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Papa Joe’s

After my monthly trip to the Erie Whole Foods Cooperative there is nothing I like to do more than go a little further west on 26th St to Papa Joe’s.  Since I only go once a month, that grocery trip is a BIG one and the last thing I want to do is cook, even after I bought all those wonderful groceries. 
How to even begin… Their pizza, subs and salads are a step above the rest in so many ways.  Yes, the crust is white and the lettuce is iceburg, but they are always loaded with lots of toppings (we’ll get to those in a minute) and that homemade crust is just chewy and fluffy and melt in your mouth without being at all greasy.  And the toppings!  I counted 28 without even considering the cheese choices. 
Our dinner this evening consisted of 2 of my favorites, the Ranchero Vegano and the Vegan Demise pizzas and the Vegetarian Antipasto minus the provolone.  The antipasto salad is loaded with all the things I love, fresh sliced mushrooms (no canned ones at Papa Joe’s!), roasted red peppers, onions, olives, artichoke hearts and fresh ROASTED tomatoes with their own balsamic vinaigrette.
Papa Joes has your choice of red, pink, white or ranchero sauce. Ranchero is a mix of red sauce and chipolte peppers and a delicious base for the green peppers, onions, tomato, black beans, corn and pineapple of the Ranchero Vegano.  It is the perfect blend of spicy, sweet, savory deliciosness.
Then there is the Vegan Demise, which has none of the above mentioned sauces, but instead a layer of hummus (I wasn’t so sure the first time I had it either!), tomato, onion, and curried sweet potatoes.  Yes, I know it sounds weird. Not weird.  Delicious.  
Papa Joe’s not only serves great pizza (and all the lovely things you can make with fresh dough), subs, wings, salads, apps, and a few of Erie’s favorite sandwiches, but they also have coffee and espresso drinks, bagels, homemade desserts and now locally brewed beers!  Normally a big menu is a big no no, but when you have balance like these guys you can pull it off.

PAPA JOE’S – 3826 WEST RIDGE RD (AKA Rte. 20 or W. 26th St), right after Powell Ave. – 814-835-3360 – PAPAJOESERIE.COM

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