Longtime internet compadre, fellow blogger and indie rock devotee, and now friend IRL, Zac Camagna of the Styrofoam Drone recently revealed to me that every Saturday, he returns home, to Garnet Valley, to work at a pizza shop. I was obviously interested in this, as I too return home, to nearby Chadds Ford, to do stuff like... yardwork and... sit in my room. There are plenty of pizza places I frequent 'round these parts but Zac's employer is just out of my usual reach. I actually have to cut through Delaware to get there. Zac works at Concord Pike Steak Shop which is one of the many pizza places I regularly drive past, needing to know if they have good pie.
The name is clearly misleading... yes it declares "Steak Shop" but its sign has a 2:1 pizza pie-to-bovine ratio so you know pizza is their first order of business. They are also the proprietors of Newark, Delaware's Cleveland Avenue Sub Shop, so if there are any Blue Hens out there, let us know how it is.
So anyway, I knew Saturday was going to be a good day for pizza and made absolute sure that I would find my way to 202 for some of Concord Pike's. "I'm not sure what it is that sets us apart, but we do rub garlic butter on the crust," Zac told me last Thursday. "Well that sounds pretty damn good to me," I replied.
I called Zac on the way out of my neighborhood to see what he could do for me. He was on a delivery but gave me Concord Pike's fairly easy-to-remember phone number: 610-558-2569. I called, ordered (one large pep) and continued driving past things that to you, reader, may seem super-exotic,
like this one-lane covered bridge, but to Zac and I are just every day fixtures of life in the Brandywine Valley.
Another fixture is good pizza... and boy, was this pizza seriously good. I can't exactly remember the last time I tried an area pizza for the first time... but it probably wasn't as good as this. Or unique. I love average pizza, but it's not really that hard to do something a little extra to set your pizza apart. Concord Pike does it: a little garlic butter on the crust and freshly grated mozzarella on top.
Yeah, take notice of the blocks of cheese to Zac's left. Those were being cut down and grated, fresh, for pizza. That's SO awesome! I will take pizza more seriously when I see a dough-tosser grating cheese fresh, behind the counter. Average mozzarella and not some fancy buffalo bullshit? Who cares! Fresh grated. Sets it apart. Anyway. These extra flourishes translate into awesome taste! In Concord's case, there was garlic and butter flavor that you could actually see baked into the crust. It took on this otherworldly goldenness. Roughly 1:1 sauce to cheese ratio which was fine because the cheese could really carry the weight of the pizza. If it had just been cheese and crust, I would have been satisfied. The underside has that fairly common sandpapery texture which I enjoy a lot. I wonder what the secret to that is...
As you can see, great pepperoni coverage. And you can see Zac is a good friend. He lead me to great pizza.
Concord Pike Steak Shop:
257 Wilmington/West Chester Pike
Chadds Ford, PA 19317
Cleveland Avenue Sub Shop:
231 East Cleveland Ave
Newark, DE 19711
Concord Pike also has an eating challenge we'd like to try soon (or we'd like to see YOU try:) 30" pie, two people, 30 minutes. And these delicious looking sandwiches but this ain't Sandwich Prospects so you're on your own: