Wayne in Pennsylvania is a town that's more residential than commercial. Even the arrival of the railway in Wayne didn't encourage companies to relocate their business there, but did inspire some wealthy folk to purchase land on which to build their homes. Ever since then the main focus of the community's development has been to provide a country-style of living with all the convenience of a city environment.
The people who constructed their homes in Wayne didn't believe in small dimensions and there are more mansions in the town than there are in some states. The Italian Renaissance style of Wayne's historic Downtown area is more elaborate than you'd expect to find in an urbanization of this town's size too. It's crammed with boutique-type retail outlets selling everything from fashion to handicrafts or antiques. Even the affluent like to eat out sometimes, especially when they give their domestic staff a day off, and while pizza was a late arrival on the Wayne gastronomical scene, it's one that's been gaining steady popularity over the past few decades.
Being less than twenty miles northwest of Philadelphia, you might expect the pizzerias in Wayne to be serving up the local delicacy of Philly-style pizza, but they don't generally. Wayne is known for Neapolitan or Naples-style pizza.
There are two main differences between Naples-style and Philly. The first is shape and the other is the cheese used in its preparation. While they're both thick crust pies, a Neapolitan is circular and a Philly is square. The dough of both is smothered with herb-infused tomato sauce though Philly sauce is often chunkier than that used on a Naples pie.
The real flavor contrast comes from the cheese. Neapolitan is topped with buffalo mozzarella which is a relatively soft, tasteless cheese whereas Philly is sprinkled with a hard, strong tasting cheese called Pecorino Romano made from sheep's milk. They may seem minor variations, but when it comes to the final taste, they make a huge difference.
You'll find the best delivery pizza in Wayne comes from a pizzeria called Vic and Dean's which is located on Wayne Avenue. Their premises aren't mansion size by a long way, but are housed in an independent, and very neat-looking, bungalow with a spacious terrace and parking lot. The spartan furnishings inside give it a fresh clean look which combines well with their take on food - uncomplicated, and fit for purpose.
The regular pizza at Vic and Dean's is the thick-crusted Naples-style pie which they liberally top with all sorts of ingredients including sausage, bacon, and blue cheese. They're adaptable though and have no qualms in knocking out white or Philly-style pizza if you want one of those instead. Their Margarita is a simplistic work of art that follows traditional lines with just good dough, great sauce, mozzarella, and a few fresh basil leaves. Unbeatable.
There's one place to head to when you want the best take-out pizza in Wayne and that's HG Coal-fired Pizza on Chesterbrook Boulevard. Get a takeout when you're passing by HG's and you'll be in for a veritable pizza banquet.
HG's is sandwiched in among a row of stores and hard to spot if you're in a vehicle. You will see the parking lot on the opposite side of the road though so leave your car there and walk over. HG's have modern premises with a smart interior design that, while it doesn't shout we're Italian, has a professional look that's totally appealing.
Their pizzas are appetizing too and choosing between the various ones they have on their lengthy menu won't be an easy task. HG's regular coal-fired pies are thick crust, but they'll make a thin-based New York-style one for you if that's what you prefer.
There are a couple of reasons you might find yourself in Audubon, a town ten miles north of Wayne, and both of them good ones unless you've just maxed out your credit cards in the nearby King of Prussia shopping mall and gone to Audubon to recover. Try a conciliatory pie from Tony's on Egypt Road or if you prefer fresh air to food or retail therapy, you'll find the Valley Forge National Historical Park or the Evansburg State Park close by.
If you enjoy having a weekend stroll around a town with a historic district, you'll enjoy visiting Doylestown. After starting out as just a tavern on the side of the highway, it gradually became a village and then grew to be a town. You won't be short of buildings to look at or photograph as there are well over a thousand different ones in the historic district itself as well as several interesting castle-like structures in the suburbs. If you get hungry while exploring, just drop in at Spuntino's Wood Fired Pizzeria on Main Street.
There's not a great deal about Roxborough in Pennsylvania that will grab your attention, but Santucci's Original Square Pizza on Main Street is a great place to stop off for a bite to eat after you've been to the Wissahickon Valley Park. The one-thousand, eight-hundred acres of wilderness there covers a fantastic landscape of forested gorges intersected with numerous hiking, biking, and riding trails. There are plenty of scenic creeks with stone bridges too and a notorious swimming spot called the Devil's Hole. Jump in if you dare.
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