As a native New Yorker, I’m always on the hunt for great pizza. Over the summer, my dad and I drove around Manhattan on the weekends looking for a great slice, ranging from the more famous spots to the hole-in-the-walls.
While Ann Arbor has very good pizza, there continues to be a need for more pizza joints. Of those that exist already, each one fits a niche. South U Pizza and the cleverly named NYPD serve as classic late night slices, while Backroom does the same thing on a cheaper (and slightly worse) level.
NeoPapalis makes solid pizza but is too far off campus to have made a drastic impact yet, and Mani Osteria probably comes closest to making great, authentic New York pizza, but its prices are out of students’ range. So what role is Pieology trying to serve in an already very cluttered Ann Arbor pizza market? We decided to find out.
Like NeoPapalis, Pieology implements the assembly line style to make pizzas. You’re offered a choice of white or wheat base, and even a gluten free option. A fancy machine creates the perfect, circular pizza dough, and from there you can choose what meat or veggies you want on your pizza (they even have a Daiya mozzarella option for $2.00 extra).
Once the pizza comes out, you can choose to put different seasonings on the crust for a little extra kick at the end. Reader’s tip: Definitely put seasoning on. The pizza crust is good without it, but the seasoning brings out even more flavor. Once the pizza was ready, we decided to dig in. With help from Andrew, the manager, we were able to try two pizzas split up into two for a total of four half-pizzas.
My personal favorite was the Hickory BBQ Chicken, a deadly combination of BBQ sauce, chicken, mozzarella, gorgonzola and red onion. For a pizza that’s usually much heavier, it was extremely light and each bite was a taste of heavenly chicken and BBQ sauce. For those that like barbeque, this is a must-try.
The other half of this pizza was the “Mad to Meat You”, as Pieology piles on pepperoni, sausage and meatballs on top of mozzarella and tomato sauce. Like the Hickory BBQ, the thin crust pizza makes these slices extremely light and reasonable to eat an entire pie without feeling sick. Score.
On our other pie, one half was the Rustic Veggie, filled with veggies like green and red peppers, red onion, corn and topped with ricotta cheese. While the veggies had plenty of flavor, I wish there was a sauce (pesto sauce was what Andrew mentioned) to allow the vegetable flavor to pop more.
On the other half, Alfredo’s Alfredo was delicious, as mushrooms, artichokes and tomatoes melt in your mouth on top of alfredo, parmesan and mozzarella cheese. While it sounds heavy, this was equally as light as the Rustic Veggie but the mushrooms and artichokes offered more flavor than the peppers and corn.
My recommendation? Go with a friend and have one person get the BBQ Hickory Chicken and the other snag the Alfredo’s Alfredo. These two pizzas offer totally different tastes and textures, but are both absolutely delicious. And remember, toppings on your crust are your best friend.
If you get a chance, talk to Andrew and the extremely friendly staff. Pieology whips out hundreds of delicious pizza every day, and if you find yourself in the State Street area, definitely check it out. If you’re hungry, you won’t be disappointed.