It’s been nearly two years since we first visted The Pie, the plainly named pizza seller in College Park, and nearly one year since word came that the original owner was closing and a new owner was taking over. I’m not sure when the new management moved in — recently a young fellow working there said it had only been a few months — but it still has the feel of a place that hasn’t quite found its niche.
And I don’t know why that should be because the food is actually quite good, though the pies of The Pie might not be the pizzas most people imagine when the topic comes up.
First of all, they’re square. Also they’re thicker and with a breadier crust, more Roman than Neapolitan. And instead of a whole pie, you buy by the slice (al taglia), or a smaller square out of the larger square. None of it is wrong, it’s just different. And like I said, it’s really good.
And it’s very Italian, and I say that not just because the evening I visited recently all three of the people there were speaking Italian to each other.
You might be taken aback by the menu item called the Bologna Pizza. You’re thinking slices of bologna — or baloney as we tend to pronounce it — spread on top of a pizza. And you’re forgiven if that sounds horrible to you.
But Bologna is the name that The Pie people have given to what most other pizzerias would call a Meatlover’s pizza. It had sausage and pepperoni and ham and not one slice of something that looked like it came from Oscar Mayer.
I had another slice with ham, mushrooms and black olives with more mozzarella than the Bologna pizza. I liked them both.
I also got an order of the Meatballs, which were excellent. The balls o’ meat were dense and served in a thick and pulpy red sauce and topped with ricotta cheese and a sprig of basil. A nice presentation and a delicious appetizer.
That young fellow I mentioned above was quite charming and accommodating. He mentioned that the owner was negotiating with the restaurant’s investors to allow him to make some changes that might bring in more business. One proposed change would be the way they currently make their pizzas, presumably to make them more traditional.
I understand the desire to bring in more business, but I think it would be a shame to change the way the pizzas are currently done. They’re good and the only change necessary is on the part of the consumer. Think outside the common pizza box.
The Pie is at 2429 Edgewater, Drive, Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. The phone number is 407-757-2426.