Gratzfood Review: Pizzeria Beddia

Hey! It’s been a while since I wrote anything but I’m trying to get back in the swing of things. I credit my lack of written content to seasonal depression, lack of creativity and poor time management. Plus, does anyone actually read these things? Anyways I figured I’d post a review for Pizzeria Beddia, a pretty well known spot in Fishtown.

Pizzeria Beddia has an interesting history. I’ll spare the whole backstory as a quick Google search will probably be way more effective than any explanation I can provide. The basics though are that Joe Beddia had a tiny spot in Fishtown. 40 pies a day, no phone, no seats (standing room only). The place was highly regarded to say the least, even receiving an award for best pizza in the country. Then it closed, presumably to make way for a bigger place that can better handle the demand of Philadelphians craving good pizza.

I must say, since moving to Philly I’ve been a little disappointed in the pizza scene. I always just assumed the pizza would be great since it’s a major city and growing up in Jersey I was always used to solid pizza. I found that the pizza in Jersey is better which in hindsight makes sense, due to its proximity to New York.

Well, Pizzeria Beddia is a contender for best pizza in Philly.

Let’s talk about the new spot. I’ve never been to the old one but this place is bustling and energetic. It was a lot bigger than I expected and even had a bar and outdoor area, kinda the vibe of a little mini beer garden. The seating area, like the space as a whole is modern and clean. The staff was very friendly and I felt well taken care of. No arrogance, which can sometimes be the case with places who know their product is good. I was able to snag a reservation for 5 but they apparently reserve 60-70% of seats for walk ins. Our server told us that if you walk in and there’s a wait that they will text you which is super convenient considering there’s lots of places to have a drink close by while you wait.

We started with a tomato pie small plate which is basically just a square slice of tomato pie. It was delicious. The fresh Jersey tomatoes were bright tasting without too much acid. Well seasoned on homemade focaccia bread and a finish of good EVOO. I honestly wish the tomato pie was available as a bigger pie instead of just an appetizer.

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Since it’s a busier place, there was a wait for the pizza. I’m pleased to report it was well worth it. They don’t rush perfection and it was close to perfect. The crust cracks when you bite into it and still delivers nice chew. The bitterness of the char was a great juxtaposition to the sauce, not overpowering, light and flavorful with creamy mozzarella. The old gold gruyere was a surprising complement to the cheese pie. Top notch quality sausage was used for the sausage pie.

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Overall, Pizzeria Beddia lives up to the hype. I’ve heard a few people here and there say otherwise, but if you appreciate real, quality pizza, Beddia is certainly worth your time.

Gratzfood Episode 4- South Philly Smokhaus

Let’s be honest, Philly is home to some pretty great eats. Pick a type of cuisine and odds are you can find a worthy spot that serves up the real deal. However, Philly isn’t the South. One area where Philly is lacking is in the barbecue department, which is a shame, especially since it’s Summer. Luckily Gratzfeed found a place that will more than satisfy that authentic bbq fix. Hit the link below to check out South Philly Smokhaus, located in the Bok building on 821 Dudley Street. Enjoy!

Gratzfeed Episode 3- Marmont Steakhouse & Bar

What’s up everyone? It’s been a while since I did the blog thing but I’m excited to say we’re going to focus in on ramping up content on a more consistent basis this year.

A while back I did a little write up about Marmont Steakhouse in Philly. One of my favorite places to have a steak dinner in the city. It’s a low key spot in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia. Delicious, high quality food without all the hubbub of those fancy schmancy places (it’s OK to leave your blazer at home, don’t worry). Besides the stellar food, the service is aces too. Not much more you can ask for in a neighborhood restaurant.

So check it out, watch me eat some food and say the word phenomenal three times in five minutes (I swear I know some other words too). Enjoy!

