Since we are on the verge of Haute Wheels Food Truck Festival I feel this is needed going into the event.
I was in Chicago once, riding in the back passenger seat down MLK Blvd., when I saw a curious bumper sticker. I stated quite bluntly that “Sex is like pizza, when it is good it is really good, and when it is bad, it is still pretty good.” I will have to agree with this sentiment. If only sex were as consistently good as Pi Pizza. Believe me – it was really, really good.
The whole food truck thing is something that I hope is not a fad and will prosper in the years to come. The girlfriend has always been a fan of fast food (note the Taco Bell wrappers strewn across the passenger seat of her car on a consistent basis) but knows good food as well. When we were looking for something to do on one of my infrequent days off she said “hey there is a church festival with food truck we should try that.” I tried a few trucks while I was, there but the one that made me want to keep coming back for more was Pi Pizza.
So you think Pizza. Ok, I will go to the window and order a slice, get it, and move on. Not so at this pizzeria. You walk up, order, and wait. This sounds like a bad thing, but, oh, it is not. Each piece of their delectable pizza comes out fresh and baked to perfection, though I am not sure how. The crust has a crunch and chew that is on par with any New York pizzeria, with flavor to match.
My first piece in the church parking lot was something that the girlfriend was frightened of. It was venison sausage with marinated cherries. This truck is known for its odd combinations of flavors but this was over the top. The sausage had a wonderful smokiness that played well with the sweetness from the cherries, and the GF liked it since her bites did not contain any cherries. She is weird like that.
Now I don’t make it a point to follow this particular truck around, stalker style, but they seem to end up at some of my favorite places. I was at Karbach brewery one day and, low and behold, there was Pi Pizza again, so I figured what the hell? (Jack Burton pun intended. You know who you are) This offering was an Italian Sausage, caramelized onions with thyme, feta, and mozzarella. I was afraid the thyme would be overwhelming, but it was used sparingly, not overpowering the other ingredients.
The best part of this visit however was not the pizza, it was the bread-sticks. These warm, crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside sticks of goodness need a category of food unto themselves. On their own, the texture and flavor of the bread itself would have been wonderful, but the guys at Pi Pizza once again elevated great to awesome. These sticks are coated in Foie Gras fat and smoked sea salt. The unctuous flavor of the fat is there without making them heavy, and the salt adds a distinct crunch and earthiness that plays well with the coating. I am not a fan of the compote that it is served with. It may be for some but not me, these bread-sticks can stand on their own.
I visited Pi Pizza one more time since then, and I was happy with what I ordered. The menu was a little dumbed-down, since the normal (?) menu was not for the suburban folks at Nature Fest. I will say that the buffalo chicken pizza had real pulled chicken and a wing sauce that while palatable, seemed to be uninspired and one dimensional.However, my overall impression of Pi Pizza is positive, and makes me want to seek them out to try their latest incarnations of a family favorite. Even my little one was hooked, since there is plain cheese for those less adventurous eaters.