Monday, August 31, 2015

Kermit's Bake Shoppe: A pizzeria and a bakery had a baby

Ambitious takeout/delivery spot in South Philadelphia.

Kermit's Bake Shoppe: A pizzeria and a bakery had a baby

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Kermit's Bake Shoppe - billed as the lovechild of a pizzeria and a bakery - has opened at 2204 Washington Ave. (267-639-4267).

Owner Adam Ritter (Sidecar Bar, Kraftwork) - who named the place after his cat, who in turn is named after jazz great Kermit Ruffins - enlisted his restaurants' chef, Brian Lofink, and pastry whiz Chad Durkin, who appeared on TLC’s Next Great Baker.

It's takeout and delivery only (there's a counter, though, if you're roughing it), and the plan is to dispatch the fleet of retro delivery bikes through a custom smartphone app.

They're executing a full line of baked goods (bagels, bread, cakes as well as fun stuff*), plus pizza by the pie or slice, sweet and savory pies, candies and confections, and soups. Gluten-free is a big part of the deal. 

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Even though it's a wide-open, built-for-speed bakery, Ritter took the trouble to add a neat design element: a wooden "Kermit's" rolling pin, suspended from the ceiling.

The pin appears to roll out a weathered section of tin ceiling. (It's motorized and eventually will spin.)

The pin was designed by local craftsman Ian Stafford, and the section of tin ceiling was sourced to the house in Michigan where Magic Johnson grew up. 

Opening hours will be 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekends.

* Fun stuff: In strokes of genius, Durkin created "hot dogs" and "hamburgers" out of cake. The hamburger is a sponge cake with chocolate cheesecake "burger", layered with white chocolate ganache, with raspberry coulis for ketchup and pistachio paste and coconut flake to mimic lettuce. The hot dog includes an eclair "bun" split with diplomat cream, red velvet cake with cream cheese glaze with white-chocolate ganache (colored with cocoa powder).

Kermit's Bake Shoppe - the ambitious pizza/pastry bakery coming together amid a commercial strip at 2204 Washington Ave. - has targeted July 22 for its opening. To enliven an otherwise workaday building (and remember that this is takeout and delivery only), owner Adam Ritter commissioned a design-wow for those who care to look upward and not inside the display cases: an enormous, slowly spinning wooden "Kermit's" rolling pin that appears to roll out a weathered section of tin ceiling. The pin was designed by local craftsman Ian Stafford, and the section of tin ceiling was sourced to - and I have no way to confirm this - the house in Michigan where Magic Johnson grew up. Ritter - with chef Brian Lofink (turning out old-fashioned, well-topped pizzas from gluten-free and conventional doughs; salads; hand pies; etc.) and pastry whiz Chad Durkin (pies! tarts! brownies!) - aren't even counting on people to come into the shop. There's a fleet of delivery bikes. More to come on this. Meanwhile, see the draft menu and catch up via Drew Lazor's fine backgrounder from early June.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/the-insider/Kermits-Bake-Shoppe-ready-to-get-rolling.html#1wtwq8cjit7Y8fqS.99
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Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

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