For a long time Pittsburgh has suffered from stale pizza competition. Well, lack of competition, really. There’s the “Mineo’s vs Aiello’s” battle, which has become too convenient for the common Pittsburgher. If there was actually competition between the two we would see pizza innovation! New recipes, new technology. Instead, it’s the equivalent of two old folks sitting on opposite porches groaning at each other.
But lately, there’s been a slight shift in the pizza scene. If the wind is blowing from the Strip District in just the right way, you can smell the innovation of Pizza Boat. To quote myself, “I predict big things coming from [Pizza Boat] in the future.”
For the past few weeks they’ve killed it next to Bar Marco. Cranking out some of the best pizza Pittsburgh has ever seen. Fresh, smart, and just perfect. It introduced a level of pizza that blows the standards out of the water.
But there’s a competitor in town that is willing to answer the call for pizza competitors: Bread + Salt.
I don’t know too much about Bread + Salt. I know they competed in the first pizza dojo. And I know they love trash talking. Exhibit A, B, and C:
— Bread and Salt (@breadandsalt)July 18, 2014
— Bread and Salt (@breadandsalt)July 11, 2014
— Joey Hilty (@Joeyjalepeno)July 12, 2014
The Return to Pizza Dojo will open old wounds, stuff them with fresh basil, and cauterize the wound shut with some hot mozzarella. In the wake of the Pizza Dojo will be sauce, dough, cheese, and a few bruised pizzaiolos. And you need to be there to witness it on Friday, July 25th, at Bar Marco.
But this is the price of progress. This is what it takes to spur the Pittsburgh pizza landscape that’s willing to crown a pizza place other than Mineo’s as “the best pizza.” This is the beginning of a long pizza journey, young grasshopper.
Today I saw a retweet from the folks at Pizza Boat from the Bread and Salt Twitter account.
That graffiti is mysterious to say the least. Is this the first we’re seeing of a Joker-caliber villain who’s running a secret pizza cartel here in Pittsburgh?
The image looks like a royal pizza cutter. A scepter that is used to both rule over royal subjects and cut a royal pizza. Perhaps a throw back to Queen Margherita, the namesake of the classic margherita pizza.
Just when I thought I was beginning to grasp the concept, I received these replies:
There’s some Zodiac Pizza Mystery stuff happening here. But we’ll get to the bottom of this, and the pizza dojo, one way or another.
twerkspotting said: Have you been to Mandy's in Squirrel Hill? Thoughts on vegan za in the city?
I’ve not been to Mandy’s in Squirrel Hill—did that place just open? They have a place in West View I’ve driven by a number of times prior to my pizza journalism days.
I’ve reached out to them for an interviews, always interested in hearing about specialty pizza. As far as vegan za, I’ve never had any in Pittsburgh. Though, I hear that Spak Brothers can deliver a vegan pizza that is indistinguishable from the real stuff.
Anonymous said: Hi. I've checked out your site a few different times. I enjoy it a lot. I'm originally from Pittsburgh and have a couple suggestions for places that are definitely worth trying. Both are in Ambridge; a small town in Beaver County, past Sewickley, on the Ohio River. Frank's Pizza and what is known as "Police Station Pizza". Very different, unique and both great. Frank's is my all-time favorite pizza. Let me know if you want more info. You need to try both.
Thanks for visiting and re-visiting!
Oh I’m familiar with the Ambridge area, though I’ve not had any of those pizzas. My pizza pal, Adam (who introduced me to the superb Anthony Jr’s in Coraopolis) has told me I need to check out both those places.
It’s on my list and something I need to plan this Summer. If you have any specific toppings or style of pizza I need to try from these spots, let me know.