After arming the 1949 REO Speed Wagon they won on eBay with a wood-fired brick oven, Stalin Bedon and Tom Grim (founder of Princeton, N.J.’s Thomas Sweet Ice Cream) started the Nomad Pizza Truck in 2006. “We wandered from place to place, and didn't have anywhere to call home,” says Bedon. They catered only private events, mostly in New Jersey, but people loved the pie so much the two opened a brick-and-mortar spot three years later in Hopewell, N.J. Two weeks ago, Nomad Pizza landed in Philadelphia with the opening of its new location in the Bella Vista building that was formerly Horizons.
“We fell in love with the space right away — it has such a wonderful, warm feeling,” says Bedon. With minimal decor — “very simple, like the pizzas,” he says — a medium-sized communal table sits on the first floor, and several two- and four-tops surround a massive, 90-foot communal table upstairs. “The tables in Italy are communal,” says Bedon. “We want to create a community; people should get to know their neighbors.”
Bedon's trips to Italy also inspired Nomad’s menu and ingredients. “In Italy there was a produce truck that came down from the hills everyday to sell produce to the pizzerias,” he recalls. “That’s why the pizza’s so good. We also use all local organic ingredients, delivered every morning fresh from the farmer.”
Dinner and a movie
In the upstairs area, Nomad will screen movies on Wednesday and Sunday nights. This Sunday’s film is “A Fish Called Wanda,” and on Wednesday you can catch “Amelie."
On the menu
The menu boasts 12 pizzas based on classic Italian recipes, some topped with shiitake mushrooms, truffle oil and runny eggs and some as simple as the classic Margherita pie. Mirroring the pizza options are 12 draft beers — including the always-reliable Stone IPA and several Pennsylvania options. “Everyone likes drinking good beer with their pizza,” Bedon says.