(Courtesy of Sylvia Badon)
Let me tell ya, it's no easy feat hitting up 8 pizzerias in a day, but I never said this job was piece of cake (it's more like a piece of pizza). Against all odds, I managed to talk my stomach into just one more pizza.
Make that two. If you know your pizza styles and the picture above is any indication, Piece offers a kind of pie that doesn't exist anywhere else. That is, outside of New Haven, Connecticut.
This place is huge, as in built out of an old roofing company's garage huge. Piece was founded by Bill Jacobs, a native of- you guessed it- New Haven. After becoming fed up with what the Windy City had to offer in the way of pizza, Jacobs took matters into his own hands and started his own pizzeria to bring a taste of home to the Midwest. Sound familiar? After recruiting a friend/former Sally's Apizza (ugh) employee and a little financial help from Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen, Piece Pizza was established in 2001.
Hey look! One of Rick's signature unnecessarily over-necked guitars!
Just like any New Haven (a)pizzeria, Piece nails the signature approach of white, red, and plain (no mozz) pizza options. They even serve pies on trays with wax paper, "just like home." I ordered a medium red and a medium plain with chicken
Both pies were pretty good, but to be honest didn't quite nail that New Haven flavor right on the head. The reason? Piece's huge Cutler oven operates on gas instead of the traditional coal, so you can imagine how the results might vary from its east coast brethren.
See what I mean?
Yet what Piece may lack in ozone-polluting fuel sources it makes up for in brewskis. Not only do they tout some of the city's most well-respected, award-winning craft brews, but they're all brewed in-house!
(Courtesy of Nerd City Online)
Brewmaster Jonathan Cutler (above) of Goose Island and Sierra Nevada fame joined up with Jacobs from the start ten years ago and continues to churn out stellar beer time and time again.
"I'll take one of each please."
While Piece may not have bested the very pizzerias they harken to, they still bring some well-crafted if not mostly-authentic pies and truly unique craft beer to a populace that wouldn't otherwise know what they're missing.