Located next to Flat Branch Creek in downtown Columbia, Mo., Flat Branch Pub and Brewing has attracted travelers, residents and university students since its debut during 1994. The building, once a Hudson car dealership, is now a restaurant and brewery that beer and food enthusiasts can enjoy. Flat Branch retains its classic pub foods such as Fish & Chips, burgers and sandwiches, but the shining stars of the menu are the homemade, brick oven pizzas. The brewpub offers 10 pizzas, each one loaded with fresh ingredients. Pair one with a craft beer, and experience a meal Columbians have indulged in for nearly 20 years. Here are five of my favorite Flat Branch pizzas.
Garlic Five Cheese Pizza. As its name implies, this pizza’s crust is topped with roasted cloves of garlic and five cheeses — smoked Gouda, mozzarella, parmesan, Monterrey jack and cheddar — but the name doesn’t tell you olive oil replaces marinara sauce, and the crust is brushed with a semi-sweet, salty mixture of spices and thyme. The massive amounts of gooey, melting cheese is unbelievably satisfying.
Missouri BBQ Chicken. This pizza is a little quirky but very tasty. Its sauce is a house-made barbecue and it has chunks of chicken, fresh cilantro and red onions layered on top. The pizza is then topped with a mixture of cheddar and jack cheeses. This is not your typical pizza, but it is absolutely delicious. The onions compliment the heavy chicken and barbecue, and the cilantro adds a bit of spicy freshness.
Pizza Margherita. This option is incredibly light and fresh. The thin, chewy crust is topped with marinated tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. This pizza is a perfect vegetarian option. It’s crisp, simple and flavorful.
Meat Lover’s Pizza. The Flat Branch Meat Lover’s Pizza is not your ordinary meat lover’s pizza. The crust and zesty marinara sauce are loaded up with pepperoni, honey ham, chopped bacon and Italian sausage made in- house. The hot pepperoni, spicy sausage, salty bacon and sweet ham complement each other perfectly. And the melted mozzarella holds the whole pizza together to make for a meal with just the right amount of grease and meat that is just first-class.
Pesto & Artichoke Pizza. The crust on this pizza is brushed with fresh house-made basil pesto. On top of that sit roasted red peppers, artichokes and feta and mozzarella cheeses. The pesto sauce is light but packed with flavor. The roasted red peppers are sweet and compliment the salty artichokes perfectly. Also, the combination of feta and mozzarella makes for a meal that is fresh, flavorful and just really, really good.