For those about to eat, BAF’s Original Pizza salutes you

Bafs Original Pizza owners John Beardsley

Ask BAF’s Original Pizza co-owner John Beardsley who his target market is, and he’ll tell you.

People who eat.

Seated before a red-checkered tablecloth, Beardsley talks pizza. He’s a man around whose neck a tie is no nuisance; his red polo shirt shows the signs of flour and dough, evidence of a day spent achieving a perfect crust. A television sports channel crackles in the background.

Beardsley returned to his restaurant industry roots with the opening of BAF’s just one month ago, after a decade-long hiatus in which he worked real estate.

“Crazy,” the Gig Harbor native says about starting his venture during a national economic crisis, with an amused spark in his expression. In real estate, “I got sick of looking at my computer and waiting for calls.”

So he found a location on Poulsbo’s Viking Way, where it seems more businesses have closed or downsized than up-started in recent months. Friends pulled together to turn the shop customer-ready, working in exchange for grub.

BAF’s (It stands for Big Apple Foods) specializes in thin-crust, New York-style pizza. It’s a unique product, Beardsley says, one hand-tossed and handcrafted.

“It is crunchy and chewy at the same time,” he said.

Beardsley studied East Coast pies. He worked on his own dough recipe for more than a year, and experimented with more than 50 concoctions. (He once made an Eggs Benedict pizza: “It came out perfectly, sunny side up,” he said.)

“This is like comparing Wonder Bread to a nice, artisan roll of sour dough,” Beardsley contended.

It’s “close or even better” to that found on the streets of NYC.

BAF’s also serves homemade Italian sausage, meatball subs, salads, garlic bread and buffalo hot wings. Beardsley and his business partner, Orly Sorrel, use fresh local ingredients as well as whole milk Mozzarella and San Marzano tomatoes — two ingredients which, along with crust, make the foundation of a pizza.

“You need a balance between all three of them to make something work,” Beardsley explains.

BAF’s offers dine-in, take-out and some limited delivery services.

“Our slices are this big,” Beardsley says, holding his thumb and forefinger several inches apart, explaining the Big Apple-influenced slices are best eaten big city-style: folded in half.