Piola—not quite

May 2, 2009 18:46 – 18:46

We tried pizza from Piola (on Wilson Blvd) tonight. It’s an Italian chain that is making inroads in North and South America. We thought they’d be swamped, so we ordered carryout—a thin crust pizza and a thick crust pizza, both with “spicy salami” (aka pepperoni). Alas, what we got was two thin crust pizzas—one with pepperoni, the other with very limp and unappetizing mushrooms. So, our experiment—to see which we liked better—was thwarted.

As it wasn’t too hot or too cold outside tonight, we actually could have eaten there. There were plenty of free tables in the outside eating area—and it’s all sheltered from the rain that was falling. So, we’ll keep that possibility in mind for next time… if there is a next time.

The pepperoni pizza wasn’t bad—it’s actually pretty good, since the pepperoni had some bite to it, and the crust was cooked in a wood-fired oven. The mushroom was pretty bad, however—very limp and overcooked. It reminded me of something I’d rather not blog about. I put two slices together, attempting to attain pepperoni and mushroom—my usual combo—and the result was a bit better, but the quantity of pepperoni was on the stingy side.

We didn’t ask if we could customize toppings. Their menu suggests that they have standard setups, but did not invite the customer to build their own. This is entirely in line with most of the pizza menus we saw in France and Italy. But, if Piola can’t even get the standard ones correct, I’m not sure they’d do any better with special orders.

Piola isn’t anywhere nearly as good as Faccia Luna or Quattro Formaggi, both of which are a lot closer to us than Piola. And, of course, nobody can touch Alex of Biddeford, which is still the world’s best pizza in my opinion, but is a good 600 miles further away than the local competition.

We might try Piola’s thick crust pizza sometime just to see if it’s any better (and since our experiment was not completely satisfactory). But, if I’m going to drive to Arlington for pizza, I think I’d rather go to the Italian Store. Mind you, the IS’ pizza isn’t quite as good as Faccia Luna or Quattro Formaggi (IMO), but they do have parking, which means that driving for carryout isn’t a two-person operation.

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