As a senior, I look back at my college experience and marvel at its beauty. It has fun, and it has dissonance. It has boredom, and it has excitement. It has parties, and it has studies, though the studying is not as proportionate as it should have been. There has been a wonderful continuity throughout my life as a student, and I’d like to thank them today. Nothing has brought me through more stress, to more guys nights out, to more late-night irresponsible dietary decisions than this, The Pie Pizzeria.
In every college town, there’s a legendary spot where people go to eat, get drunk, watch or game, or really do anything but go home. Luckily for Weber State, The Pie Pizzeria is in the Ivy League of college eats. Anyone who hasn’t been to The Pie and has attended WSU for more than five minutes is not a true Wildcat, regardless of whatever their bell tower kissing ritual says. I’ve made out with a pizza. That’s good enough for me.
To say that the pizza is good is like saying that Michael Jordan is good at basketball. It’s not just inaccurate; it’s downright offensive. The fact that they’re local makes them all the more easy to love. In case you don’t know, here is a quick primer to refer to for pizza education.
PIZZA 1010: I love pizza, so I’ll be writing about it frequently. There are many genres of pizza, but I find that most fall within three veins of thought . . .
New York style: A wide, thin pie that you can fold if you so desire. Emphasis here is on the sauce, which is rich and flavorful. Toppings are used carefully and sparingly, as they detract from the pie.
Chicago style: This style is all about what you put in the pie. Whether it’s stuffed into the pizza or a deep dish, it’s all about the toppings, which are usually buried under four pounds of cheese.
Neapolitan: Being Italian by ancestry, I appreciate the Neapolitan’s authentic style. While fresh produce graces the pie, the focus of this style is on the crust. The dough has very specific requirements to be considered authentic.
The odd thing about The Pie Pizzeria is that they seem to have a blend of all three. The sauce is the feature item, but the crust is not neglected, offering a wonderful tag team of flavor and texture. Many critics would complain about the generous amounts of cheese, but I would turn them back to the Chicago style of making pizza, as they often layer their toppings under, over and through the cheese. Simply put, this is the trinity of pizzas: the three in one.
But The Pie isn’t content on stopping there. While the traditional pizza is still their forte, they churn out white pies (all-white cheese and sauce pizza), Thai pies and a pleasant surprise of an Oktoberfest pie, all to phenomenal success. How you can take apples, sauerkraut, sausage and mustard and make them work on pizza is beyond me, but they did. And it was tasty.
As strong as their pizza is, the local favorite is crowned upon the cheese pull-aparts. Parmesan, romano and garlic are peppered across the top of a pizza shell, filled with molten mozzarella. Dipped in their garlic ranch, no food stands a chance in competition, especially not in the collegiate league.
When (not if) you go, keep in mind that the best control in your pizza-tasting experiment is a cheese pizza. You’ll have opportunities to go crazy later, but you want something you can compare. My favorite pie is a simple cheese and spinach, or the Wise Guy. My wife’s is the spinach chicken alfredo. We both prefer the cheese pull-aparts.
Regardless what you choose, The Pie will fill your heart with more than cholesterol. If you’re like me, it will offer some of your fondest college memories. I had my bachelor party over an Oktoberfest pizza, washed down with a pint of root beer. I’ve helped patch broken hearts with garlic ranch. I’ve shared a heart-shaped pizza with my wife days before we got married. I guess what I’m trying to say is that The Pie has served as a wonderful venue for pizza-themed memory-making, and I wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on it.
So go and eat, and be happy.