Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Your dining options are limited when you are 8 years old, can not leave the boundaries of your neighborhood unsupervised and your income is dependent on Christmas, birthdays and the tooth fairy. Luckily I grew up in Swarthmore, PA which has Renato Pizza. Renatos (as it is known to all) has been a godsend for generations of grade school Swartmoreans providing the universally loved kid food at prices that don't break the piggy bank.
There was nothing like hopping on my Schwinn after a home soccer game, pedaling to Renatos with my boys, and ordering a slice while still in uniform, we were so cool. Back then a plain slice and a medium Cherry Coke only set you back $2.22, which left enough change from the $3 I had stuffed in my sock to get a full sized candy bar ($0.45 in my day) and some penny candy up the street at Michael's Pharmacy (penny candy and an independently owned pharmacy? I sound like someones ranting grandfather, at least the trip to Renatos wasn't uphill both ways).
Renatos is the type of pizza place found in neighborhoods all across the country who cater to the younger biker/stroller crowd during the day then, after bedtime, shift focus to the local teenagers who need a late night bite after being up to no good. The pizza is your classic NY style, which is excellent, and they offer a full menu typical of pizzerias . Have I had better pizza since I was 8? Yes. But I was weened on Renatos and nostalgia is the best pizza topping. After 20 years of patronage I will argue that Renatos is the best pizza in the world and I am sure that you would make the same argument for your local pizza place.