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Petrillo’s: Take the Pizza and Run

The pasta is surprisingly mediocre, but the pizza is bulletproof.

I have ordered pizza from Petrillo’s a number of times and it has always been excellent. Their pizzas are substantially oversized, with plenty of toppings (although they use canned button mushrooms, which I consider a travesty). 

The sauce is rich with tomato flavor and sublimely balanced between tangy and sweet. They are generous with their velvety smooth cheese, which is the antithesis of the cheap, oily mess you find at fast food pizza chains. Although it is not Chicago deep dish pizza, it is the closest to it I can find in Glendora.

Thus, when 5 p.m. ambushed me last Sunday and I had no plan of attack for dinner (or food in the fridge), I thought it was time to pay Petrillo’s dining room a visit. My hubby was jonesing for pizza anyway and I was eager to try their pasta.

There was a wait, so we stood outside and wished for benches.  Once we were seated, we noted the dimly lit interior was cozy, but well-worn. The restaurant was quite packed, so it was awhile before our server greeted us, but once she did, she was very friendly and helpful. My husband ordered a small (which is a bit of a misnomer) sausage pizza ($12.25) and I ordered the ravioli sampler ($12.95).  She was even kind enough to allow me to try all three sauces on the side.

Twenty minutes later, the pizza arrived, steaming hot and fresh out of the oven. We waited for my entrée, but I gave my husband permission to dive in when it did not appear after awhile. Almost 15 minutes after the pizza was served, my ravioli sampler arrived.

The ravioli sampler included two each of wild mushroom, shrimp, meat and cheese ravioli.  Strangely enough, although they were the last to arrive, my ravioli were only lukewarm.

My husband and I have always agreed that if we were only able to learn to cook one thing at the gourmet level, it would be sauces.  A brilliant sauce can cover a multitude of sins: dry crepes, overcooked chicken, bland vegetables. By ordering my buffet of sauces (meat, marinara and Alfredo) on the side, I made the accidental and unfortunate discovery that Petrillo’s sauces concealed some rather disappointing ravioli.

First, the sauces—the marinara was what I expected from my experience with their pizzas. The meat sauce, my favorite, was basically the marinara with ground beef. The Alfredo sauce was creamy, but on the thin side.

The ravioli skins were not al dente, but rather undercooked—tough and chewy. The shrimp ravioli did not have pieces of shrimp, but rather, a filling of “blended” shrimp. The only identifiable flavor was fishy-ness. The meat ravioli suffered a similar fate, in that the blandness of the filling that made it hard to discern any particular flavor.

The wild mushroom ravioli tasted strongly of mushroom, which would have been delicious, except that the filling was ruined by a floury pastiness. The cheese ravioli, stuffed with ricotta and herbs, was understandably plain on its own, but brightened with the addition of sauce, particularly the red sauces. Most of the ravioli became more palatable when drowned in sauce, although the shrimp ravioli was largely unsalvageable.

Fortunately for my husband, his pizza was reliably satisfying. Even with two small kids partaking of his “small” pizza, we took home three pieces.  Though disappointed with our experience in the dining room, we will gladly stick with ordering Petrillo’s pizza for takeout.

Petrillo’s
Address: 750 W. Route 66, Glendora, CA  91740
Business Hours: Sunday, Tuesday - Thursday 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., 4 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.; Monday 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., 4 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.; Friday – Saturday, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., 4 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. (Takeout hours are all day)
Phone Number: (626) 335-1289

Website: http://petrillositalianrestaurant.com
Price Range: $4.75 - $29.00
Type of Cuisine:  Italian
Standout Dish:  Pizza

Jessica August 26, 2011 at 09:17 PM
Hmmm....I'm shocked to read this article! As a 2nd generation American Italian..I grew up with grandparents who started their sauce early in the morning to cook all day & night. We never ate at an Italian restaurant..it was a joke & not remotely close to the old country taste.Just finding a deli that carried any authenticity ( except for 'Bono's' on Foothill Blvd!!) was nearly impossible (relatives still living in the old neighborhood in Brooklyn were begged to send cheeses to us in California!). Petrillo's has been a incredible breath of fresh air to this Italian girl..it's the closest I have come to my family's home cooking!! The Lasagna, the Eggplant (to DIE for!) THE MARINARA SAUCE!! OMG...no this is not just ground beef. This is the combination of pork- sausage,beef, onion and garlic-sauteed with Olive Oil..cooked in rich tomato sauce and fresh spices It's full bodied, beautiful color and consistency tells me such. The cheeses used in combination on the lasagna...was WOW. Not only was it plentiful,but it wasn't that crummy mozzarella & ricotta we normally find here on the west coast..my guess is..it comes imported from back East. My parents would argue it's the New York water that makes these cheeses so velvet lush, and that's what I've found no where else BUT Petrillo's. As for the Ravioli? My girlfriend in St.Cloud,Mn STILL raves about Petrillo's!! So, I beg to differ here-as full blooded Italian-this is authentic. Maybe that's why it seemed so 'foreign' a taste!?!
Ang August 27, 2011 at 06:02 AM
Our 100% Italian family have eaten at Petrillos since it was in San Gabriel (yes we drove all the way out there) As far as I am concerned they have the best most authentic pizza around. The problem with this Petrillos (as it is family owned) this part of the family is rude, unprofessional and they just have an I don't care attitude (esp. the female and older male). The food is only as good at the management and how they treat their customers .... because if you get treated poorly it doesn't matter how good the pizza is.
Ed January 02, 2012 at 07:20 AM
I do not agree with Angs comments on the owners i have met them both and they were nice people and pleasant to speak with. Maybe ang has an attitude problem.
Rodger Federer January 02, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Jessica, you sound like an employee. Real Italian, come on man. I find it hard to believe you think this place is REAL Italian. Ingredients that come of a truck frozen, don't make it Italian
Eric September 14, 2012 at 10:49 PM
The pizza is great, the rest was not. The service was slow even before the crowds came in. Tried the pasta a few times over the years hoping for a better serving but now I'm done, very bland and under cooked. They should just stick to the pizza. I've never had a heavier pie in my life. Great pizza and that's it.

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