Phenomenal Pizza Perfection at Bad Dad Brewing Co. in Fairmount
Cup and char pepperoni, leoparding Neapolitan-ish crust, Canadian bacon and ricotta. This is the pizza destination you'll tell your friends about for months.
As I sit in my private quarters putting pen to paper, I am just finishing a few slices of oven reheated leftover pizza from our trip to Bad Dad Brewery (view on map) yesterday. Where to begin! I feel like quoting Anton Ego from Ratatouille: "To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core." Okay I'm not that pretentious, but this was seriously good pizza and I want to drum up a little pomp and circumstance.
When you run an Instagram account all about pizza, you invariably start broadening your perspective, meeting new people, and realizing that the same 5 places you go to do not speak for all pizzeria's in central Indiana. We came across Bad Dad Brewery on a post by Pizza Today.
Chris agreed with an "anything you want, honey" after I begged to road trip up to Fairmount to try it on a Sunday afternoon. We took the scenic route rather than the interstate, and it was a fun little trek through middle America. A lot of mobile homes, just an observation! During the 50 minute car trip from Noblesville to Fairmount, I had time to learn a little more on Wikipedia.
I'm getting off on a tangent, let's talk about the restaurant. You can't miss it if you look for the small Grains & Grill silo out front because they share a building. If you are looking for the restaurant on Google street view you will see an abandoned building because I guess Google doesn't get to Fairmount that often.
The interior was brand new, sort of urban loft meets agricultural. The brewery takes up the entire south side of the building, but we actually sat on the front patio that is the Grains & Grill side. The lighting was perfect for photos and we lucked out with 73°F and breezy temps.
I started with a beer (it's a brewery after all) and an order of fougasse (FOO-GAH-ZEE) bread. It's a bread made from the pizza dough and cut into a pull-apart leaf shape, lightly brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. It was an early preview of what the pizza dough would taste like and it was absolutely amazing. It was my first "leopard" style anything because it has the little char marks from a 1000°F oven but the inside was fluffy with big airy pockets. The combination of char and fluffy is rare because usually if you taste char it means the entire crust is burnt to a crisp. The light almost lemony olive oil and salt made it feel timeless, like old world European.
I had been eyeing the pizzas on Instagram and decided I would get the Greenpoint because I wanted a thin Neapolitan-ish pizza with dollops on it. So chic! The Greenpoint is ricotta, mozzarella, Canadian bacon, hot Italian sausage, and fresh basil-ricotta dollops. The Canadian bacon is from a family-owned company called Nueske's in Wisconsin.
This pizza is a 10 out of 10, I can't even describe it. The razor thin edges of the Canadian bacon had their own tiny char around the outside and melted in my mouth. The ricotta mozzarella mix was a luscious primer on the Neapolitan canvas. The crust itself was warm, entirely foldable but not flimsy, airy and moist with bits of char flavor. The Canadian bacon in the center turned into a little pinwheel flower after being cut. If I had to find a gripe, if anything had room for improvement, it was the fact the basil-ricotta dollops were actually squirts not dollops, and they were room temperature which was a bit of a distraction from the overall experience. I still enjoyed folding the pizza and squishing the dollops between the crust while taking huge bites.
Chris got the Detroit style. They only have two Detroit style on the menu, and Chris wanted just pepperoni - so technically he got the Motown without basil or Mike's Hot Honey. I know, what is he thinking, but he just wanted to keep it plain. So his custom Motown was just mozzarella cheese topped with pepperoni and little dollops of organic tomato sauce (that's why it looks a little messy in photos, there is a bit of sauce on top on purpose).
The cheese is fantastic and thick. You need to check out this epic cheese pull on Instagram, it pulls about a yard and lands on the plate still attached to the rest of the pizza haha! It's almost unbelievable if you look at their Detroit style from side view with it's huge air pockets. I think I read that their dough balls sit for multiple days before being cooked, which should account for the airy finish. The pepperoni had a 'cup and char' that you can only get at high temperatures.
Most notable in my opinion is the thickness of the crispy edge. This is not some thin strip of cheese around the outside, the crispy burnt cheese is the entire vertical edge all around the pizza. It was crisp and chewy but not too tough. Just the right edge texture and pillowy middle. Chris is really turning into a huge Detroit style fan and this was a great example. It's hard to find a place that does Detroit and Neapolitan both really well.
The vibe was super laid back. I'm so jealous anyone in this small town can pop over for a pint any time they want. The owners' mom even stopped by our table to say hello. Just a super welcoming and relaxing atmosphere overall. We did feel a little bit like city folk walking up like we had no idea where we were.
We got three 4-packs of beer to go and headed back to the suburbs. The beers are all dad-themed and would make a great gift. All in all a great trip! I mean, we've driven 10 minutes for pizza that we regretted, so I think it's a great compliment to say we drove 50 minutes each way and that it was entirely worth it.