Tuesday, November 1, 2016


1430 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 609-4758

New to the Center City pizza scene is &pizza. Yes, &pizza. They are a D.C. area-based small pizza chain that has expanded into the Philadelphia market. I was recently invited to check out their grand opening, which was more like a well-lit night club than a pizza shop, but they were pulling out the stops for the preview night.

There was a "DJ". Actually, there were two. Dueling  DJ's?

A list of the most popular pizzas was available at the counter. Ordering is a Chipotle-like experience (I compare all fast-cas to them because they're still the reigning king), with a line of people ready to add your desired ingredients. OR you just pick a standard option.

The pizza itself is a long, narrow flatbread that goes through a conveyor belt. It is served on a long narrow tray, but also on a piece of paper between said tray and pizza (overkill). The staff paraded around with trays of almost every style pie.

My favorite was probably the "Pineapple Jack," with classic tomato, mozzarella, salami, pineapple, pickled red onion, Parmesan, and cherry bomb BBQ sauce. I am such a sucker for sweet, heat, and meat.

The "OG" was tomato sauce, mozz, cherry tomato, and basil. Pretty run of the mill but still tasty and well manicured.

An interesting twist was the "Farmers Daughter" — spicy tomato sauce, spinach, mozzarella, Italian sausage, egg, Parmesan and hot sauce. Yolk makes it fancy. This one was pretty good and probably took third place in my line-up.

The cringe-worthy offering named "Gnarlic" was better than it sounded. With garlic ricotta, mozzarella, grilled onion, pesto, garlic sauce, and Parm, it was the second place white pie to my preferred "Moonstruck." The mushroom truffle, garlic ricotta, mozzarella, mushroom, grilled onion, goat cheese, fig balsamic was a great combo, and my second favorite overall.

High ceilings and a black and white design made for a pleasing interior, more fancy than about any other pizza place I can remember.

They offer free pizza for a year if you get a tattoo with their logo on it. So that is an option for any of my poorer readers. I mean, it's almost worth considering. And an exercise in branding and advertising for anyone looking to commercialize America's favorite comfort food.

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