As soon as we sat down at Pizzeria Beddia, I turned to Marnay and said “I want to come back here.” Our only interactions at this point had been with the front-of-house staff. But the key factor for us was the warmth of the restaurant design – the only restaurant we’ve been to that feels as warm and cozy is Clavel, which not coincidentally is our “happy place.”
It did not hurt that we went into the meal as big Joe Beddia fans. We bought his cookbook “Pizza Camp” three years ago at Powell’s Books in Portland and had been cooking his pies ever since. But would the restaurant live up to the hype? The short answer is “yes”.
We started off with a bowl of beans. But these Judion beans are some of the richest, most substantial beans you have ever tasted. They eat like creamy mashed potatoes and sit in fantastic quality olive oil. Once you finish the beans, save the oil. You will thank us later!
You also shouldn’t miss the salad with fish sauce vinaigrette. It’s lettuce, apple, radish, sliced almonds and that funky vinaigrette. I’m surprised I have never seen anything like this on a restaurant menu, considering how the restaurant world has been obsessed with Asian flavors the last few years. That vinaigrette has some serious funk paired perfectly with sweet apples, cool lettuce and crunchy shaved almonds.
But Joe Beddia is famous for his pizzas, and that is likely why you are coming to his restaurant. Let me tell you, this pizza truly lived up to the hype. Out of the five choices, we chose Pizza #1 and added Sicilian anchovies. We had never been fans of anchovies on pizza, but we like them on their own (Especially at 2Amys). I knew if anyone could change our minds on the subject of anchovies on pizza, it was Mr. Beddia.
And change our minds he did. What made it so good? Quality of ingredients and an extreme focus, bordering on an obsession, with detail. The ratio of anchovies to pizza was perfect. Any more would have been too salty, any less and you would not notice them. The pizza is quite thin, but not so thin it’s like a cracker. It was thin-enough, though, that the two of us could share a 16-inch pizza and not be too full. We took the crust and dipped it on the olive left behind from the bowl of beans.
We own Craig Le Ban’s Philadelphia Dining Guide, and there are a lot of places we would like to experience in the area. Still, I think that next time we are in the City of Brotherly Love we are going to have to make a return visit to Pizzeria Beddia.
Marnay – Pizza crust dipped in oil of Judion beans
Paul – Pizza 1 with Sicilian anchovies
Pizzeria Beddia – 1313 N. Lee Street Philadelphia, PA 19125
Transit: Girard Market-Frankford Line station