Listen, I think we’re ready for a regular pizza column here in Pittsburgh. What’s crazy is that such a weekly column could even be possible. As Pittsburgh continues to appear on random top 10 lists that circulate around my Facebook feed, Pizza is still one of the most important advancements in this city. And quietly, there have been major shifts in the Pittsburgh pizza landscape. Which is amazing. Now when you have visitors coming into Pittsburgh and they say “Hey, pal, let’s get some good pizza” you’ll have options outside of Mineo’s.
In classic Pittsburgh fashion, we have pizza makers that started their journey in Brooklyn, NY that have returned to Pittsburgh to make a difference. A real difference.
We have pizza makers that have traveled to Italy and know actual real-life pizzaiolos. We have restaurant owners and creators that are friendly enough to rub elbows and throw down in pizza competitions that rival the WWE in their histrionic storylines.
Of course, it can’t be all good news. You can’t have progress without a few casualties in the pizza arena. And yes, unfortunately Pizza Cono had to shut down and move on. I tried to support them and spread their cone-shaped gospel, but sometimes the public just isn’t interested in stark change. It’s unsettling on one level and unorthodox on another. Being surrounded by Pittsburgh pizza institutions probably didn’t help.
Which leads us to your Pittsburgh Pizza Update.
Welcome to the Pittsburgh Pizza Update
Once a week I’ll write some updates about the pizza happenings in Pittsburgh. I’ve talked with folks who think this isn’t possible. They think there isn’t enough pizza news happening. And ya know, I sincerely doubt that. Because pizza melted its way into this country’s core fabric.
And, if Pittsburgh runs out of events I can always hit up scottspizzatours, because if he’s not counting his pizza boxes he’s judging some underground pizza competition in Brazil which is equally fascinating.
Let’s talk pizza.
Pizza al Taglio is Cutting its Way into Pittsburgh
Pizza al Taglio originated in Rome and is typically sold by the gram. It’s square and cooked in a tray. It’s not the Sicilian pizza you get from any other pizza shop. No, it’s much better. Pizza al Taglio is often made from a cold-fermented dough, meaning the pizza you eat is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Something like this.
That’s a fine looking pizza mattress.
Pizza al Taglio is considered takeaway pizza, or something you grab on your way to your next appointment. “Taglio” actually means “to cut” in Italian, so it is literally just a cut of pizza. If you’re reading this and in a hurry, rest assured that you have time to swoop into one of the two pizza shops in Pittsburgh that serve Pizza al Taglio and still make whatever appointment you have next on your agenda.
If you’re in East Liberty you can visit Pizza Taglio. Tony runs the shop down there and if you’ve ever had the pizza at Espresso a Mano, you’ve had Tony’s pizza. His shop opened a short while ago and he’s actually running out of pizza. That’s the best sentence I’ve ever typed.
Here’s Tony showing off his pizza at Espresso a Mano. Also, Matt (who runs Espresso a Mano) told me that Tony is still hoping to supply Espresso a Mano with pizza on Saturdays.
If you’re in Bloomfield you can pop into Bread & Salt. They’re deep into Pearl Street and worth seeking out. I haven’t had their pizza yet, but I’ve popped in and had some of their baked goods. If their pizza is half as good as the rosemary, basil cookie I had then we’re in great hands.
I have an interview with Tony I’m currently editing together, so look forward to that in the next few days.
Back from the Dead - Pizza Boat Sails Again
What a twist, right? Pizza Boat, some of the best pizza in Pittsburgh, has found a permanent home on Slice Island. If you have your pizza map in front of you you’ll know that Slice Island is inside the Spirit Lodge, a new event hall / bar / space in Lawrenceville, close to 51st street.
While I always admired the nomadic spirit of Pizza Boat, I’m glad they’ve found a permanent home. But is it permanent? Who knows with these folks. They start a beef with a new adversary every week, so it’s only a matter of time before they’re back in pizza purgatory. God bless em!
Alright! That’s the first Pittsburgh Pizza Update. I’m working on some interviews, videos, and more which I’ll sprinkle into the website in the coming days. If you like what you read tell your friend! Tell your favorite message board! Tell a pizza shop! Or sign up for my pizza newsletter!