Vegan pizza in Philly
I miss pizza. There, I said it. I miss pizza.
I don’t miss pizza more now that I did when i was a vegetarian, or for that matter, because I am of the mind that there is no good pizza in Maryland. In fact, if you ask anyone who grew up in the New York metro area, then yeah, there is no good pizza in Maryland. Or if there is, it’s hidden somewhere.
Enter Blackbird Pizzeria in Philadelphia.
Now, believe me, I don’t like saying anything positive about Philly. I hate the Flyers, I hate the Phillies, and I hate Eagles fans (they booed Santa, for Pete’s sake!), but they have a decent brewery in Victory, and well, they have what may be the best vegan pizzeria on the planet.
We started with French fries, mostly because I was in the mood for fries. I hadn’t had good French fries in quite some time, and figured that if I were going to eat, I may as well go the whole nine yards.
For the pizza, we decided to go with the “Popeye,” a pizza of spinach (naturally), olive oil, pumpkin seed pesto, green olives, roasted garlic, and crispy shiitake mushrooms, all on a whole wheat crust.
To say that it was a traditional pizza, clearly, would be unfair and untrue. It was, however, the best not-pizza I’ve ever had. (Not-pizza – and non-traditional pizza, such as Buffalo wing or Caesar salad) I’ve had a few pieces of not-pizza in my day, and I can say with some certainty that this Popeye pizza from Blackbird was awesome. The copious amounts of garlic were delicious, and thank goodness both the Blonde and I had them, because I imagine the full head of garlic that we ate made us the most popular vegans on the block!
Likewise, the mushrooms were crispy, with a texture that reminded me of fried calamari (which means that now I have to try that idea) and the pumpkin seed pesto was bright, fresh, and really herbaceous and delicious.
My only complaint, and I did have one, was that the cornmeal that the crust sat on was too present. I occasionally felt myself biting down on the crust, which was cooked perfectly, and finding it hard, until I popped through the piece of cornmeal.
I know, I know, I’m whining about one tiny little thing, but when there is just about nothing left to keep somethign from near perfection, what else can I do?
As it is, we may be headed back up to Philly with friends next month for a weekend, and we’ll definitely be stopping at blackbird again for vegan pizza. What about you, though? What foods do you miss, and how do you get aroudn it or make up for that?