Many restaurants share in the tradition of family meal, in which the staff gathers before an evening service for a meal together. Ever since opening in the fall of 2009, Birch & Barley has layered this tradition with one of their own — Pizza Mondays. The restaurant invited Eater over to hang out during this week's family meal to observe the tradition in honor of Pizza Week. Birch & Barley cooks made eight delicious-looking pies for all the 50-60 people who were in the building. Please take a spin through the photo gallery above to see what family meal is like for the Birch & Barley team, or check some observations below.
1) There are a few rules for family meal at Birch & Barley, including that chef Kyle Bailey can't make anything and the food has to be good.
2) The pizzas themselves come from whatever is leftover in the walk-in, resulting in plenty of interesting combinations because, as Bailey says, "We always have some organs hanging around."
3) This week's pizza lineup: two prosciutto and cheddar pies, two duck heart tamarind with pork onion pies, another two bearing pepperjack and Roma tomatoes, a three-cheese pizza and a final pie topped with peppadews, pepper jack and chicken skin.
4) Bailey explains to Eater that there's always got to be one vegetarian pie and one without cheese for a lactose intolerant staff member.
5) There's an unspoken competition among the staff as to who makes the best pizza. On this day, the duck heart tamarind pizza was going the fastest.
6) The summertime is best for Pizza Mondays, Bailey says, particularly with white beans being in season.
7) Birch & Barley had a buy-out that night so the kitchen staff was a little too busy prepping to sit down together with the pies. But upstairs at ChurchKey, employees devoured their slices during a staff meeting.