Pizzeria Beddia: Believe the Hype!

When Bon Appétit magazine declares the best pizza in America is in your backyard, you’ve got see for yourself if it lives up to the hype!

At Pizza Beddia there is no phone, no preorders, no chairs, no slices, no restroom.  Cash only. Whole pies only. One size only.  Maximum of 2 pies per party.  40 pizzas per night sold.  2 small tables for stand-up dining.  BYO. Open Wednesday to Saturday 5:30 pm-10:30pm.  On several recent summer days, my husband determined to get one of these pizzas and see why it was declared the Best Pizza in America.  And days it took!

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The dreaded sign that turns hundreds of hungry customers away!

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My hubby, second in line, more than 2 hours before opening time!

It took 3 tries before the Pizza Pilgrim’s mission was successful.  The first time he got to the pizzeria an hour before it opened and the line was already more than 20 people long.  Most patrons order 2 pies so that meant a dreaded “Sold Out”!  The second trip to the city( we live 20 miles in the suburbs) he hit traffic and knew the journey was futile.  The third time he lined up 2 hours and 15 minutes before Beddia opened and wasn’t even first in line!   This was the night he would be victorious and taste the Best Pizza in America! Even though the wait was long, Chris felt a sense of community with the other pizza lovers and enjoyed the comraderie in the queue. One guy brought beer to share.  A young woman who worked a night shift had gotten up early to be sure to get a pizza for her boyfriend’s birthday, his only wish.  Some of the queuing patrons were regulars who lived in this hipster neighborhood of Fishtown in Philadelphia and were now obliged to stand in line to get a slice of the prized pizza.  Even if you are one of the lucky first 20 in line, it pays to be at the front:  Beddia makes every pie himself, one at a time.  So if you get to place an order for that night’s coveted pies, yours might not be ready for several more hours.  People behind my husband were being told to return at 9:30 to pick up their order, and this at 5:30!!!

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There are only 2 employees: the owner, Joe Beddia in the blue apron who does all the dough making and baking and John Walker, dishwasher,cashier,  sous chef and the deliver of the bad news when they sell out, a daily occurrence.

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The pizzas are made with locally sourced ingredients and the menu board lists their provenance. They are finished with gouda from the nearby Hidden Hills Dairy and a drizzle of olive oil. The sausage is house made as is the whole milk fresh mozzarella.

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The coveted pies in their brown boxes awaiting friends’ arrival for an impromptu tasting party-with rationing!  Limit 2 pies, remember???

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The rainbow chard, fresh cream,  garlic scapes and Old Gold aged -cheese pie

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The tomato, whole milk mozzarella, Old Gold Aged cheese pie with wild arugula and cremini mushrooms.

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The perfectly charred thin crust that made Beddia famous. The dough is made the day before so it is very alive.  The pizzas are baked in a 600 degree Montague gas deck oven for 10 minutes and not wood fired, bucking a trend.

image imageOn his drive home, after sampling a slice, hot right out of the oven( who could blame the hero of this story!) , my husband continued building the anticipation by giving me a play by play of his journey back. I invited friends to join us for an impromptu tasting of the famous pizza.  Randy, a New Yorker pizza connaisseur, declared it excellent.  And it was!  Pizza Beddia: Believe the Hype!  But go early and be prepared to wait!

 To view the original article in Bon Appétit magazine and view a video of Joe Beddia in action,  please visit: http://www.bonappetit.com/people/chefs/article/beddia

16 thoughts on “Pizzeria Beddia: Believe the Hype!

  1. My word, what a find this must have been for your family. I don’t believe Ive heard of it, those pizzas look amazing, especially the last one with the wild arugula? Now that it has gained publicity, I am thinking you’ll probably need to line up at least 2 days in advance :). I’m off to Philly with a friend on Friday, I wonder if we ought to dare line up to savor a piece? FYI, I’m putting the finishing touches on my Ward’s Island blog, it should be posted in the next 2 days.

    • You’ll have to get a whole pie but 2 -2 1/2 hrs seems to be the magical time before opening to come line up. He makes the sausage and the cheese in house everything else is organic and local. Pretty cool!

  2. I just love this post Johanne! And what incredible looking pizzas! You and your husband are very lucky to have gotten these at all it seems. Pretty soon folks will be paying other folks to stand in line for them just to get pizza! Sometimes it would just be great to keep things quiet, but the cat, or pizza, is definitely out of the culinary bag on this one. I can just taste it as I look at your photos and my mouth is watering.

    • Don’t know how often my husband would go through all this effort for pizza again but it was really fun to welcome him home like a hero for his trouble. I admire Joe Beddia to keep doing what he does best his way, regardless of this newfound fame. It would be easy to expand, hire more help and accomodate the demand but he sticks to what he has always done which is what brought him to fame in the first place! Seems funny that he uses wild arugula when Angie just posted about her weed problem and Hilda and Loretta waded in! This is wild arugula’s moment in the spotlight, at least in our little world:-)

      Sent from my iPad

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