Joe Beddia would’ve flunked out of Wharton for sure.
Consider the pizzaiolo’s business plan. He offers three pies, whole only, in a Fishtown storefront that’s legally prohibited from seating customers. There are no logos on his takeout boxes and no takeaway menus on the counter, and the restaurant has no phone.
And a year after he opened, Beddia is a veritable pizza superstar.
At first it was just the neighbors coming — which was all he really envisioned. But then people started schlepping in from Center City to line up outside his door. And then from Delaware and D.C. And soon, Bon Appétit “Foodist” Andrew Knowlton was horning in on the action.
So how does this happen to a place that is open four evenings a week, routinely reaches hour-plus waits less than three minutes after unlocking the door, and requires takeout orders to be placed in person?
“This tiny Fishtown corner takeout is as inconvenient as possible – open only Wednesday through Saturday, with a limited cash-only menu and no phone.” – But Craig LaBan couldn’t argue about the pizza, Philadelphia Inquirer
Adam Erace’s knees buckle over the pizzas that Joe Beddia is putting out at his Pizzeria Beddia on Girard Avenue.
Only two or three pies are offered nightly, including the mainstay red No.1 pie, with its fresh and dried mozzarella, Old Gold (a local aged Gouda whose sharpness stands in for Parm) and deeply crimson, crushed-Jersey-tomato base. “I thought, ‘What’s the most Italian thing I could do?’ And it was to use tomatoes from New Jersey instead of ones from Pompeii,” Beddia says. House-picked Serrano chilies are a nice touch for acid and heat.
The No. 2 is Beddia’s white, a canvas of rich local cream and mozzarella accessorized seasonally. I got ramps, kale, bacon — and tinfoil to take home the extra. As I left I got a heartfelt thanks from Beddia, who bids each customerarrivaderci. He almost glows with gratitude. We should be the ones thanking him.
Joe Beddia is ready to open his Pizzeria Beddia in Fishtown tonight. So ready he has 60 pounds of pizza dough ready to go. Pizzeria Beddia is mainly for takeout though there will be a couple tables in the front. Beddia is serious about his pizza and has worked at Osteria, Zavino and Wisconsin’s Pizza Brutta in order to perfect his craft. The pizzas are $18 for the plain, which are constructed with Jersey tomatoes, whole milk mozzarella and topped off with old gold aged cheese and extra virgin olive oil. Spice up your pie with sausage, salame or pickled chiles.
Though some will inevitably gripe about the price, you should really try the pizza first.