by Emily Stall
Let me start by saying I’m not a huge pizza person. This statement usually elicits a response of some combination of confusion and disgust, but honestly, the idea of a greasy pizza from the local pizzeria just doesn’t excite me. That being said, I am not easily impressed when it comes to pizza. But when I heard about Pizza Brain–”the world’s first pizza museum–with an artisan pizzeria attached”–I knew I had to check it out. If that wasn’t enough, it’s also located right next door to Little Baby’s Ice Cream, which serves up unique flavors with vegan and non-dairy options.
|My “Jane” and “Granny Divjack” slices at Pizza Brain|
Located at 2313 Frankford Ave, Pizza Brain holds the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of pizza-memorabilia. Pizza Brain is not really what I expected of a “Pizza Museum”–but then again this is apparently the world’s first pizza museum, so maybe I shouldn’t have had any expectations. Despite being small and not so museum-like, there’s something endearing about this quirky space. The walls are covered with “pizza-memorabilia,” my favorite being a portrait of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle eating a slice. My friends and I were warmly welcomed by the equally quirky and endearing manager, Brian. His excitement was apparent as he described the pizza options and offered suggestions, and checked in with us to make sure everything was okay.
While I wasn’t overly impressed with the “museum” aspect of the trip, the pizza is what really counts. And the pizza did not disappoint. First I had a slice of the “Jane,” the equivalent of a “plain” pizza, though there was nothing plain about this one. Mozzarella, aged provolone, grana padana, fresh basil with hand-crushed tomato sauce on the most perfect crust I’ve ever tasted. Thin but not too crispy. The kind of crust even a non-crust-eater would be happy to eat. Now I was impressed. Next, I tried something totally different. A white pizza, the “Granny Divjack” had mozzarella, shaved almonds, caramelized onions, blue cheese, and incredibly thin slices of granny smith apple. An unexpected combination, the apple slices gave the perfect hint of sweetness to this cheesy pizza.
Though I wouldn’t recommend Pizza Brain for a cultural museum experience, I would strongly encourage anyone–pizza lover or not–to head over to Frankford Ave for a freshly made pie. This is pizza worth getting excited about. While you’re there, make sure to stop by their neighbors and partners at Little Baby’s Ice Cream for some Chipotle Chocolate or Balsamic Banana ice cream. Both dining establishments are community-driven and offer vegan options, while putting a fresh twist on old classics. Who knew pizza and ice cream could be so exciting?