By Amy Young, January 2019 Issue.
Sibling love is a beautiful thing. We can’t argue that it’s made even better when it manifests in a business that slings tasty pizzas, right?
That’s how Freak Brothers Pizza was born — as a team endeavor by brothers Nathan and Jamil Coury. What began as a mobile wood-fired pizza oven business has now grown to see its first brick and mortar location. Their place is a recent addition to the downtown pizza scene. It’s located in the Churchill, a multi-use hotspot that has approximately 10 different businesses bordering an in-the-middle seating area. Guests can grab what they want to eat or drink from the vendor(s) of their choice and then congregate in the center with their goods. It’s not all food and drink — there are some boutiques, wellness spots, and a wine-laden bottle shop.
Freak Brothers Pizza, though, is the place at a Churchill visit where you’ll stop for a savory pie. Or, you know, three. Our visit found us trying more than that latter number, but, hey, we were a group, after all. You do what you have to do.
We wandered around and peered in the shops, soaking up the Churchill’s vibe, which is simultaneously lively and mellow. The bustle didn’t feel overwhelming even though there were plenty of people onsite. When we settled on some styles of pizza to try, we headed back to the Freak’s spot.
The pizza-centric restaurant doesn’t offer a lot in the way of appetizers or sides. One option is a tabouli salad. We went for the other, hummus and pita. It’s a nice and generous amount of their Lebanese family recipe of hummus that you get. It was plenty for a group of four to share, especially when we knew a table full of pies was en route.
As a nice change of pace, their hummus is thick. Don’t worry, that density doesn’t cause it to lose the creaminess associated with this dish — we were pleased. The one thing we did collectively wish was that it was served a little closer to room temperature. It was chilled, and just a bit too cold. The warm and delicious bread helped bring its cold factor down a few notches. At a slightly warmer state, the flavor rose to the surface.
What wasn’t cold, however, was the first pie that plopped down on our table, fresh from the oven.. It was a Margherita. Their take on this traditional style is an awesome tribute. Mozzarella, fresh basil, and perfectly-ripe tomatoes was an easy favorite.
While the brothers’ mobile pizza business features a wood-fired oven, things are a little different indoors. At the shop, they’ve got a 100% electric, high-heat, brick-floor oven. It didn’t disappoint. Their pies are 11” each, they come out quickly, and that crust does not suffer from the different oven — it maintains that perfect right crusty-meets-chewy ratio that sets the foundation for a memorable pizza.
After that, pizzas kept arriving and we kept noshing. The Spinach Artichoke is one to return for — especially if you’re prone to non-meat options. The freshness of their vegetables and herbs is noteworthy; with every pizza we tried, both of those elements produced peak flavors.
A little phone chat with co-founder Nathan Coury confirmed a penchant for utilizing the best ingredients available. Natural meats and organic vegetables are at the top of the shopping list. The menu also lets you get your pizza vegan or gluten-free.
He also gave a little insight into how getting into this business was a “divine accident.” He said that his brother wanted to start serving pizzas at running group events that he participated in, so they made it a reality and it grew from there. The lack of prior pizza knowledge didn’t get him down at all. “I’m a self-learner,” he said. “I did a lot of research; we both did.”
And as far as that name goes? “The name chose us,” Coury said. “Freak means different and unique. We like that. We like the idea of living life on one’s own terms.”
Back to those pies, we found their pepperoni pizza to be outstanding. The Freak Brothers make a really flavorful red sauce that brought out the savory tang of the pepperoni. With the bubbly cheese, this one is an oozy, meaty delight.
Pesto is a sauce option here and it is a good one. We had Pesto Madness, which is a pesto sauce topped with cheese and zippy banana peppers. Pesto is so loaded with flavor on its own and banana peppers also pack their own punch, so the two together compete a bit for your attention. Once your mind wraps around the zing coming from multiple directions, it’s a savory tang-fest.
Sadly, we were just too full to try the awesome-sounding Chicken Siracha option. Grilled chicken, jalapenos, and siracha sauce? No-brainer! That one alone is enticing enough to warrant a return visit.
“We love serving people” is something else Coury mentioned. That sentiment seems to thread through the staff. Everyone we dealt with was upbeat and helpful. “I love the people I get to work with,” he said. “We are a people-first company and while we love making pizza and serving the healthiest ingredients possible, what we really want to do is make everyone’s day a little better.”
This personable pizza joint also has some desserts on the menu, but they don’t make those. Those sweets come from local bakery Sugarloaf Lane, in the form of sea salt brownies and chocolate chip cookies.
You can check out their menu and details at freakbrotherspizza.com.