Pieology – Grand Rapids
It wasn’t that long ago that I had never heard of a fast-fired pizza place. Blaze Pizza opened about two years ago in Oshtemo Township and all of a sudden, I see competitors popping up all over the place. Now, I don’t know who was first or who copied who. That’s not really important to me. I’m just saying there are a lot of places starting to open up that all do the same thing….very similarly.
Last week I was driving down the East Beltline on the Northeast Side of Grand Rapids near Knapps Corner. I noticed a pizza place and quickly turned in to see what it was all about.
Pieology is in a new development right on the corner of the East Beltline and Knapp Street. It sits right in front of the D & W Fresh Market and near the PF Changs that is so popular. The address is on the Beltline, but the access to the restaurant is from Knapp Street. You have to go in to the D & W parking lot to get to the small parking lot between the building and the Beltline for this development.
Pieololgy is the product of Carl Chang. That name may sound sort of familiar as the older brother and eventual coach of tennis superstar Michael Chang. The chain is based in Los Angeles with over sixty locations between LA and The Bay Area. In Michigan, there are three other stores. All on the east side of the state.
As someone who eats at Blaze in Kalamazoo a lot, Pieology was very familiar to me. The big difference between the two places is that at Pieology, you can get either a pizza or a salad with any of their toppings. I’m not a rabbit, but the salad is kind of cool for those who’d prefer to go that way.
When I walked up to the counter I was asked if I wanted white or whole wheat crust. I chose white and a fresh ball of dough was pressed out into the shape of pizza crust right in front of me before being put on a peel. They then asked if I wanted an herb butter on the crust..and I did. Finally, before moving on, it was topped with house red sauce.
Cheese is the next step. I asked for both mozzarella and Gorgonzola. At every step of the process, the person who was making my pizza asked if what they did was OK. When they put cheese on, they asked if it was enough. Same for meat and veggies.
Speaking of veggies, the next stop down the line was the veggies. Again, I’m not a rabbit. I usually go with fresh basil and chopped garlic. They put a lot of both on so I had delicious garlic breath the rest of the night.
The last step before the oven is the meat. I did pepperoni and bacon…again..that’s a pretty typical pizza order from me.
When the pizza is finished, it goes in to oven where it takes just a few minutes to cook. I got there at a bad time and the pizza cooker stopped everything to clean the oven. A clean oven is always a good thing…it just took about an extra five minutes for my pizza to be thrown in to cook.
Once in the oven, it really only took a couple of minutes. The pizza was pulled out and boxed up. I was again asked if it was OK. It looked delicious so she closed the box and handed it to me so I could head back to work.
I said it looked delicious…and what do you now, it was delicious. The pizza was nice and crispy and had a delicious spicy, garlicky flavor. Co-workers smelled the garlic and wondered what the heck I was eating. Once seeing it, they were mad I didn’t get enough to share.
The cost of the pizza was a little over $8 and that’s a pretty fair price for what you get. Being a bigger guy, I can eat a whole 11 1/2″ pizza pretty easily by myself. My wife and daughter are hit or miss. Sometimes they eat it all (yes, even the four year old) and sometimes there’s half to bring home from places like this.
Pieology is just another of the fast casual fast fired pizza places that’s taking the country by storm. What they do is delicious. but in all honesty, I’ve been in a couple of different places like this and if I was blindfolded, I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. I love the concept and will continue to go back every chance I get.