When we set up a Philadelphia pizza crawl to take place last month, there was one spot that was an absolute necessity to hit up: Pizza Brain. How could any respectable pizza crawl bypass the world’s first pizza museum?
Pizza Brain is more than just a museum. While the collection of pizza-related memorabilia – replete with everything from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles items to the album cover for the Fat Boys’ “Jailhouse Rap” single – is impressive, the pizzeria portion is notable in its own right. The friendly staff, which usually includes memorabilia owner Brian Dwyer, serves up unique pizza topping combinations in either slices or full pies (ranging from $11 to $22).
Each Pizza Brain slice is cut from 20 inch pies, so the slices are enormous. On my first visit, I had both the Jane ($3) and the Charlie Mayfer ($3.50) slices. The Jane is relative plain, but by no means is it ordinary. The slice combines three different cheeses (mozzarella, aged provolone, grana padano) with hand-crushed tomato sauce and is topped with fresh basil. Meanwhile, the Charlie Mayfer is a white pizza with mozzarella, sweet potato, honey crisp apple, honey goat cheese and brown sugar.
In addition to their large size, the pizza slices were also excellent. Sweet potato is a somewhat unusual topping, but it works, and the result is sweet. The crust is soft, chewy and fantastic. Despite the use of a gas oven, there’s still some good color on the bottom of the slices.
The pizza shop is small, seating only about 12. Next door, though, is Little Baby Ice Cream, and Pizza Brain Customers are welcome to use the tables there for overflow seating. Oh, and Pizza Brain is BYO, so you can feel free to enjoy your delicious pizza with your beverage.
- Pizza Brain
- 2313 Frankford Avenue
- In a nutshell: Enormous slices of unique pizza ingredient combinations with fantastic crust at world’s first pizza museum.