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philadining

Brick Oven Bakery - Phoenixville

8 posts in this topic

I was excited to see a small artisan bakery open up on Phoenixville's Main street a while back. They have opened gradually, with more and more breads of their own, along with some brought in from Sweet Water Baking.

They also have a nice selection of cheeses, some charcuterie, smoked meats and fish, etc. With those ingredients, they'll make sandwiches, or party trays.

Here's a sandwich made with locally-smoked pork loin, apple butter and cheddar, on one of their baguettes. It was very good.

BrickOven-Porkr.JPG

The baguettes are really good, featuring a nice crust, and a chewy, but airy crumb. Bagels are a work-in-progress, for now, they're pretty tasty bagel-shaped bread, but the texture isn't quite right...

I was especially excited to see a sign out front last weekend advertising Pizza Night. On friday and saturday nights, (they may have added thursdays too) they use that brick oven for Neapolitan style pizza crusts, and top them simply with a few good ingredients. They're not fooling around, they use Caputo 00 flour for the crust (based on a recipe by Roberto Caporuscio of Keste pizza in NY) and San Marzano tomatoes. The results are pretty righteous.

BrickOven-Pizza1r.jpg

That's a basic Margherita. They also do a white pizza, and you can add a few basic toppings if you like, depending on what they have around.

The texture of the crust was very nice, with a good spotty char on the bottom.

BrickOven-Pizza2r.jpg

It might have been a little crisper and firmer in the middle than some classic Neapolitan preparations, but I actually prefer that...

The pies are the classic Neapolitan size, about 10-inches in diameter, perfect for one person, or for sharing a few at the table.

I've only made it in once, so I can't say anything about consistency, but they seem pretty serious about what they're doing, and they have a good oven to work with, so I feel pretty confident. It's not a classic domed wood-fired oven built specifically for pizza, but it's doing a nice job with the crust. I'm not sure if it gets to the super-high temperatures of those purpose-built beehives, but I had my pizza in less than 10 minutes, and that includes assembly as well as its time in the oven.

Downtown Phoenixville just gets more and more interesting. The very good Thai restaurant called Thai L'Elephant is just about ready to open, having moved from the outskirts of town to the corner of Bridge and Gay, Majolica is still putting out excellent food near that same corner, the Guatemalan restaurant Antigua Guatamala a couple blocks up Main st has expanded their menu, John Mims seems to be doing good business with his Louisiana-themed place, there are a couple of new Mexican markets... The town is certainly worth a visit, especially if it's pizza night.

Brick Oven Bread and Cheese Shop

138 Bridge Street, Phoenixville PA, 19460

(610) 933-3003

www.brickovenbreadshoppe.com (website is pretty out-of-date...)


Edited by philadining (log)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Any menu scanning you can do for these places would be greatly appreciated!


"The perfect lover is one who turns into pizza at 4am."

Charles Pierce

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OK, Frank, the pizza guy, is NOT fooling around!

BrickOven-Pizza3r.jpg

I quite liked the pizza I posted about above, so I dropped by the next week, and tried one with Sopressata. It was even better.

BrickOven-Pizza4r.jpg

I've had a lot of neo-Napolitan pizzas, here in Philly and in NY and San Francisco, and seriously, this ranks up with the best of them. The quality of the sopressata helped, but more impressive were the perfect texture of the crust, the lively flavor of the sauce, the exacting proportions of ingredients, the ideal done-ness, with a little char, but not too much...

I don't know if I got lucky, and the oven just happened to be at the perfect temperature, and Frank had his timing down perfectly, but whatever the cause, that was an amazing pizza.

If anything is keeping it from being the unqualified best I've had, it would be the cheese, which is perfectly acceptable, and works very well in the complete package, but in and of itself is not especially thrilling. But cheese is a tricky thing on a Neapolitan pizza, sometimes objectively "better" cheese can ruin the texture by exuding too much moisture. And the pizza I had was so good, I'm reluctant to suggest any changes...

With the holidays coming up, I'm not sure when they'll be making pizza, but if you're in the area, it's totally worth a call to ask:

(610) 933-3003

Apparently they're considering expanding beyond the current thursday-friday-saturday evening schedule, but I don't know when that might start. I'll let you know though, because I'm hoping to be there eating pizza as often as they'll let me!


Edited by philadining (log)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Well, I should have guessed that this was too good to be true! I just discovered that the bakery has closed.

I hope the the baker, and Frank the pizza guy, find some place to practice their craft, I enjoyed both the bread and the pizza quite a lot.


"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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The intrigue continues! The bakery's phone is disconnected, but I have a confirmed report of someone getting a pizza last night! I'm told that they're planning on doing it again tonight (friday 1/21) and saturday too, and perhaps into the future... So, there may still be some possibility of fine pizzas in Phoenixville. I'll update if I find more concrete information, but in the meantime, if you're nearby, it could be worth a run by to see if there's someone manning the oven. Fingers crossed!


"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Or not... It does not appear that they're continuing with pizza after all. Updates, if there's anything to report, to follow.


"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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The intrigue does indeed continue - as we walked past the store last Wednesday, there were folks in there, standing around the tables, and the brick oven was fired up, but it appeared as if the place was closed to anyone other than the "insiders". Keep us posted!


<a href='http://retroroadmap.com' target='_blank'>Retro Roadmap - All the Retro, Vintage and Cool Old places worth visiting!</a>

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So.... after about a year and a half, there is a happy ending to this story! I'm going to start a new thread, because this name and location no longer exists, but the pizza maker from this bakery has opened his own place, just a few blocks up on Bridge Street from the old location. It's called Vecchia Pizza Napoletana, and he's had a traditional domed oven built, apparently by Italian artisans who do only that... and he's cranking out classic Neapolitan pizza. He's only been open a couple of days, but my first taste was quite promising!

Vecchia-ReginaMargherita1.jpg


"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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