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!

Advertisements

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.

 

Exploring Philly // The Kettle Black

“Mad alchemy meets traditional French baking” in The Kettle Black, the latest bakery to open in Philadelphia. The Kettle Black offers a range of bagels and delicious crusty breads, many of which include activated black charcoal.

Although the charcoal doesn’t give the baked goods a special taste, it creates a striking appearance.

They offer a weekly sandwich and bagel special, which are all delicious. The day my friend and I went, they had a special vegan lox (made with pickled carrot – so good!) and a bean hummus with caramelized onion.

Some believe that activated black charcoal is a natural antidote, because of its filtering properties. However, co-founders and husband and wife, Marc Basile and Claire Ogilvie, don’t claim any of the health benefits are true; their bread just tastes amazing.

Below is one of their most popular loaves, “The Crackler,” named after the distinct loud noise it makes when it comes out of the oven. As a perfectly crusty bread cools, the thick crust contracts, making a crackling noise.

My friend and I arrived just after the bakery opened at 7, right in time to catch Ogilvie taking photos of The Crackler for Instagram. She keeps their Insta quite active, always posting videos of her husband (and head baker) dancing as he laminates croissants or slashes breads before baking.

The Kettle Black
631 N 2nd Street Philadelphia, PA 19123