Tacoma’s Museum of Glass: Breakfast Pizza

When we lived in LA, the only time we went to the La Brea Tar Pits or Disneyland was at the request of out of town visitors. Same thing in San Diego—never went to the San Diego Zoo or Sea World. New Yorkers seldom meet their love at the top of the Empire State Building and there are San Franciscans who have never ridden a cable car.

True sophisticate that I am, I’ve been to the World of Accordions in Superior, Wisconsin, the Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota, the Viking Ship Hjemkomst Center near Fargo, North Dakota, and the “World’s Only Corn Palace” in Mitchell, South Dakota. Taking my search for local culture up a notch in Sacramento, my first bus trip was downtown to the Crocker Art Museum. 

Original Crocker Art Museum founded in 1885

The new wing of the Crocker

Loitering at the back of a guided tour, I met Sabina, a local docent, who was looking for an audience. During a coffee break after my insider’s tour, she said, “I love the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, I’m sure you’ve been there many times”.

Sabina and the Crocker docents

Whoops. As soon as Sweetie and I got home in December, my sister Ginny and I remedied that and had a day out in Tacoma: a visit to the Museum of Glass and lunch at the Art House Cafe. It was a breeze: ten minutes from my house, no traffic, parking in front, Senior discount—Seattle may be cooler, but Tacoma is easier.

Chihuly installation in front of the Museum of Glass

Howard Ben Trè, cast glass and bronze

How about this one, Patty?

Look! See?—the colors and letters of Jen Elek and Jeremy Bert


Artisan glass blowers produce items sold by the Museum.

Hot Shop

By the end of Glass Blowing 101, Ginny and I were starving and exited through the Gift Shop, straight to the Art House Cafe. I can’t get past their Breakfast Pizza and order it no matter what the meal time. We boxed up enough food for dinner, and vowed to visit the Tacoma Art Museum next.


For the caramelized onions:
2 tbsp. oil
4 medium or 3 large onions, halved and sliced as thinly as possible
1 1/2 tsp.kosher salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme

In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the onions, salt, and cook, tossing and stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until softened and golden.

Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for another 15 minutes, or until the onions are completely soft and caramelized.

Remove from the heat, taste for seasoning, and add thyme.

Ginny’s pizza dough:

“Put 1 1/2 C warm water, 1 Tbs. yeast, 1 Tbs. sugar in the Cuisinart. Whir and let sit 15 min. Add 1 T salt and enough flour to make the dough wind into a ball in the bowl. I take out the blade and put a cork in the hole and let the dough rise in the Cuisinart for anywhere from 2 hrs to 6. That’s pretty much it. If I want to make more dough, I add more water but everything else stays the same”. 

Another pizza dough recipe:

4½ cups all purpose flour
2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Dissolve yeast in the water; stir in sugar, olive oil and vinegar.

Pulse flour and salt in food processor.

Add the water and yeast mixture gradually to the flour mixture and process until the dough begins to form a ball and come away from the sides of the container.

Turn out onto floured surface. Sprinkle with flour and knead for several minutes until the dough is smooth and not sticky. Place in oiled bowl, cover with towel and let sit for two hours until double in size.

After two hours, turn out onto lightly floured surface, knead a couple times and cut in ½ or in three equal pieces. Form into balls and refrigerate for an hour.

For Topping:
Crème fraîche
Caramelized onions
1/2 cup sliced fresh mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
4-5 Roma tomatoes
2-4 eggs
4 strips bacon
1 tablespoon parsley, roughly chopped
a few leaves basil, ripped in large pieces
a little cornmeal to dust on pizza

To make the pizza, preheat oven (with pizza stone if you have one) to 500 degrees F. Place rack in center of oven.

Partially cook the bacon in a pan (don’t let it get crisp), remove and set aside on paper towels.

Stretch out your dough to desired shape and size. Dust pizza peel (or parchment paper) with a little cornmeal and lay your dough on top, reshaping and leaving a little more thickness on the edges.

Cut the bacon slices in half and press against the dough. Using the back of a spoon, spread crème fraîche evenly over the dough and the bacon. Rub a bit of olive oil on edges of dough. Cook for 10 minutes, rotating pizza halfway through, and remove from oven.

Crack the eggs onto the pizza, add mozzarella—fresh and shredded, sliced tomatoes, basil, and parsley. Cook for 10-15 minutes more, until egg is done and the dough is brown on the edges.

Feel free to substitute Canadian bacon, pancetta, or ham for bacon, ricotta or provolone for mozzarella, or add mushrooms: there are no rules in pizza. Just no pineapple, please.

Mexican would work: crumbled cotija cheese, chorizo, jalapeños or chopped green chilies, Mexican crema, Rotel, tomato or tomatillo salsa.

Or how about Mediterranean: feta, olives, spinach, roasted peppers, tomatoes, Greek yogurt, and oregano instead of thyme.

German? Sauerkraut, sliced bratwurst, Swiss cheese, caraway seed

Oh all right, Hawaiian: Spam, cheddar, macaroni salad and…pineapple slices.




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2 Responses to Tacoma’s Museum of Glass: Breakfast Pizza

  1. Jenni says:

    I love this post, the Museum of Glass, and the Art House Café!

  2. Patricia Curtis says:

    JB, Marla, loved this post…and especially the Baba glass, how wonderful that you have a place so close to your home. love to you both…hugs, P

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