Derry: Palermo’s Pizzeria

The skinny: In an effort to reach as many towns as possible for this blog, we made our first “research” trip to Derry.

Palermo's Pizza DerryWe picked Palermo’s at random, and also because Twitter follower @shanahoch requested for us to find something in the Derry/Londonderry area. We didn’t have a problem obliging!

Palermo’s is definitely Italian, which we could immediately tell by the slices sitting out waiting to be consumed, and the fact that it offers a Sicilian pie, which isn’t always the easiest to find. (And, no, it wasn’t obvious to us by the name — that’s thrown us off before!)

Costs start at $8.75 for a regular and $9.95 for a large, with toppings at $1.50 and $2, respectively. Slices, calzones and stomboli are a few other ways to go here.

Palermo’s has a great selection of specialty pizzas. You could try the Cordon Bleu ($13.95/$15.95), which is covered in butter garlic sauce, grilled chicken, ham and mozzarella cheese. The Ranchero ($14.95/$16.95) is topped with grilled chicken, bacon, onion, mozzarella cheese and ranch sauce. Or, if you really want to pig out (and we know you do), you could opt for the Palermo’s Stuffed (one size, $19.95), which has two layers, and it’s stuffed with onion, sausage, meatball, bacon, pepperoni, pepper, mushroom, black olive, ham, eggplant, mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. Whoa.

As a bonus, check out the website for coupons and to sign up for the mailing list for more deals. It’s always worth keeping an eye out for some ways to save money!

Review: We had really wanted a Sicilian pizza ($13.95) to review, but the woman behind the counter said we would have had to wait at least 45 minutes for it to cook, which we didn’t have that day and made a mental note to remember that for when we return.

Instead, she suggested ordered a pie with double dough, which we gladly went along with. Andrew had never had the style, but Deidre had been a big fan of it in college out near Buffalo, N.Y., where it was very popular with her friends. Done right, it is sooo yummy.

So once we had our dough style selected, we had to decide on toppings. We opted to go with a chicken pesto pie. We’ve gone through a few pesto pasta phases in the past few months, so we thought it would be great to bring the pesto combination to a different Italian dish.

The pizza still took a while to cook — after all, that’s a lot of dough that needs to get perfected. However, it was worth it.

As you may have guessed, the crust was the standout here. Not only was the bottom crust maybe a half-inch or so, but the end crust was bigger than a half-dollar coin. It was so soft. And it was so filling that Deidre could barely get through a slice and a half — which she’s pretty sure has to be a record for the least amount of pizza she’s consumed in one sitting. She ripped off the end crust on that second slice to make sure it didn’t go to waste.

There wasn’t a lot of sauce on the pie, but we considered that a good thing here. We thought it actually masked the taste of the pesto a little too much, and it left us wondering if a red sauce was really the best match for a pesto topping. It wasn’t a bad thing — it all tasted fine together — but we thought the pesto should have been more of a star than it was.

The cheese was rich, pairing nicely with the savory pesto chicken. Most importantly, it wasn’t weighed down by grease — which is important when you get a double-dough pizza with chicken on top.

Andrew thought the pizza was as good cold as it was fresh out of the oven. The extra dough left the crust soft and chewy inside and just a little crunchy outside. The chicken was amazingly flavorful and the cheese still managed to taste rich and creamy. It was a bit of a feat, but Andrew was able to finish off a couple of slices.

Rating: Deidre: 4.5 / Andrew: 5 = 9.5/10 slices

Palermo’s Pizzeria
127 Rockingham Road, Derry
434-1114, www.palermospizzas.com

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