A little more than a year ago, the second Night Market was held in a parking lot in University City. No different than the other editions of Night Market, there were long lines at several trucks and carts. Few lines were longer than the one at Nomad Pizza, which was making its Philly debut through its pizza truck.
There was certainly great anticipation for Nomad, which originated and built its reputation in Hopewell, New Jersey. The truck, a restored 1949 REO Speedwagon with a built-in wood-fired brick oven, kept firing up Neapolitan-style pizzas for the masses, who eagerly gobbled them up. Earlier this year, Nomad opened up its brick and mortar location at 6th and Bainbridge, though its pizza truck still makes appearances at events around town. In either the restaurant or the store, prepare to be blown away by superb pizza.
At the restaurant, there’s a decent craft beer list, along with a small menu of about nine or ten pizzas and a few salads. The truck, which has been featured at the Porch at 30th Street Station on Wednesdays this summer, also only offers three or four pizza selections. What Nomad doesn’t have in terms of quantity of selections, it makes up in producing high quality combinations.
Take the simplicity of the Margherita, which I tasted from both the restaurant and the truck. Featuring authentic San Marzano tomatoes, Bufala Mozzarella, Parmesan, basil, olive oil and sea salt, the pizza is a beautiful sight. It’s pretty sizable, especially for the prize ($10 from the truck, a little more from the restaurant). There’s ample Mozzarella cheese and some blistering on top along with good charring on the bottom. Sure, the middle of the pizza can be a little soggy, but that’s why the restaurant has been offering the pizza uncut and letting you cut it piecemeal with a pizza cutter. The pizza is thin but does not fall apart. The crust, made from dough that’s prepared days in advance, is remarkably chewy and tasty.
Then there was the Spicy Sausage, which is essentially the Margherita with sausage. Unsurprisingly, the sausage was freshand outstanding. There were also no complaints about the quantity of sausage, which was spread evenly on the pie.
With the high temperatures in the oven, Nomad only cooks the pizza about 90 to 100 seconds. It’s plenty of time to produce the new gold standard in Neapolitan pizzas in Philly.
- Nomad Pizza
- 611 S. 7th St./Pizza Truck
- In a nutshell: Probably the best tasting Neapolitan-style pizzas in the city, either from the restaurant or the truck. Cooked in less than two minutes.