Monday, November 2, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day II: Pizzerias

I have pizza on the brain, just having finished my dinner of leftover Racanelli's pizza: 2 pieces of Meatball and one of BBQ Chicken. I've had some really good pizza recently and would like to give a brief review.
Since we are in Saint Louis, I have to start with Imo's Pizza: the square beyond compare. Growing up in StL, this is definitely an option, but I have to be in the mood for a super-thin crust with a sweet sauce and Provel cheese. There are folks that would argue that Provel is not a real cheese, and I agree it is an acquired taste, but certainly a craving that has to be fulfilled.

Next, we have the national chains, like Pizza Hut and Dominoes (I don't include Papa Johns, as their pizza makes me mysteriously ill to my stomach.) I love the more interesting American Legends pizzas, like Memphis BBQ Chicken Pizza and Buffalo Chicken Pizza, but the last couple of times we have ordered one of these, the crust was undercooked beneath the sauce. So skipping them for now. Pizza Hut's big draw is the boneless Spicy Asian wings from their Wing Street menu. Yummy on their own, but if you set them on the pizza, or dip your crusts in the sauce, really excellent.

On to the best specialty pizza place that actually delivers to our house, Racanelli's. Their New York Style pizza is certainly fold-able, and their sizes are a couple inches larger than comparable sizes at other pizzerias to accommodate this, but their prices are also higher. Right now they have a Recession Buster Menu, with (very tasty) Strombolis and Calzones only $5 and pizzas 25% off on Sunday thru Thursday...if you remember to ask for it. Not a bad deal, and leftovers are excellent.

We discovered Dewey's Kirkwood location over a year ago, but have since introduced friends & family to the UCity pizzeria. Always packed, their pizza is top-notched and they have some unique combination of toppings. Among my favorites:
  • Green Lantern: Red Sauce, Light Mozzarella, Minced Garlic, Mushroom (nix this one!), Goat Cheese, Artichokes, Pesto
  • Meatball: Red Suace, Fresh Basil, Fresh Mozzarella, Italian Meatballs, Oregano, Parm
  • Seasonally November - December - The Don: Red Sauce, Mozzarella, Pepperoni, Salami, Capacola Ham & Oregano
They serve some local and interesting beers, and their salads, even the house, are outstanding. The waiting area features picture windows for viewing pizzas-in-progress, and the place is very kid friendly. They majorly rock, as they sponsored some events raising money for the Walk Now for Autism Speaks, and encouraged employees to participate this year.

I had been hearing about Pi Pizzeria ever since President Obama ordered a Chicago-style deep dish from outside his constituency, in great ole STL. I admire their commitment to sustainability: Pi is committed to environmentally benign success. Doing good while doing well is fundamental to our work, and is manifested in our commitment to create an ecologically sustainable restaurant.
The bathroom had a dual-flush toilet and a Dyson hand dryer. Worth a trip, even if you don't have the urge to go.

They offer vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Their pints of beer (great selection, including local) feature pi to the umteenth degree: 3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433 83279 50288. My math teacher FIL may be getting a set for Christmas...

I greatly enjoyed their deep dish bacon pizza: lots of flavor in the chunky, fresh sauce and a deep flavor profile with a unique crust. Finally, they serve Goshen Coffee, of which I am a big fan, thanks to Foundation Grounds Coffee & Cafe, but that is another post.

In closing, central St. Louis has a few options for great pizza, a bunch for okay pizza, and a few options I wouldn't even mention. If you have some other favorites, let me know and I'll join you for a slice and a pint.

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