Totally Pretentious Food Truck Review: Pi Pizza

Pizza. Is there any other more controversial food product? On the face of it, this should not be the case. It’s nice and round, no sharp edges. It’s made to be shared with friends and loved ones.

However, pizza is also a distinctly individual thing. Thick or thin crust? What toppings? Can you just put onions on one half? Crumbled or patty sausage? These are the things that cause fights to break out.

Since pizza is such an individual thing, Pi Pizza isn’t going to appeal to everyone. They did, however, appeal to my friend and reader T2, who suggested I do a TPFT review for the blog. She’s a notoriously picky eater, so I knew it must be pretty good.

Pi Truck

Like many in DC, Pi Pizza is a transplant. They have a restaurant and truck in St. Louis, and began rolling here in DC at the end of February. And they’re opening a restaurant in Penn Quarter this week called District of Pi.

Pi Truck specializes in deep dish pizza pies, your choice of 4 types for $12 a pop. Pi serves up Chicago style pizza, deep dish crust, lots of toppings, and covered in tomato sauce. What Pi does differently is the crust. They make it with cornmeal, which gives it a distinct nutty flavor.

Pi Full

I let my nose lead me to Pi Truck on a recent Tuesday, the smell of garlic and marinara drifting through Farragut Square. I perused the menu, which is not expansive. There was a vegetarian option, the Western Addition, which contained spinach, feta, mozzarella, mushrooms, onions.  There was also a plain cheese. Unfortunately, Pi’s meat option with pepperoni, sausage, salami and meatballs was just down to pepperoni. So, I went with the Southside, which contained sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, and onions.

Pi also had better than average drink selection, with sparkling water options. I ordered a Pellegrino Orange for $1, gave the young man my money and waited 8 minutes for my pizza. As advertised, my pizza came out right on time.

The pizza was individually-sized but large enough for two lunches. The crust was nice and crunchy and topped with a layer of cheese, a layer of toppings and then topped with marinara. For me, there was not enough cheese. The Chicago style pizzas I’ve had all featured a big layer of ooey gooey cheese. The marinara was very good, pure tomato sharpness, great paste-like texture and definitely fresh. However, it overwhelmed the other toppings. I could barely taste the sausage and onions, and couldn’t at all taste the peppers and mushrooms.

Pi Slice

The crust and the sauce really made the pizza. The cornmeal crust was sturdy enough to let you stuff your face without spilling toppings everywhere, which was much appreciated when you’re trying to eat in professional clothes.

I appreciated the pepper and Parmesan cheese packets they give  you but it would have been nice if they also gave out napkins. I also really appreciated the fact that they posted their schedule up on Mondays, so you can plan ahead. And, they take credit cards, which is always nice.

I’d give Pi Pizza Truck three out of four wheels. Overall, it was a pleasant experience, at a very good price, and a good, not great, pizza. I would try it again, hopefully on a day when they had a meat lovers option, so I can see if the meat stands up to the sauce. I don’t want to recommend they tone down the sauce, but maybe amp up the cheese and fillings. Also, maybe some other options, like a couple of salads or something might appeal to folks.

Pi Half