although perhaps less characterful, inside than Longhitano’s and Cecil’s Hut were in my younger years.
I was optimistic about this meal beforehand based on photos and positive reviews of their cheesesteaks on Facebook, as well as online photos of their pizza. For the most part, Semolina lived up to my high expectations.
Andy wanted to give their Margherita pizza a shot, while I decided to try a basic, plain pie. They couldn’t do a half-and-half with that combination, so we each ordered a small, 12-inch pizza. And after we both ate a slice from each one, neither of us regretted our decision. Andy preferred the Margherita, while I liked the plain a little more. But they were both very good.
The cheesesteak also tasted fantastic. It had a pretty good amount of meat with an ample amount of American cheese blended in and fairly large slices of fried onion. It was seasoned well, juicy, and came together beautifully. The only issue with this steak was the roll. It was softer than I prefer, and also probably not quite as good as some of the better soft rolls I’ve tried; at places like Stoli’s and Chubby’s. But it was fresh and not nearly bad enough to ruin an otherwise sensational sandwich.
I had a little time to kill before having to be somewhere after lunch and stopped off at a Rita’s water ice and frozen custard. For those of you not familiar with them, it’s a chain that started in the Philly region and has spread out to other areas over the years.
One of my go-to options at soft-serve and custard stands over the years has been a vanilla cone with chocolate jimmies – what we call sprinkles in the Philadelphia area. This one really hit the spot.
There are still some very highly regarded steak shops I haven’t tried yet. I intend to rectify that over the next few months, before putting out my Top 10 list. Onward and upward next week.