Spending Sunday with loved ones is the best way to do it, as far as I'm concerned, which is why I spent my Sunday at Pi in Kirkwood with chicken wings and pizza. Oh, and my mom and sister. But more importantly, pizza. If I was put in a scenario where I could either eat all the pizza I desire but it would result in the end of the world or I could never eat another slice of pizza again but the world would continue on as is, I would definitely choose the selfish option and go out in a cheesy blaze of glory. Because I'm always watching my figure and I know that eating a salad with pizza counteracts the pizza's calories, we started with the Kale-ifornication ($5.95/8.95). Chopped Tuscan kale is mixed with quinoa, toasted chickpeas, pickled red onions, toasted almonds, and cherry tomatoes, then normally tossed with a buttermilk dressing. We opted to get the house vinaigrette instead. The kale wasn't bitter and all the toasted elements gave it a nice crunch. I really enjoyed it. The salad was topped off with two puffy baked pieces of pizza dough.
The Blazed Wings ($9.95) came out next. I know they're going to be incredibly hot when they hit the table, yet every single time I get them I lose all control and end up with burned fingers. My food is too freshly made! #firstworldproblem. They're baked, not fried, so you can feel less guilty about them, too! We got them with Sriracha and Ranch on the side, but I barely even dip them because they're so well seasoned and juicy. They have a little bit of a kick to them, but I wouldn't describe them as spicy. You'll probably order them with the intention of sharing, but that's unlikely. You're going to hoard them like you're Gollum.
Our pizza du jour was the current deep dish special, the Botanical Heights ($16.95, I think). This is the third time I've had this pizza, and I fear it may be the last since it's been the seasonal special for about 3 months.
I'll work from the bottom up. If you haven't had Pi's deep dish cornmeal crust before, you're missing out. I've never had a similar crust anywhere else in the world. It's wonderfully crunchy on the edges and relatively soft on the bottom, but stable enough that you can hold up a piece and it with your hands like an animal instead of with a knife and fork. It's also significantly less oily than a normal deep dish crust. On top of that is a layer of mozzarella, which is then topped with Black Kale. The kale adds a spinach-like flavor and texture to the middle, which I dig. That's then topped with their chunky and flavorsome deep dish sauce.
The top of the pie has honey roasted parsnips and carrots, plus crispy kale. It's one of the most appetizing vegetarian pizzas I've had. If you just can't handle ordering a vegetarian pizza, you should go crazy and add on an assortment of Pi's ample meat options. I keep hoping they'll decide to make it a permanent addition to the menu...if not, I'll just longingly day dream about it.
My thin crust preference is still to go to Pastaria, Katie's or The Good Pie, but for deep dish, Pi is the king of St. Louis. That, plus their extensive beer choices, salads and appetizers, keep me coming back again and again. Service is always personable and quick, the atmosphere is dark but welcoming and there's a nice patio for that small amount of time in St. Louis where it's enjoyable to be outside. Oh, and the Kirkwood location has milkshakes, too. Milk's good for you, right?
St. Louis, MO 63122