Each week in 'Knockers' we order from a different delivery restaurant, assessing their efficiency and keeping a running score.
Piggie Pies Pizzas & Pasta
5315 Greenville Suite 120 B
Promised delivery time: 45 minutes
Actual delivery time: 35 minutes
The promise of a big floppy slice of "New York Style" Pizza: 20
The no-nonsense ordering process, prompt and succinct: 20
Some of, if not THE largest pizza size options (up to 20"): 25
No extra goodies (like cheese or pepper): -10
Cheap house salads to help ease the guilt: 15
Cheap house salads that are actually fresh: 15
Quite the selection of "gourmet" pizzas with fancy toppings: 20
Not exactly "good & cheap" prices: -10
The sudden total lack of knowledge of what a normal slice of pizza is: -15
Being ten minutes early (1 point per minute): 10
Total score: 90
(Piggie Pies dumps Addison's Oriental Lite from the top ten.)
New Big Wong 92
Lover's Pizza and Pasta 91
Philly Connection 90
Piggie Pies Pizzas & Pasta 90
See complete 2009 standings here
Oh Piggie Pies, how you tempt me so, being only about 2 blocks away from my homestead, catering to the residents of the greater Lovers & Greenville neighborhood, it's almost mandatory to have such an establishment offering delicious greasy New York style pizza to such a concentration of college students and yuppies and the like.
"The Pig" has been in the same location on the corner of Greenville Avenue and Lovers Lane, quietly nestled amongst the other fine long-time fixtures like Condoms To Go and Happy Wok (which has gone through some changes over the years, but that's another story altogether...) as long as I can remember (going at least 10 years now I believe, please correct me if I'm wrong). And as far as I'm concerned, has always been the go-to pizza joint to get that floppy fix, something my pals and I have affectionately dubbed "The Nine-Inch Slice." In extreme cases, upgrading to the 20 inch version would be necessary, but a rare action.
Now having been (mostly) on a healthier diet over the last few months myself, I haven't been able to make the call for a nine-inch slice in quite some time, so, for the sake of duty, (and seeing that The Pig has yet to be measured by City Of Ate) I thought this would be a prime opportunity to say "here piggy, piggy" one more time.
Oh, this is going to be good.
As usual, (about 90% of the time) the ordering process was clean-cut and no-nonsense. There's nothing more grueling to have to chisel out a simple pizza order over the telephone with someone who either just started days before or really doesn't care for life in general, as typical for most order takers in my neck of the woods (that might deserve some further research at a later time). Not typically the case at The Pig, they're pedigreed, pizza professionals that don't muss things up with frills and other non-pizza joint offerings on their menu, just salads and pastas in addition to their pies.
But before I could call, I had to track down the number (the only think I could remember was that the last four digits spell OINK). The menu binder was all the way in the kitchen and the missus and I were nested comfortably on the couch. Oh the peril.
Luckily, there's always a laptop within reach. I wondered if the Pig had a website (I've never bothered to look). In keeping things simple, the Pig proliferates their pies with your standard tri-fold, 2-sided, 2-color, 10-cent copy menu, rubber-banded to its delivery area doorknobs, so I've never had to resort to the depths of the interweb to review their menu options or find out anything regarding the place. Well, sure enough, there is a home on the web for the Pig (http://www.piggiepiespizza.com), and oh boy, it's like discovering an old friend's secret life you didn't know about.
"Everybody Love Pizza!" Screams the colorful website, hemorrhaging all sorts of wacky fonts and patterns. Oh boy. I don't even know what to click on, or what's clickable at all. Yowzers.
Now, I know this isn't a review on the aesthetics and design on their web-presence, but, the more I dug around within, the less it felt like the neighborhood Pig I've come to know over the years. Oh well, I guess I shouldn't judge a pizza by it's website, right?
Moving on, I made my selection from their online menu, and proceeded to dial. After a 2 minute phone-call, and another 45 minutes, an 18-inch Gourmet Hawaiian Pizza (pineapple, Canadian bacon, and extra mozzerella cheese, $22.25) along with two house salads ($3.75 ea.) was set to arrive at my doorstep. Make that 35 minutes. A whole 10 minutes early! Excellent!
The delivery fella did seem a bit preoccupied (or winded), and was anxious to complete the transaction (but that's par for the course with the Pig, and I don't fault them for that, especially when they're early enough). I set the enormous red white and green pizzeria box down in the kitchen and proceed to crack open the house salads. Always crisp and made with fresh ingredients, these simple salads made for a nice palate cleanser before the main event. Their house Italian dressing was a bit too tart for my personal tastes, so I only needed one of the two containers provided with each salad, and the juicy sweet baby tomatoes within created a nice balance.
Do I sound awfully positive over home-delivery salad?
Now it's time to dive into the Hawaiian-inspired main course. I open the box. I stare at the pie. I scratch my head. Where are the slices? No really, what happened? Someone had a samurai fit on this pie. In all seriousness, there were no nine-inch slices, no traditional wedge slices that are typical, if not standard on round pies. This 18 inch pizza was sliced and diced into many haphazard bits. I couldn't figure it out. Was this a prank? Was this a mistake? Was this intentional? No really? I almost called them to inquire, but on second thought...
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I want to repeat my order soon, and see if this phenomenon was an isolated event or some sort of new proprietary way of serving their pie. (Oh gosh, could it be a reflection of "a new hip way" of presenting their pizza? Not unlike their wacky new website? Oh no...)
So I made a little pile of pizza on my plate, each bit being unique. Good thing a Piggie Pie satisfies, no matter how you slice it. Excellent sauce, ingredients, floppy crust--although, in this case, more like a sloppy pile of polygons--everything that I was hoping for. But yet, still, the slice and dice randomness of the pieces perplexed me. I just don't get it. Could they be trying to answer a call AGAINST the nine-inch slice? God I hope not. "But I don't want a whole slice, just a little piece!" "Their slices are SO big, let's not order from there." "I can never finish even just one slice!"
Anyone uttering such statements shouldn't be ordering from a pizza joint named "Piggie Pies." If you can't handle the Pig, get out of the Village (a strange statement itself, I know).
I really hope I'm not witnessing a sea change in another neighborhood fixture (remember how Happy Wok used to be?) I liked (and prefer) they way they've always been. (That'll do...)