Porchetta and pastries in one place? Must be a dream —- and for Chad Durkin, owner of the new Small Oven Pastry Shop and Porcos, it kind of is.
Chad Durkin’s new dual concept eatery in South Philly is a must-see
Durkin originally inhabited the space of the now “porchetteria” and pastry haven with another South Philly classic, Kermit’s Bake Shoppe (opened in 2013), but this time around the business is a solo venture for the culinary extraordinaire. After working in the pastry biz for years (Durkin got his start at The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College and later went on to work for Susanna Foo and then the Cake Boss himself, Buddy Valastro), the dessert expert has now launched his own venture and it will tickle the fancy of all sweet and savory foodies alike.
Small Oven Pastry Shop and Porcos opened this week on Washington Avenue, adding to the already blossoming idea of Point Breeze becoming the City of Brotherly Love’s newest bustling area (the idea was launched with the likes of Chick’s and the recently opened second location of Dock Street Brewery). The shop is quite unique: the pastry portion of Small Oven has its own entrance and seating area, while the connected Porcos is literally a window that guests can walk up to, order through and enjoy.
Durkin wanted to find a way to serve Philadelphians traditional Italian-style whole roasted pork sandwiches exactly like those he grew up on while visiting Ariccia, a province of Rome. If that was his mission, he has certainly achieved that and then some. The menu offerings from Porcos are unique, and the taste of each item is — and I can’t stress this enough — absolutely out of this world and unlike anything else you can find in the city.
Porcos offerings range from porchetta sandwiches (which can be enhanced even more with delectable add-ons such as crispy prosciutto strips and a truffle goat cheese spread), ciabatta bread pizzas (weekends only) and other zesty handhelds (think flank steak sandwiches with herb mushroom stuffing and a pork and meatball sub with house gravy), with a few vegan options being served up as well. All guests have to do is place their order at the outside window and either wait outside or inside to pick up.
Small Oven, on the other hand, has gone down a sweeter route. Durkin creates beautiful, bite-sized pastries daily with indulgent offerings including eclairs, cream puffs, mousse cakes, tarts, galettes, and cookie sandwiches. All of the mouthwatering bites are available per piece or by the baker’s dozen fresh from the display case. Guests can enjoy their tasty treats inside while enjoying freshly brewed coffee, tea and other cold beverages, or can bring their own spirits (luckily there is even a beer distributor right next door).
Both Small Oven and Porcos are worth the trip to Point Breeze, in fact, I dare you to stop by and not immediately fall in love with the space, the products and the atmosphere. From the hardworking staff to the hard-hitting flavors, it’s quintessential Philly.
Porcos will be serving Tuesday through Sunday from 9 am to 8 pm (or until they sell out) and Small Oven Pastry Shop will be open 9 am to 6 pm. For more information about either Porcos or Small Oven Pastry Shop (2204 Washington Ave.), visit porcosphilly.com or smallovenpastryshop.com