Think of that wacky pizza you've always wished would materialize. Was it a buffalo chicken with bacon? Maybe it was a love dumpster pie with every meat and cheese in the house. Whatever the case, a Maple Grove joint called Pieology Pizzeria empowers you to compile a mix disc that fits your wildest whim.
The format is simple: For $8, you can put whatever you want on an 11-inch pizza -- even their pre-designed models -- with no fears of an extra charge. Bacon on a Cowboy Jack's build-your-own cheeseburger? Fiddy cent. Bacon on a 2012 Hyundai Sonata? Probably an extra few thousand bucks. Bacon on Pieology's chicken alfredo?
The Basics: You can find Pieology online at http://www.pieology.com. They're big down in Cali, but they've got three Minnesota locations. The gift card balance text could have been done in a slightly less difficult color, but look! There's an Order Online button right by it.
"My" location is in The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes, one of those wacky faux-city shopping complexes in which it's nigh impossible to find parking (but the extra "PE" means it's fancy) . I out-maneuvered a Yukon for a spot behind a lingerie shop and took a hike into Pieology.
The sleek and sterile design scheme fits the name's deductive impression. One wall is lined with intelligent quotes; the rest of it's decked in shiny metallic and glossy wooden surfaces. Lights and chairs are all squarish and straight. Think of Chipotle, but without all that maroon shade contamination.
Staff was extremely welcoming and helpful, explaining their format and price without being too weirded out by my happiness. I could tell they get that a lot. Across two trips, I ordered four:
The rustic veggie was harmonious and leafy, eschewing the sad vegetable misfit toy shelves I'm used to. My cube neighbor had the lioness' share of this one, saying it delivered on its promise of deliciousness. Aimlessly-plopped cheese globs made it bite a little funny at times, but it was still good enough to trade a slice of buffalo for.
Look at this buffalo chicken pizza, to which I added bacon. America. Doesn't it look like a leaf pile? Don't you want to just jump in it and roll around? Like everything ever, it could have used some more buffalo; yet, few "buffalo" food items manage to kick the way this one did. Eating too much of it made my nose run. That's exactly what I want from my buffalo.
Alfredo's alfredo (not pictured) is not the usual mess of unremarkable white sauce and flavorless toppings. This was done up with olive oil, fresh vegetables, and just enough chicken. The amount of chicken on it would have left me lukewarm, had I not added bacon.
My final request: "Whatever looks like meat and cheese, throw it on." I excluded ground beef; I didn't want it throwing off the aesthetic. It was a gooey, stringy, meaty, Olympian mess and I loved every second of over-eating it. What sold me on Pieology once and for all was the young lady behind the counter piling saying after piling it up, "Do you want me to put some more cheese on top of this?" Bonus points for the cook holding my pizza up to the top of the oven to melt the cheese after everything else had cooked.
On all four pizzas, the crust was sturdy yet chewable when eaten fresh and was floppy without being soggy after stints in the microwave. The toppings check out as good and the staff checks out as great. From there, whether Pieology makes a good 'za or whether it's worth the $8 is entirely tied to your decision-making. You're going to have a bad time if you ask for a black olive pizza with nothing else on it, but a pizza like that should be cause for exile from humanity anyhow. Any pizza made with between 2-15 toppings, though? You'll be glad you did it.
Until the teleporter pad is up and running next to the register, the parking will be the only bad part -- but hanging around the back of a lingerie shop is only weird if you make it weird, right?