Review: Fenicci’s Restaurant and Tavern, Hershey, PA

by Cate on December 3, 2009

Upside Down Pizza

When we went to Hershey for the weekend back in October, our first stop after checking into the hotel was the Hershey Museum.  Once we were done there, it was mid-afternoon, and we were beyond ready for lunch.  The cafe in the museum was crazybusy, so we decided to make our escape and go elsewhere.  And why not when there was a small pizza joint, Fenicci’s, just across the street?  It was the perfect time for our tastebuds to bite into a slice of what PA pizza has to offer.

Although it doesn’t help on our quest to find the best pizza in New Jersey, it was a welcome respite from the rain and hunger pangs, and hey, what kid doesn’t perk up at the word “pizza?”  The first thing that caught my eye on the menu was the mention of their “world famous” Upside Down Pizza. This particular pizza was the first pizza introduce to Hershey back in 1947, and at just under $11, it’s a reasonably priced choice.

When it arrived on the table, I have to say, we were all surprised.  Surprised at what it looked like.  When you hear “upside down pizza,” we were thinking the crust would be on the top.  You know, upside down from what it normally is, right?  Instead, what they mean is that the tomato sauce and the cheese are reversed.  Maybe Topsy Turvy Pizza, but not so much on the upside down, you know?  That being said, I loved the bite and tang it gave to have your mouth meet the tomato sauce first.  This wouldn’t work if their tomato sauce was not up to par, but no worries here, it was.  Full, deep, rich, and just plain good.  The crust was ok, but not the slightly crispy kind that I like, and with the tomato sauce on top, this pizza doesn’t have big bubbles.  But that’s ok.  Just a different way to go, and sometimes different is welcome.

Loaded Fries

Along with the pizza, we also took the opportunity to try some of their appetizers, going with Crab Dip and Loaded French Fries for the table.  The french fries, well, let’s just say we did all but lick the plate clean.  That would have been wrong.  Right?  Loaded with two kinds of melted cheese, sweet peppers, red onions, and crispy bacon, it was then drizzled with Ranch dressing.  Love that.  A very generous serving for $5.95.

Crab Dip

The Crab Dip?  Well, we weren’t quite as enamored with it.  It was fine, but too thin for our liking, and at $8.95, it was a bit pricey for something that wasn’t a hit.  Although it was billed at having four cheeses, none of them were especially strong, and I think there was too much wine added to make the dip the right consistency.  Pass.

The service?  S-l-o-w.  It was a good 40 minutes after we placed our order before our appetizers arrived, and since it was a late lunch to begin with, the kids were getting antsy.  With good reason.  There were only a couple of other tables with us at the time, so it wasn’t a volume issue.  It could have been an off day, or perhaps they were shorthanded, but it was a long enough wait that it’s worth a mention.

Our total bill was around $30 or so, and for three adult and three kids, we got the pizza, two appetizers and drinks for all.  Pretty reasonable. We’d definitely go back for the fries and a bite of pizza.  Well, not drive all the way back to Hershey for it, but if we’re in the area, we wouldn’t mind another go at it.

Just one last note … the restaurant is up a flight of stairs, so not especially stoller-friendly or handicapped accessible.

Fenicci's

Fenicci’s Restaurant and Tavern
102 West Chocolate Avenue
Hershey, PA  17033
(717) 533-7159

Miss our other pizza reviews?

Luigi’s in Succasunna
Reservoir Tavern in Boonton
Margherita’s Pizza & Cafe in Hoboken
Star Tavern in Orange
Grimaldi’s in Hoboken
Annabella’s Pizzeria in Parsippany

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne December 4, 2009 at 7:15 am

My dad always makes pizza the upside-down way apparently! It is actually the traditional way to make it in Italy.

Those fries look awesome!

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Sarah Caron December 4, 2009 at 10:53 am

Interesting — sauce on top is how deep dish pizza is traditionally made. Upside Down is an interesting name … though I think true upside down pizza would be mighty messy. Just sayin.

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Karen December 4, 2009 at 11:05 am

My favorite local pizza place has cheese under tomato gravy. Actually both local places in Clifton where I order have this style of pizza. Both are square pies – one with a thick crust which is more a traditional Sicilian and one with a much thinner crust that is called “Grandma’s Famous pie”.

So good!

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Ramona December 4, 2009 at 11:36 am

Looks good that way. What did they call the fries “cardiac potatoes”?

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Cate December 5, 2009 at 10:06 pm

Joanne – really? I totally didn’t know that. We lived in Italy for a little bit, but I was much, much younger and unfortunately their pizza is not one of my memories. :(

Ramona – lol, not so bad when shared amongst six. :)

Karen – Grandma’s Famous Pie sounds like it would be right up my alley!

Sarah – definitely messy, but was thinking maybe crust on top, then the tomato and cheese like they have it, and then crust on bottom. But I would probably call *that* a double-crusted pie. ;)

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mandy December 6, 2009 at 1:41 am

It looks delicious. I have never had pizza that way. It sort of makes me want to try to make it that way the next time I make pizza.

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carrie December 10, 2009 at 11:31 am

Being on the Jersey border, our pizza situation is somewhat scattershot. However, we have a place here in Easton like the one you visited in Hershey, called Colonial Pizza. The pie is smaller and you know what, Sarah, strangely, it isn’t messier. It’s really good but it’s definitely different. Colonial makes a great sauce and uses fresh mozzarella. The crust is a good balance between crispy and doughy. Mmm. Pizza.

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