Restaurant: Felicia’s Pizza Kitchen
Address: 18 W. Lancaster Ave, Ardmore (rear)
Rating: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Style: Eat-In / Take-Out / Delivery
Food: Wood-fired, brick oven Pizza
Atmosphere: Quaint pizza place
Service: Counter Service
Price Range: $5—$20
Parking: Metered lot parking
Unique Feature: Most of the items served at Felicia’s are cooked or finished in the wood-burning brick oven. They also offer a variety of house-named bottled sodas in flavors like black cherry, root beer, orange, and iced tea.
A COLLEAGUE RECOMMENDED I try out Felicia’s Pizza—on Lancaster Avenue in downtown Ardmore, he said. So for lunch this week, I figured I'd give it a go. Grabbing a spot on Lancaster, in the pouring rain, I was pretty pleased with myself. I threw a couple quarters in the meter, and, umbrella in hand, made my way a few storefronts down, only to find a nail salon. My eyes scanned the rainy strip. Counting the addresses to myself, I determined that I was in fact in the correct place—but no Felicia’s.
Luckily, a quick search on my Patch mobile app (it comes in handy sometimes!) found the address and phone number. I gave a call, and was told that Felicia’s is around the back of the building. Thank goodness I’m not a mailman.
Once inside the tiny pizza parlor, I was greeted by the smell of charred wood. Looking over the menu taped to the front window, I decided on a personal sized margheritas pizza, a chicken Caesar wrap and an eggplant parmigiana sandwich.
“You should try Felicia’s special,” said the man behind the counter.
He seemed to know what he was talking about, so I added that on as well.
“How long have you been here,” I inquired, figuring they were new.
"Seventeen years," he responded.
As I waited for my order, the man behind the counter worked diligently by himself, putting together my order. He chatted about politics, asked if I’d seen the recent GOP debate, and how I thought the mayor of Philadelphia was doing. It’s this kind of place that always brings a smile to my face.
(The everyman—whose conversation is more intriguing than the evening news—working inside a random, hidden gem where you can learn more about a neighborhood, national politics and sports than in any newspaper: It’s refreshing.)
I grabbed a Felicia’s brand black cherry soda from the fridge, paid for my order and was on my way. Before even eating I was already happy, despite my navigational challenges.
Opening the lid to the first of two boxes, I was instantly delighted at the man’s recommendation. The Felicia’s special was a venerable work of art; green spinach, fresh tomatoes, garlic and mozzarella cheeses topped the thin crispy wood grilled pizza crust. The smell was intoxicating and the taste addictive. The crust itself was coated in coarse flour; I’d say something like 40-grit sandpaper, giving the pie a wonderful texture, and my shirt a coating of crumbs.
I eagerly opened up the second box. The margheritas pizza wasn’t nearly as intriguing as the special pie. The crust to topping ratio was off, but the buffalo mozzarella was fresh, and the flavor of the olive oil and spices was perfect.
The Chicken Caesar wrap was served on what seemed to be a sundried tomato tortilla. Though it was a bit tricky to keep from falling apart, the mix of the cool lettuce, creamy dressing, and freshly grilled chicken was messily delicious.
The eggplant parmigiana sandwich was stuffed full of breaded slices of eggplant, topped with a layer of tomato sauce and cheese, and finished off in the wood-burning brick oven. I couldn’t have done it better myself. On a side note, the portion was large and by day two it could have benefitted from an extra side of sauce. The breading on the eggplant had soaked up every last bit of moisture there was.
The Felicia’s brand black cherry soda was also just as tasty as any wishniak I’d ever had. They also offered a variety of other house-named flavors like root beer, orange, and iced tea. I’m very happy to have found Felicia’s—my first trip there will not be my last.