I have not heard about Pieology Pizzeria until my hubby's staff member brought a pie over to work one evening. He was so excited to tell me about it, mainly because I'm the food person and he was sharing new food news with me, haha. One weekend, we decided to take a drive over to the Clairemont location right when it opened at 11:00am.
Think of Chipotle Mexican Grill and then picture pizza with the same exact concept... starting off with a fresh "canvas" and building your dish how you want it. I did not have a chance to stop and snap shots of all the toppings they had because we had to keep the line a-moving. A LONG line formed behind us. We were just in time for the lunch rush!
Here's how the process goes.... ok, if you choose to "Create Your Own", it is a flat cost of $7.50 with all the toppings you want!
They flatten out your fresh dough and then ask you, in this order, what you would like as you go down the line:
- Sauces: Herb Butter, Olive Oil, or Red Sauce
- Cheeses: Mozzarella, Ricotta, Parmesan, or Gorgonzola
- Toppings: Everything you can think of... refer to their menu for the full list
- After Bakes: Roasted Red Peppers, Black Pepper, Olive Oil, Buffalo Sauce, BBQ Sauce, Dollops of Red Sauce
TIP: The best time to ask for the "After Bakes" is before they put your pizza in the oven. The line keeps moving after your pizza is baking, so you pay and get a number, and wait.., therefore you will not have a chance to let them know about your 'after bake' topping.
As we waited, I noticed that their walls are covered with quotes. As we looked around more we noticed that their decor looks a lot like Chipotle's, including the font of their logo.
Here is M's very first Pieology pizza creation ($7.50): mozzarella, spicy buffalo chicken, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions and fresh basil on herb butter/red sauce. It was delicious, but the chicken was very spicy!
Here's mine and J's. Cheese pizza is his favorite, so I ordered one half with just red sauce and mozzarella, and the other half with pepperoni, sausage, bacon, onions, mushrooms and jalapenos
for me. I think I went a little 'topping happy' this first time around!
I didn't think it through and the toppings really outweighed the crispy, thin crust. Also, it didn't even look like the toppings cooked either! Still, the pizza was yummy and I ate every bite. I vowed to be simpler next time.
Here is a shot of how thin the crust is. I love thin crust pizza, so this place is already a plus on my end.
For our second trip as a family, J fell asleep in the car and we were *starving* so M went in and ordered two pizzas to-go.
Here's his masterpiece.... herb butter, red sauce, pepperoni, ham, mushrooms, spicy chicken, onions, fresh basil, and the buffalo sauce "after bake". Yum!
Here's a close up. Gosh, I'm drooling right now. I think we'll go tomorrow....
I split with my pizza with J again... gosh, looking at it from this angle, I can't believe they left 'more' than half of it untouched without toppings. Geeeeez. J never eats the entire half of it (so, of course... I end up eating some of his cheese slices). Wouldn't it be funny if I asked for toppings on 3/4 of it? They would be so mad, haha. I would never do it though.
Anyway, regardless... it was amazing and it was better this time around because I asked for less toppings: herb butter and red sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, bacon (a MUST), onions and mushrooms. The crust was crispier and it is also a must to add the herb butter with the red sauce.
I absolutely love this place. I always said that pizza is not a meal and is considered a snack, but having Pieology changed my mind. I CRAVE pizza from here and I am addicted.
5575 Balboa Avenue
San Diego, CA 92111