This week’s Date Night, we went to the new pizza place beside Whole Foods in Greensboro, called “Pieology”.
The place has been open for a few months, and we got there right at 6pm, so there wasn’t a huge crowd. Here’s what it looks like inside:
So when you go in, the process is a cross between Subway and Chipotle. There are menus on the walls, of course, and they have a few “standard” pizzas that you can ask for, but I think most people do the “build your own” option. For $8.95, you get an 11.5″ pizza on white or whole wheat thin crust (gluten free – $2 more), with WHATEVER YOUR HEART DESIRES on top. For $9.95, you get to build the salad of your dreams. And man, do they have toppings! Parm, mozz, ricotta, gorgonzola and some weird vegan pseudo-cheese <gack> are the cheeses I remember; there may have been more.
The menu on the wall.
Your first decision.
As you can see, it is somewhat like Subway, where you point and tell ’em what you want. The balls of dough come out on trays, and each one is placed on one of those wooden paddles, called a “peel”. The Peel is then placed in a giant automated squisher-thing ™ and the dough is mashed flat, then the peel and dough are stacked in a rack until needed. At that point, they bring it over to the make line, and you have to decide between three different “oil bases” – butter, herb butter, and one more I forgot. They brush that around the edge of the crust, then they apply whichever sauce you pick, in a circular pattern just like in the picture on the menu. Which is weird, because it means you don’t get sauce across the whole pie.
When I first got out of high school, I worked for Domino’s Pizza for several years, and I did everything in the store, including making pizza. Domino’s has a standard for how you lay ingredients on a crust, and it goes like this: sauce, cheese, flat veggies, then flat meats, then chunky meats and veg, then top cheese, if any. The bottom layer of cheese is supposed to cover the entire circle of red sauce, with no “red edges”, and toppings are spread evenly across the pie. The reasons for this are, visual appeal, and, more practically, so the pie gets cooked evenly. (Back then, we used raw hamburger and raw breakfast sausage, so it was important to get it all cooked well. Now it’s all precooked, but I digress.) I don’t know about you, but I’m a fan of the whole crust having toppings, not just the middle.
I tell you all this as a cautionary tale, because I had to repeatedly tell the food handlers to spread the cheese and toppings out across the pie. They were both literally piling all the toppings right in the middle – no toppings out near the edge of the crust – like they were trying to build a pyramid. When I asked them to spread things evenly, they looked at me like I had three heads, but they did it.
This is the, “OMG, You’ve got three heads!” look on my pizza maker. And lookit; he’s wearing gloves! We never wore gloves at Domino’s…but it was the ’80s.
When your pizza is done, it’s passed to the “oven guy” and slid into the oven, which looks like a new model of the Baker’s Pride ovens we used at Domino’s, before the conveyor belt ovens came out. If theirs is like ours was, it’s 600 degrees in there, baby! Then, you pay for your dinner and get a number to put on the table, get your drink, and have a seat to wait. We didn’t wait long, either. Here’s the result:
BOOM!!! Pepperoni, mushrooms, bacon, kalamata olives, Italian sausage, artichoke hearts and fresh basil. Mmmmmm…. The pie is cut in eight slices, and they did a good job of keeping the sizes fairly even. The crust could have been more crispy, but overall, I was pleased with mine, and Ginny liked hers, too. Of course, I had enough pizza left over for two more meals, but they have takeout boxes right beside the drink machine, so it’s all good. 🙂
I had two issues with this place. First, they do not have brewed tea. They have that disgusting “Golden Peaks” crap that tastes like it came out of a can six weeks ago and got treated with chemicals. That stuff is just unAmerican. Seriously. Second, they serve Coke products, and there’s no soda water option on the machine.
So that’s it! It’s a really great idea, the custom pizza thing, and the price is phenomenal for what you get. I think we’ll definitely go back.