How delightful to find a pizza place that treats salads as more than a sop to the conscience. After three weeks of pretty much nothing but Asian food, I was ready for pizza, and led a raid on PW Pizza.
I do think the building, which holds Vin de Set and 21st St. Brewers Bar as well as event spaces Moulin and The Malt House Cellar is a pleasure. PW is on the ground floor, and there’s parking just outside the entrance, which is on the east side of the building. Rustic, and in the case of PW, very casual and family-friendly, the whole shebang is a great re-use of an old space.
The two salads we had were large and gorgeous, not overdressed (hurray) and clearly tossed to order. My favorite was the BLT, romaine lettuce, bacon, diced fresh tomato and blue cheese with a light ranch dressing. The bacon was generously portioned, the lettuce crisp and cold. And the tomato – well, hey, it’s January. Fresh tomato is nearly always a polite gesture rather than anything satisfying this time of year. Red onion, pepperoni and pepperoncini studded the greens of the house salad, which was crowned with pieces of parmesan cheese. What’s called “Dad’s vinaigrette” is a sweet one, but at least the sugariness is under pretty good control, making it truly sweet-and-sour rather than some of the cloying versions around town. These were ordered as small salads, and what arrived were 6-inch plates mounded high with the food.
PW is a provel-free zone. Plenty of other cheeses hang out in the kitchen – there are ten listed on the make-your-own section of the menu. Unfortunately, it’s also an anchovy-free zone. I wonder what would happen if someone pulled a tin of the lovely salty little fish fillets out of a pocket and made a request…. On the other hand, they proudly serve Volpi salami, along with their other options.
This is a crust of middle thickness, a single 12” size available and three doughs from which to choose. The crust is tender rather than crisp, a little chewy but not remarkably so. One pie of ours showed off fresh mushrooms and some nice housemade sausage laced with fennel.
The other was burdened with one of those names it’s hard to repeat aloud without coming near to giggling. Shrimpy shrimpy bang bang was the handle. Shrimp, bacon, jalapenos, mozzarella, monterey jack and, unusual for an American pizza, corn were the toppings. (Corn’s not uncommon on pizzas in Europe – although goodness knows, not in Italy.) There was an avocado-cilantro sauce drizzled over the top. Unfortunately, all this added up to not enough. On the entire pizza, there appeared to be no more than three small pieces of jalapeno. Fire-eaters should take advantage of the sriracha sauce offered. It was also skimpy with the pieces of shrimp, perhaps a half-dozen pieces. The corn adds nothing but a slightly different texture, and the drizzle is more about avocado than cilantro. Interestingly, this is another of those dishes that was better the next day, cold from the refrigerator, when it was rather comfort food-ish, than it was hot out of the oven.
Peanut butter pie is on the dessert menu, fluffy and enjoying the chocolate ganache drizzled on and in it. Extra points for the crust, which stayed relatively crunchy and seemed to actually have some salt in it to make it even more peanut butter-y.
Sandwiches and calzones as well as pizze, and a white chili that’s popular this time of year. Yes, beer, natch, and some wine. Noisy when it’s busy; we can just imagine what it’s like on hockey nights.
2017 Chouteau Ave.
Lunch and dinner daily
Credit cards: Yes
Wheelchair access: Good