Exploring Philly // Pizza Brain

Often advertised as a “pizza museum,” Pizza Brain in Fishtown is the proud holder of the Guinness record for “the world’s largest collection of pizza-related items.” I was expected a museum-style format to the back of the restaurant, but really it is just a collection. The walls are covered with antique photos of people holding pizzas, records that feature songs related to pizza (Sesame Street’s “Pizza Box Dance,” among others), and well as pizza advertisements. I was surprised to learn that pizza didn’t come to mainstream America until the 1950s, considering it is a go-to staple today!

$4 seemed like a hefty price for by-the-slice, but once you see the 22-inch slices you will realize it is more than a good deal for a full meal. Their crust is thin and a little crispy – not my usual favorite – but considering the size, it is a good choice.

Overall, another great Fishtown find!

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Recipe // PB Banana Muffins

Inspired by The Pancake Princess’ scientific approach to finding the optimal ratio of ingredients in pumpkin bread, I have started compiling a similar excel spreadsheet for banana bread. What is best: oil or butter? Greek yogurt or buttermilk?

I have yet to do the taste-off (I need to organize a group of people willing to eat 10 different banana breads), but it is a definite goal of this semester.

For now, I have these thrown-together, kinda-healthy-but-not-really, peanut butter banana muffins. The original recipe called for 1/3 cup of peanut butter and I had about 1/2 a cup left, so I decided to just throw all the ingredients together without measuring anything.

Quick breads are usually very forgiving as long as you don’t overmix them, and these turned out beautifully. They have 1/2 a cup of flaxseed in replacement of flour which has been my favorite “secret” ingredient in banana bread recently. It adds an extra nuttiness and richness that ordinary flour can’t achieve. Plus, it means you’re allowed to call them “healthy!”

Peanut Butter Bananas
makes 12 muffins

Adapted from myrecipes

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
1/3 cup greek  yogurt
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup oil
2 large eggs
1/2 cup + 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup AP flour
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp teaspoon cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
1/2 cup chopped nuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a muffin pan well.
  2. Mix banana, yogurt, peanut butter, oil, and eggs until well combined. Add 1/2 cup sugar and mix well.
  3. Mix flour, flaxseed, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in a small bowl. Add to the wet mixture and be careful not to overmix.
  4. Gently fold in chopped nuts.
  5. Fill muffin tin, and sprinkle with the 1/4 cup granulated sugar.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.

 

Exploring Philly // Wm. Mulherin’s Sons

Brunch food is overrated. I love the idea of brunch – it is nice to spend time with friends on a lazy weekend morning, but to pay for scrambled eggs and pancakes… that’s painful.

When going to brunch with friends, I try to be more selective about where we go. I feel like you should either go to a greasy diner with appropriately-priced eggs and bottomless coffee, or somewhere with food you would never be able to cook yourself.

I had been wanting to try Wm. Mulherin’s Sons for a while now. A hotel restaurant in the up-and-coming Fishtown, Wm. Mulherin’s is most famous for their brunch wood-fired pizza (something I can not make myself).

This pizza was beautiful and 100% worth it. Oozing egg yolks, sausage, caramelized onion, potatoes, and gooey fontina cheese, on an airy, charcoal-speckled crust.

The restaurant itself has a relaxed-but-still-classy, wood-sy vibe that I love. Mismatched, velvet sofas, leather seats, appropriately worn oriental rugs. According to their website, the restaurant was “painstakingly preserved” from how it was when it first opened as a whiskey private club in 1902. It was completely shut down in 1924 by the Prohibition, and remained closed until renovations began in 2014.