Rosario’s Pizza in South Philly delivers pies and cheesesteaks with a Mexican twist
Owner Margarita Jeronimo said her neighborhood wasn’t ready for a Mexican restaurant when she opened in 2011, so she combined her community’s tastes.
Have you ever heard of La Mexicana Pizza? It’s a pie made with spicy chorizo, poblano peppers, roasted corn, and fresh sliced avocado, all on top of tomatillo sauce that acts as a base.
If that sounds good and you’re tired of the same old pizza, at Rosario’s in South Philly, there’s no such thing as an ordinary sandwich or pizza.
The eatery opened up in 2011, with a promise that Margarita Jeronimo and her husband would add some Mexican touches to the Italian staple and create recipes that reflected their Mexican culture.
“We wanted to open up a restaurant, but the neighborhood that we lived in was not ready for a Mexican restaurant,” said Jeronimo, the owner of Rosario’s Pizza.
Jeronimo quit her full-time job as a waitress and began working on her own eatery along with her dad, brothers, and husband.
“We worked together as a team and tried to perfect the perfect recipes,” she said.
From then on, Jeronimo decided to use ingredients such as poblano peppers, tomatillo sauces, and cilantro to add to their dishes instead of the traditional ones found in pizzas.
“As Mexicans, we always need to have something hot in our meal,” she said. “South Philly cheesesteaks are so good, but we wanted it to have a hot flavor.”
It was then that her husband developed a cheesesteak centered on their Mexican identity. They called it the Rosario Cheesesteak, and it consists of guacamole, chicken, or steak, with lettuce and tomato.
“We loved that recipe but we thought it was too simple, so we developed two more cheesesteaks that were different,” she said.
Another is the Chipotle Cheesesteak, which is mixed with chipotle sauce, black bean puree, lettuce, and tomato.
“It is so good, and very huge,” said Jeronimo.
With word spreading about Jeronimo’s new pizzeria, people eventually became curious in the new look and potential taste of its twists on the classics.
“Business was really good in the beginning,” she said.
But when the COVID-19 pandemic came in March 2020, Jeronimo and her husband didn’t know what it meant for their restaurant at first.
“We were scared, but I think all restaurant owners felt the same way,” she said.
When everything started, Jeronimo had to close her business for 2-3 weeks and figure out whether or not their eatery would survive.
“We were following other restaurants and seeing what they were doing, everyone was clueless, even the government,” she said.
In the moment where things looked for the worst, the government decided to lift some restrictions on restaurants, which meant that Jeronimo was able to reopen the pizzeria.
Now, she takes things day by day.
“Some days are good now, but some days are bad, we are surviving,” she said.
In the meantime, her pizzeria is in need of new customers, so why not give them a chance?
Try their Pizza Al Pastor, which is made with Guajillo pepper sauce and mozzarella cheese topped with marinated pork in a mild chili sauce, pineapple, chopped fresh onions, and cilantro.