Review By: Eric Hoover -
As South Philly smells of BBQ and cigars on this warm Memorial Day, I’m sitting outside not writing about grilled red meat or charcoal burned chicken legs, but of pizza.
Calling the pies of Pizzeria Beddia “pizza” simply does not do any of Joe Beddia’s creations justice. Each pie is a work of art, a testament to what food should be: locally grown ingredients (cheeses from PA farms, Jersey Tomatoes, etc.), masterfully combined and placed with a sculptor’s grace on the fermented dough. Made to order daily. Christ, I’m salivating already.
Philadelphia, like most other cities, is made up of neighborhoods in disconnect. You rarely date people from another area, your commute is a hassle if it takes longer than 30 minutes on a decaying public transit system, and you certainly don’t venture out of the hood often to eat. When residents South of Washington Ave. start raving about how delicious a Fishtown spot is (an area far North-East of South Philly) you know there’s something to it.
Pizzeria Beddia serves up 40 pies a day. That’s it. There’s no calling ahead cause there’s no phone. You can’t get a slice, because there are only whole pies. You can’t find them on Seamless. Walk in, place an order, pay in cash (only) and do one of two things: wait, or come back in approximately an hour. You can check out the Twitter Feed (@pizzacamp) to see how many pies are left.
Beddia’s joint is standing room only, with a couple of tall tables where locals gather and chat about Philly sports, politics, how good the pizza is, and so on. You can eat in, which some do, and it’s BYOB. This may not sound welcoming, but the warmth of that pizza oven and familiar faces really help make it an inviting place. I’ll also pay forward the recommendation of heading a few blocks down to Palmer St. for a couple rounds at Interstate Drafthouse, which is literally a row home converted into a pub.
Once you return, slightly intoxicated and ready to devour a pie which “serves approx. two” by yourself, it will be ready. It will be glorious. A sausage-enhanced white pie we ate has been aptly nicknamed “The Panty Dropper” by my girlfriend. I’m not a jealous man; hell…Joe can have my boxer briefs while we’re at it. As the old expression goes – every bite is better than the first. When the pie’s gone, you’ll want another. There’s something about Pizzeria Beddia; after you’re full, all you’ll want is more.