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South Philly’s Birra: More Than Pizza and Beer, But Who Needs More Than Pizza and Beer?

BIRRA pizza South Philly’s Birra: More Than Pizza and Beer, But Who Needs More Than Pizza and Beer?By Matt Goldstein & Amy K. Haight

Nicely situated on an East Passyunk Avenue corner, Birra first catches your eye because of its outdoor seating and hip signage.  But the real treasure of this South Philly pizza and craft beer joint is inside, where we found Birra’s light and airy space to be nearly as inviting as their scantily clad wait staff.  Did they know that nothing makes us hungry like a hot girl with a see-through shirt?  Grrrr!

Lucky for us, there was plenty on the menu to fill our bellies.

We started with a cheese plate, which came with a generous assortment of cheeses and well-paired sweet and savory accoutrements, along with tasty flatbreads and ultra-fresh baguettes sourced from local bakery Boulanger Pattisier.

Birra Peroni Draft 300x217 South Philly’s Birra: More Than Pizza and Beer, But Who Needs More Than Pizza and Beer?We couldn’t resist ordering the Noni’s Brisket Panini, and we were not disappointed.  The aforementioned fresh baguette was the perfect vehicle for the tender brisket with peppers and caramelized onions.  It was served with a side of jus, but we happily didn’t need it.

Wait, did I say we started with a cheese plate?  I meant to say that we started with beer.  We love beer!  We almost always start with beer.  This time it was a Peroni draught and a Menabrea Ambrata, an Italian lager we’ve never found in an Italian restaurant or a craft beer bar.

And then there’s the pizza.  Just as we almost always start with beer, we almost always have a hard time choosing between pizza offerings, and this was no exception.  After a serious discussion and an empassioned vote, we decided on both the margherita and the truffle pizzas; a logical order with one selection from each of the red and white categories.

The crust was thin and light, with a crispy edge.  The margherita was fresh and sweet, light on cheese with a nice layer of tomatoes.  The truffle pizza was rich, creamy, and delightful.  We would suggest re-naming this pizza Twelve Inches of Love, but that might bring the wrong kind of traffic to this family-friendly restaurant.  The lightly fried egg in the center of the truffle pizza was our favorite moment of the meal.

We’d like to point out that both the brisket Panini and the truffle pizza were even better when we reheated them the next day.  Suffice it to say we didn’t have room for dessert, but next time we’re going to order it anyway.

We’re going back as soon as the cops in South Philly forget our drunken faces.

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