Gratzfood Episode 2: The Philly Taco

The Philly Taco is a concoction so foul that it can only belong to…well, Philly. A South Street legend that few have tried and even fewer have finished, Gratzfeed investigates the notorious creation firsthand. Will he live to tell about it? Click the video and find out. Warning, this is not for the faint of the heart.

 

Amendment: John’s Roast Pork Makes A Top 5 Cheesesteak

The constitution may very well be the most important document in America to this day. Gratzfeed’s top 5 cheesesteak article, a close second. Like the constitution, sometimes amendments are needed as times evolve and things change. They’re an important way to update and preserve the integrity of important works. As a result, I am making the very first amendment to my most popular article.

I first had John’s Roast Pork some years ago. While I think I liked it, I never thought it was quite the sandwich some had made it out to be. As the years went by, time and time again I kept hearing John’s Roast Pork’ cheesesteaks being referred to as some of the best Philly had to offer. I decided I had to give it another go. Another go turned into another go. Another go into another and so on and so fourth. Get it?

There’s a reason John’s Roast Pork has the strong reputation it does, their cheesesteaks are out of this world. The meat is flavorful. The rolls are terrific. They give you plenty of cheese and onions. But it doesn’t stop there, something about their cheesesteaks must be addressed and right this very instant. The sandwiches are HUGE. Seriously, it’s borderline offensive how much meat they pile on a single sandwich. Disturbing. Last time I went I was pretty full from just one half, but curiosity got the best of me and for some sick reason I was compelled to experience the feeling of eating a whole one again. It’s pretty much a suicide mission. It’s like having a football in your stomach. Or quintuplets. The thing is, I can eat a lot. If anything I usually complain about portions being too small. Not at John’s. You get your moneys worth and then some. You’ll be full for pretty much a whole day.

If you never been to John’s and want to get some intel, let me paint a picture. It’s your standard Philly dive joint. Small inside where a line wraps around. You either order at one stop at the counter or the next depending on if you’re getting something from the grill like a cheesesteak or the next if you’re getting a roast pork or beef. They have an enclosed seating area with benches and condiments and then some additional benches outside with no enclosure. Simple. Divey. Delicious.

On a side note, while in this case I’m focusing on the cheesesteaks, their roast pork and beef is dynamite too. Like the cheesesteaks, the sandwiches are humongous. Definitely worth a try if you’re into those.

Now you may be wondering, who’s getting bumped from the top 5? Honestly, I think I’d go with John’s Roast Pork over Tony Luke’s. Tony Luke’s is still great though and is undoubtedly a South Philly classic. So, I’m going to do the logical thing and make John’s Roast Pork 5A. and Tony Luke’s 5B. Does that make any sense? Probably not. But I want people to know Tony Luke’s is still a top cheesesteak and I want them to know about John’s Roast Pork too. There you have it, the first amendment to Gratzfeed’s top 5 cheesesteaks has been made. John’s Roast Pork, welcome to the cheesesteak elite. unnamed-5.jpg

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Gratzfood Review: Chick’n Shack Sandwich

I get really defensive when it comes to chicken sandwiches. As you probably know, I am a vocal and devout supporter of a certain Atlanta based fast food chicken chain and am undoubtedly biased towards their food. I must be honest I was a little hurt when I initially saw Shake Shack was adding a chicken sandwich to their menu. I viewed it almost as a direct attack at my beloved favorite. But as a chicken sandwich enthusiast I had to at least try it, had to see what the competition was bringing to the table. After hitting the NFL Draft in Philly my friends and I were looking for a place to eat and when someone mentioned Shake Shack there was more fanfare than the actual draft itself. Here was a golden opportunity to finally try the chick’n shack sandwich and once and for all satisfy my curiosity.

