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The Mini-Pastries at the New Small Oven Are Almost Too Pretty to Eat

Chad Durkin’s side-by-side pastry and sandwich shops open on Washington Avenue this week

rows of little colorful pastries
Colorful pastries at Small Oven Pastry Shop, new in Philadelphia
Bondfire Media

Washington Avenue gains both delicate, sugary pastries and stuffed porchetta sandwiches at once with the opening of Chad Durkin’s Small Oven Pastry Shop and Porcos. The two eateries, set side by side at 2204 Washington Avenue, where Grad Hospital and Point Breeze meet, debut Tuesday, December 17.

Durkin is coming from Buddy Valastro’s company (Cake Boss, Carlo’s Bakery), where he was director of research and product development. But before that he was the opening chef at Kermit’s Bake Shoppe, at the same address where Small Oven and Porcos are now.

Small Oven is his pastry shop and cafe, with tables for eating in and a display case of bite-sized pastries like eclairs, cream puffs, mousse cakes, tarts, galettes, and cookie sandwiches priced at $3 or $3.50 each. We’re talking a milk chocolate ganache tart with raspberry mousse, a hazelnut Paris-Brest, a baba au rhum with orange rum syrup and candied orange, and chai cinnamon buns with cream cheese icing. There’s also a short selection of salads and paninis, including one with roasted artichokes and peppers, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil aioli, plus coffee drinks.

For a meatier sandwich selection, head next door to Porcos, a walk-up window where you can order Italian-style roast pork sandwiches like the OG with herbed porchetta, pork crackling, and jus, and the Philly, which adds on broccoli rabe pesto and shaved sharp provolone. Durkin is also making a “veghetta” — a veggie version of porchetta with layered vegetables surrounded by Beyond meat, gravy, and shaved vegan cheese. Or go in the opposite direction with the Carnivore Cavemen: It’s the OG porchetta sandwich with sausage, meatballs, crispy prosciutto, a seasonal vegetable, provolone, and gruyere. There’s also a meatball sandwich that comes regular (pork and beef meatballs) or vegan (Beyond meat lentil meatballs), and everything is on ciabatta baked onsite.

The sandwiches are available Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The pastry shop is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Here are some sandwiches from Porcos to feast your eyes on:

roast pork sandwich Bondfire Media
roast pork sandwich Bondfire Media
meatball sandwich Bondfire Media

Moving over to Small Oven, you could go with the sugar dough crust, brown butter hazelnut cake, and raspberry gelee concoction:

small pastry with pink icing Bondfire Media

Or maybe the crunchy chocolate pâte à choux puff with caramel filling and chocolate mousse:

chocolate cream puff Bondfire Media

There’s the play on strawberry shortcake with citrus mascarpone mousse and almond cake:

small layered pastry Bondfire Media

And the hazelnut Paris-Brest with praline mousseline:

row of cream puff pastries Bondfire Media

Or perhaps one of each?

rows of small colorful pastries Bondfire Media

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