I’d been looking for an excuse to return to Dock Street since I moved back to Philly a year ago. Living in University City during college, Dock Street was one of the places we ventured out to when we wanted to go somewhere a little different than the usual options on campus. I took my wife there a few months after we first started dating over seven years ago. Shortly after I turned 21, Dock Street was among the first legal beers I purchased at dinner. And of course, the pizza was among the better options in West Philly. When I heard they recently opened a cannery, I decided it was time to make a trip back.
Last weekend, my wife and I headed out Saturday afternoon to catch the El at 5th and Market before switching to the Trolley at 30th St and heading up Baltimore. There’s definitely an element of West Philly nostalgia as we drive past houses with expansive front porches and wooden columns that start to pop up once you cross over the Schuylkill. The first stop is the cannery – it’s a lounge space open to the street, and at 80 degrees and sunny, the weather can’t be much better. We grab a beer and some pretzels with cheese dip for an appetizer, but this is just a warmup for the main brewery.
At the brewery, I grab a flight (not available at the cannery) to sample all the options. It’s a good range of beer, from the light and slightly sweet Summer Haze pale ale to the classic Rye IPA. In order to maximize pizza coverage as well, my wife and I order three small pies – a classic Margherita, the Sicilian (tomato sauce, black olives, capers, walnuts, roasted garlic, sundried tomatoes, mozzarella) and the Brie (mozzarella, sliced pears, toasted walnuts, brie). My personal favorite was the Brie, with a great crunch from the walnuts and creaminess from the brie. It turned out to be the perfect counterpart for the Sicilian and the Margherita as well. The Sicilian also packed an interesting texture with the olives and the walnuts, and the sauce on the Sicilian and the plum tomatoes on the Margherita both tasted fresh. Just all around great wood fired pizza with a lot of flavor in each bite without being too fancy.
After one last beer to wash everything down, we catch the bus and wind back through West Philly and Grays Ferry until we hit Washington en route to home. Sure, there are closer places to get wood fired pizza that don’t require a 25 minute Uber ride or a 35 minute bus ride, but there was something about heading back into West Philly to grab a few freshly-brewed beers and a couple thin crust pizzas that made the experience even more worthwhile. Let’s just say it will be less than seven years before I’m back again.