Simply put it was really good. Very crispy breast of chicken. I really enjoyed all the toppings (lettuce, pickles, buttermilk herb mayo). The herb mayo was zesty and a welcome addition as it provided just the right amount of flavor without detracting from the chicken itself. One minor complaint was the chicken breast wasn’t evenly proportioned, one bite might have been all breading while the next was all meat. Inconsistent. I think this sandwich can coexist with others because it’s just different than the competition. Different vibe. At $6.49, it’s more expensive than a normal fast food chicken sandwich. Add $2.50 for a fountain soda and another $2.99 for fries and you’re looking at a $12 meal compared to something maybe a little smaller at $7.50. This is the perfect chicken sandwich option if you have a hankering on a Sunday. Look, there’s no denying Shake Shack has pretty damn good food. This sandwich, while maybe a little expensive, doesn’t really feel like a ripoff although I can probably eat two if I forgo fries. If you’re at Shake Shack, this is certainly a viable option and I would recommend it if you’re a fan of chicken sandwiches. Not the biggest, not too small, but just about fair and the taste surpassed my expectations. This is a welcome addition to the chicken sandwich game and a legitimate option for the fast casual realm. unnamed.jpg

Gratzfood Review: Burger King Crispy Chicken Sandwich

When you first hear Burger King, chances are the first thing that pops in your head isn’t chicken. In all likelihood the first thing you think of rhymes with bopper. Or schnopper. Sure BK has chicken fries and an original chicken sandwich that has been around forever but the reality is they have been searching for a premium chicken sandwich fixture on their menu the same way the Cleveland Browns have been searching for a franchise quarterback. Due to the popularity of other chicken sandwiches in the fast food game companies have felt added pressure to offer a quality chicken sandwich that can compete with the industries top sellers.

Enter the new Crispy Chicken Sandwich. According to Burger King, “Our New Crispy Sandwich is made with 100% white meat chicken filet, seasoned and breaded and carefully layered with fresh lettuce, ripe tomato, and creamy mayonnaise on a potato bun.” Sounds quite appealing. Reviews and word of mouth that I have seen and heard so far have been pretty positive too. It was time to put it to the test.

What I ordered: Crispy Chicken Sandwich meal (medium). No tomatoes. No mayo.

Cost: $8.31 with tax.

Verdict: First off, I only wanted to order the sandwich, without the fries and drink. The sandwich alone came to $5.19. At that point I felt the only logical option was to spring the extra 2 something and get the meal. They got me. It was supposed to be 7 bucks and change but somehow, someway came to $8.31. Rather than dissect the charges like an old lady at Shop Rite I paid and kept it moving. Time to eat. I unwrapped the sandwich (which came in regular paper, nothing that would make it feel like a premium item) and at first glance wasn’t all too impressed. It looked like a pretty standard chicken sandwich. The first thing I thought when I took a bite was that this tasted familiar and I couldn’t figure out why. Then I realized that the bun they used tasted identical to the one McDonald’s uses for their Buttermilk Deluxe Crispy Chicken Sandwich. Not to say that’s a bad thing as I actually like that bread but it just seemed odd for it to taste so similar to their competitor. As for the chicken? Good but not great. It was made with white meat but it wasn’t a plump, hearty breast of chicken. Here’s the thing, while this may be a decent chicken sandwich the price and overall lack of anything exciting won’t ever make me go out of my way for it. It tasted good, I liked the bread and it was pretty crispy but it doesn’t compete with say, Chick-fil-A or even come close. Chick-Fil-A tastes better and costs less. Go figure. I don’t want to spend $8 at Burger King for a meal. If I’m spending $8 I want to get a bunch of little things and fill myself up that way. For instance, you can grab 2 of their Original Chicken Sandwiches for $5. I’d much rather do that. Or if I were at Wendy’s you can have FIVE of their dollar menu ones. That may be excessive (it may not be) but I’m just making a point. Quality over quantity is one thing but when you’re at Burger King the goal is usually to get as much grub as you can for the lowest cost possible. Kind of disappointed. If you’re at Burger King and are craving a chicken sandwich then by all means go for it. But if you’re just in the mood for a chicken sandwich in general and have transportation or can walk then there are much, much better alternatives… and at a lower price.

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