Marra's Restaurant - 6at4

SOUTH PHILADELPHIA - October 10, 2011

The art of making pizza is said to have originated in Naples, and that's precisely where the Marra family learned the trade.

When they immigrated to South Philadelphia more than 8 decades ago, they brought with them a recipe that hasn't changed one saucy, cheesy, crusty little bit.

"It's old, traditional pizza," says a faithful customer. "Even the smell! As soon as you walk in, it brings back memories."

And for close to 85 years, the brick oven at Marra's has popped out pie upon pie of piping hot memories: swirls of fresh tomato snuggled under a melted blanket of mozzarella, supported by a crunchy, sturdy, but slender crust.

"It's thin, it's not doughy," says another customer.

The secret? Hidden behind the hatch in 1,000 degree heat, steeped in history.

"The brick oven is 85 years old. It was hand-built," says Robert D'Adamo. "The stones come from Mt. Vesuvius. It holds the heat a lot better."

Robert is the fourth generation making the same pizza that great grandpa Salvatore and great grandma Chiarrina Marra brought with them from Naples in 1927.

"It stayed in the family for so long and I think because the recipes were handed down, it hasn't really changed much over the 85 years," he says.

Neither has the feel, or the furniture. The cozy booths, the coat hangers, the family heirlooms. It's kind of like having Sunday dinner at your great aunt's house.

Marra's Restaurant
1734 East Passyunk Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19148-1524
(215) 463-9249

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