A couple of weeks ago I was traveling through Pennsylvania when someone tipped me off about the "craziest pizza you've ever seen." So naturally, I had to stop and give it a shot.
Altoona Style Pizza
Altoona-style pizza is a type of pizza that originated in Altoona, Pennsylvania, USA. The definitive characteristics of Altoona-style pizza are a Sicilian-style pizza dough, tomato sauce, sliced green bell pepper, salami, topped with American cheese and pizzas cut into squares instead of wedges.
According to sources such as Wikipedia, Mashed, and Uncovering PA, Altoona-style pizza got its start at the Altoona Hotel in the 1960s or 1970s. It was created by Italian immigrants who wanted pizza but lacked access to sufficient ingredients to make the dish in a traditional manner. The hotel, which in its later years was just a restaurant, burned down in January 2013, but prior to that, one of their most popular menu items was their unique style of pizza.
The Original 29th Street Pizza Subs and More
While there are many restaurants in Altoona that serve this exact style of pizza, the one I stopped at was The Original 29th Street Pizza Subs and More. It was a great choice. The owner was there and he was incredibly friendly and the service was terrific. The pizza was served piping hot. So how was it?
Is Altoona Style Pizza Good?
I'm admittedly an adventurous eater and figured if this pizza place has been open that many years, it's gotta be good. And it was! It was a delicious deep-dish Sicilian-style pizza and the topping surprisingly worked well together. It reminded me of the first time I tried a Reuben. I was very surprised that my wife also enjoyed it. She did make a great point that whoever created this was probably on the "struggle bus" and didn't have many toppings to work with.
Sow what do you think? Would you give it a try?