When I step back and look at some of the people that I know I am truly amazed. The relationships that have developed over social media and those that have lingered, just under my sense of awareness, for years. Brian Dwyer is of the latter, a guy I have known since highschool but who has changed and forged a unique and interesting path.
When I first head about Pizza Brain I thought it was one of the most amazing ideas but I lamented the fact that as a vegan I would never be able to eat there. To my surprise and delight Brian informed me that they would have vegan options…!…so when I was in Philadelphia for the American Society of Aesthetics Eastern Division Meeting this past weekend I made plans to head over and grab a bite. A luck had it my sister free and kind enough to take me out (love you sis!) so uptown we headed in some rather miserable rainy weather.
But who cares about the weather outside when you have someplace like Pizza Brain to step into! For those who don’t know “Pizza Brain is an American pizza culture museum and pizzeria, and home to the world’s largest collection of pizza memorabilia and collectibles”. That’s right folks: you get to eat some delicious pizza and immerse yourself in an entire world of pizza culture.
Now, let me be clear on two points: (1) Pizza Brain’s focus is on unique and interesting ingredient offerings that are as quality locally sourced and unprocessed as possible. which is Awesome. (2) While this focus does afford some vegan possibilities, it is not their primary emphasis. Pizza Brain is not a vegan-pizzaria, but with that said it is a place that affords those pizzaphiles like myself the opportunity to actually get a quality vegan slice (or entire pie) which is hard to come by.
They were out of Daiya when we showed up (bummer) but that didn’t stop Brian from throwing together an outrageous combination of ingredients atop the “Tom” which is pizza with their fresh tomato sauce, roasted garlic and no cheese. Brian added mushrooms, red onions and sliced brussell sprouts, and paired it with their uncooked tomato dipping sauce (for a bit of sweetness) and homemade pepper flake (which were damn hot).
Wow. I polished off half the pie there and then, saving the rest for my train ride home. It was great. Having the chance to not have to make the pizza myself and to get it done really well was a treat. I definitely plan on going again the next time I get back to Philly (hopefully with Katie this time).