Originally from CA, I moved to PA in 2006. You can say my relationship with the East Coast was a love-hate one, primarily due to the colder weather. I have been fortunate enough to travel back and forth every year…but 6 years later, I am living in Jenkintown, PA and I love it here. After recently spending 7 months (longest stretch since moving to PA) in Los Angeles on a temporary job, I was ready to go “home”. What did I miss the most? Well, obviously not Winter, which was pretty mild this year and I escaped most of it, but I couldn’t wait to get back to Jules Thin Crust Pizza. I still remember the day, back in 2009, driving down 611 when I saw a flash of sign that read “Organic Pizza”. Wait…what????? I immediately turned around and into the driveway to investigate the oasis-like illusion. I’ve had organic pizza in Florida and Los Angeles, but never thought I would be living about a block away from it in PA.
Now, if there’s one thing I have learned, it’s that nothing beats east coast pie…and that thin is in…when it comes to pizza. Jules definitely takes the cake…or should I say pie? ;) I can’t even tell you how many times I have eaten here. I have tried about half of their 28 selections. That number would be higher if I didn’t love some of them so much. I have had the Cheese with Gluten Free Crust, Cheese #3 (Brooklyn Pie), Cheese #4 (Kid’s Cheese), Veggie #1 (Greek-so good!), Veggie #2, Veggie #6, Veggie #7 (Eggplant-so good!), Veggie #8 (Spinach-top 3 for me), Veggie #9, Veggie #12 and my all-time favorite Veggie #15 (Butternut Squash and Ricotta!). You can read a description of ingredients for each on Jules’ website.
Seven months away from home is a long time. Seven months without Jules’ pizza is an even longer time. So, as soon as I got home I called up my girl friend and said grab a bottle of wine and let’s go! It was a Friday night and we wanted somewhere quiet and nearby to catch up and enjoy some great food and wine. (I remember when Jules first opened thinking how great it would be if they had a BYOB option, so when they added it, it was just an extra cherry on top.) Equipped with our bottle of Organic Natura Cabernet, my girl friend convinced me to finally try the Meat #8, aka the Mexican Pizza. I’m normally not a fan of meat on my pizza, but I am so glad I tried it…just the right amount of ground meat, black beans and jalapeños. The young man behind the counter said it’s not one of their most popular, which still surprises me.
I think what makes Jules Pizza so delicious are the fresh, local and organic ingredients they use in their food. Their crust is organic! The tomatoes and olive oil are organic! The cheeses and other toppings are all local and high quality. Zen! Besides pizza, they also serve organic salads and they offer a daily soup. I have tried both the Lentil Soup served on Mondays and the Butternut Squash & Apple served on Thursdays and Saturdays. Both are filled with the right combination of flavors and perfect on a chilly day with a slice of pizza.
I think what makes Jules Pizza so unique, aside from the delicious fusion of pizza toppings, is the ambience of the restaurant itself. While probably categorized as a healthy fast food place, which is a much needed alternative these days, when you go to Jules you experience fine dining in a simple and relaxed setting. It’s open and airy…very casual. You order your pizza at a counter and have a seat. Biggest difference, you don’t get that sticky, greasy feeling you do when you’re at certain pizza establishments. You will also find simple and nice decor…more importantly, you won’t find bottled water! Environmentally friendly too, Jules provides free fresh water and promotes recycling.
On weekdays you can expect heavy lunch traffic at Jules. On weekend evenings you will find friends or a couple on a date enjoying a nice dinner and wine. I love the welcoming versatility. I have only two complaints about Jules…they close way too early on weekends and they do not provide wine glasses to go with their BYOB option. Regardless, from business execs to moms and their little ones, it’s quickly become a gem in our area. I’ve taken my daughter countless times for a sit down, relaxing lunch or even just for quick takeout on our busier days. I even ordered from Jules when we celebrated her birthday and it felt good knowing I was serving our little guests something healthy without them even knowing it.
A year ago, I was a little worried that maybe Jules wasn’t going to be as popluar as it is now. While away those 7 months, I even checked in from time to time to make sure it was still around. Came to find out that besides their other locations in Doylestown and Newtown, PA, Wayne, PA has recently opened….and the founder of Jules, John Ordway, has taken it to Danville, CA and plans on expanding in Northern Cali and other areas. Being back and seeing how much busier the Jenkintown location is nowadays…sign of the times. People are starting to understand the importance of “REAL” good eats. :)