Gratzfeed Review: Mike’s BBQ

I have to preface this. I love barbecue. Ironically though, I live in Philly, where barbecue is perhaps the most underrepresented type of cuisine. Cheesesteaks? We got em. Roast pork? Oh yeah there’s some spots. Barbecue though? We’re just not there yet.

I love barbecue so much that my last entry in the Gratzfeed video series was on a place called South Philly Smokhaus. Well, life happened and as it turns out, they are no longer in business. Unfortunate, because they had some damn good bbq.

So, Mike’s was always on my mind as one of the places I had to try. This place had a buzz and I was determined to see what the hype was about.

For a while…

Here’s the thing though, hear me out. When there’s a place I’m eager to try, I just have to eat it there the first time. Physically, there. I mean right? You can’t order delivery and properly evaluate a meal. That’s just not fair, to yourself, or to the restaurant.

But I’ve been saying this for over a year, and apparently things are a little different these days. I was hungry. Plus a $5 off coupon on Grubhub? My inner Jew was activated and it was time to finally try Mike’s BBQ.

Kept it simple the first time. Brisket sandwich, which comes topped with house made slaw and also included two sauces.

I’m going to keep it simple once again, this brisket sandwich was AMAZING.

First, let’s talk about presentation. I told you guys, delivery is always risky. Shit gets mangled, tossed around, you know. This sandwich was perfectly put together. I was actually in awe, it just looked right. Nothing contorted, no meat falling out, it was legit… a perfectly crafted sandwich, delivery and all.

The taste? My lord. Some places offer you the choice of fatty or lean brisket (fatty tends to have more flavor). That option wasn’t necessary. This brisket had the perfect consistency. Wasn’t overly fatty, wasn’t dry. Each bite bursted with succulent taste. All the flavors came together so no part of the sandwich overwhelmed another. It was truly delicious. And as far as size? I get skeptical when it comes to a Martin’s Potato Roll… I mean how big could it be? The meat to roll ratio was unrivaled and I was full and satisfied from one sandwich. The house made chips served as the perfect compliment. And the sauces? They gave two, didn’t know which was which but I’d drink em both, not overly sweet and just the right amount of tang. The perfect compliment to a perfect sandwich.

They get it.

Gratzfeed Review: The Angelo Pizza

Former Buckeye players never say Ohio State, it’s imperative to add a “The” in front of it. Similarly, the new pizza spot in Old City isn’t Angelo Pizza, it’s The Angelo Pizza.

The name of the shop is actually the name of its owner, Angelo Pizza….. seriously. Yep, that’s part of the whole schtick, the dudes name is literally Pizza. Perhaps we should go over some backstory first.

Dave Portnoy, founder of Barstool Sports has a wildly popular pizza review operation in place. He goes to a spot, orders some pizza and scores it from 0-10. There was a problem though, because of Covid he couldn’t actually go out to get pizza, so instead he started reviewing frozen pizzas. Enter Angelo Pizza, who was selling frozen pies and decided to send one over to be reviewed. It scored an 8.1, which is high for Mr. Portnoy’s standards. Suddenly, demand for his pies went through the roof. Demand was hard to keep up with…not bad for a global pandemic.

Mr. Pizza, whose passion is…pizza, then decided to parlay the success of his frozen pizza business into opening a full fledged pizza shop in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia.

Ok cool. Guy makes frozen pizzas, name is Pizza, frozen pie scored well. But is it actually…good? I mean he had radio spots, a lot of hype, but again…is it actually good?

Yes.

Old City has plenty of places to eat a cheesesteak, but sorely needed some good pizza. The Angelo Pizza fills that void, 1000%.

The first time I went I had to keep it simple, plain pie, known as the “The Angelo Pizza” on the menu. It was amazing. Thin crust, perfectly baked, the San Marzano tomatoes giving the pie a burst of flavor. The perfect amount of cheese enough to compliment but not overhwhelm. Make no mistake, these are no frozen pies, they’re hand made to order and I was lucky enough to have The Angelo Pizza make it himself. This is no gimmick. The pizza is legit.

Apparently though the talk of the town is the meatball pizza, known on the menu as “The Paulie”. Well, of course I tried it. This didn’t taste like pizza, this tasted like Sunday Dinner. The meatballs were fresh and delicious. On top of an already great pizza, it was easy to understand why this was the go-to.

I appreciate what Mr. Pizza is doing for….pizza. He cares about the product and you can taste it in each slice. My recommendation? Eat it hot and right out front, pizza tends to taste best when its fresh out of the oven.

He might be from Baltimore and a Ravens fan, but in the city of brotherly love, we accept characters of all kind. Especially when their pizza is fucking amazing.

Head on over to Gratzfeed on Instagram for a pic of pure deliciousness.

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.

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.