Pizza Head Triumphs, With Punk Rock Edge and New York-Style Slices

If Pizzeoli is Scott Sandler’s symphony, a grill that’s been painstakingly thought-through, fussed-over and crafted with an atmosphere of reverence, Pizza Head is Nevermind a Bollocks, a ardent center finger to anyone who’d brave to tell him what kind of tomatoes, cheese and flour to use in his pies, goddammit.

On a surface, a newer mark is a differing depart for fans of Pizzeoli, a Neapolitan pizzeria that served as Sandler’s initial incursion into a grill business. Since opening a mark in Soulard in 2014, Sandler has grown a repute as a city’s many critical pizza-maker, putting a arrange of caring into his pies you’d design from a master craftsman. That has authorised him to mount out in St. Louis’ swarming pizza field, earning a multitude of clinging fans who demeanour to him for one of a — if not the — city’s many authentic Neapolitan-style pizzas. That a mark is watched over by a mural of Sandler’s guru usually adds to a feeling of mindfulness.

click to enlarge Pizza Head owners Scott Sandler. - PHOTO BY MABEL SUEN

  • PHOTO BY MABEL SUEN
  • Pizza Head owners Scott Sandler.

In some ways, then, it competence seem like Sandler is revolting opposite that persona during his two-month-old bid on South Grand, Pizza Head. Everything about a place screams disrespect — from a website informing business that they should not design to be coddled to a grating punk mill song that plays during all hours of a day, Pizza Head stands as an unapologetic, New York-attitude, no-frills grab-and-go mark that seems to spin any high-faluting notions of a “art” of pizza-making on a head.

That is, until we ambience a pies. Sandler is a male whose proceed to pizza borders on obsession. Clearly, it would be unfit for him to offer anything reduction than perfection. Pizza Head competence benefaction itself as a inexpensive and greasy joint, though no matter how we dress down a surroundings, Sandler’s pizzas are transcendent.

For someone who exhibits such skill, you’d consider Sandler has been creation pizzas his whole life. Actually, a grill attention is a second career for a former debt investor, who picked adult home baking as a hobby.

click to enlarge A cut of vegan-pepperoni pizza and a whole cake with artichoke, spinach, garlic, olive oil, mozzarella and Parmesan. - PHOTO BY MABEL SUEN

  • PHOTO BY MABEL SUEN
  • A cut of vegan-pepperoni pizza and a whole cake with artichoke, spinach, garlic, olive oil, mozzarella and Parmesan.

At first, Sandler used pizza-making as an opening for his artistic side while he toiled divided during his day job. After a genuine estate event that brought him to St. Louis from California fell through, he sought condolence in his passion plan and saw a severe patch in his career as an event to open a Neapolitan pizzeria he’d always dreamed of running.

Though a Neapolitan style, with a specifications set in mill by a verbatim ruling legislature dedicated to virginity of a form, appealed to his refined personality, it could infrequently be gloomy to a artistic sensibility that drew him to formulating food in a initial place. Granted, Pizzeoli didn’t follow a mandate laid out by Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana to a T, though Sandler still attempted to stay as loyal to a form as possible.

At Pizza Head, Sandler revels in his ransom with a suggestion that is some-more travel artist than craftsman, and he’s combined an atmosphere to match. In fact, from a looks of a spot, diners competence be forgiven for meditative they’ve wandered into a bar that’s gearing adult for a punk show, not a restaurant. The whole room, that before housed a ephemeral Brickyard Tavern and Absolutli Goosed before that, is embellished black. An picture of a Sex Pistols-inspired British sovereign with a word “Good Pizza Is Not Dead” looks out over a room. Fliers for punk shows past are lacquered onto a tables, and grating guitars, crashing cymbals and screaming vocals fill a room with sounds of angst.

click to enlarge The menu is simple, and business sequence during a counter. - PHOTO BY MABEL SUEN

  • PHOTO BY MABEL SUEN
  • The menu is simple, and business sequence during a counter.

Why anyone would be angst-ridden eating during Pizza Head is a mystery, however, as Sandler has again strike a home run, this time with New York-style pizza so ideal it could move a rip to a eye of even a many hardened East Coaster. Sandler offers his pies possibly by a cut or as massive, twenty-inch whole pies, and his menu is small. However, what it lacks in extent it creates adult for in abyss of flavor, commencement with a rich, chewy membrane that has a pointed piquancy of sourdough. The membrane is pompous around a edges and skinny in a center — not utterly as impassioned as a Neapolitan pie, though tighten — and is sliced into triangles a distance of a person’s face. There’s a slight burn that infuses a whole pizza with a peaceful smokiness, though a badge of flawlessness is that Sandler has managed to replicate a stately douse that gilds a real-deal New York pizza.

It’s many apparent on his mozzarella-covered pies. A elementary cheese slice, for instance, is all we wish in a pizza — chewy crust, sour tomato salsa with usually a spirit of garlic and herbs, and slimey cheese that is so fiery it browns a roof of your mouth. It’s perfection.

click to enlarge This is a singular vegan-pepperoni that tastes as good as a genuine thing. - PHOTO BY MABEL SUEN

  • PHOTO BY MABEL SUEN
  • This is a singular vegan-pepperoni that tastes as good as a genuine thing.

That same cheese serves as a bottom for Pizza Head’s “pepperoni” pie, a vegetarian plate done with a beef surrogate that passes pattern for even a many clinging carnivore. Unlike so many other mistake meats, a pepperoni on offer during Pizza Head is organisation and even gets good and greasy like genuine sausage. Add that observable garlic and paprika spice, and it’s intolerable how most this charity tastes like a meat-topped pizza.

Both pizzas can otherwise be served with a vegan cashew cheese, that evokes a approach powdery Parmesan beads adult after it’s liberally sprinkled over a play of beef sauce. Though it lacks a muck cause we get from mozzarella, a cashew cheese confident and serves as a pleasing backdrop for a array of veggie toppings on offer.

For fans of Pizzeoli’s “Bianca,” Pizza Head offers an equally tasty white pizza (albeit one not offering by a slice). Sandler tops his membrane with olive oil, tawny ricotta cheese and so most garlic you’ll wear it like a badge of respect for a rest of a day. It needs zero some-more to make it inestimable — a cheesy bread of your dreams. However, during a insistence of a staffer, we opted to supplement spinach and chopped artichoke hearts and was treated to what is fundamentally spinach drop on a pizza. This, too, is hauntingly good.

click to enlarge Fun awaits in a behind of a eatery. - PHOTO BY MABEL SUEN

  • PHOTO BY MABEL SUEN
  • Fun awaits in a behind of a eatery.

Pizza Head prides itself in gripping it simple. You can squeeze a integrate of slices and a tall-boy of Stag for 8 bucks. There are usually dual forms of sauce, dual forms of cheese and a handful of toppings. Service is fast-casual, we assistance yourself to H2O out of an old-school Igloo cooler and a usually side plate (unless we count a beer) is a salad of churned greens, some grape tomatoes and red onions that’s served with parcel dressing. It’s as unfussy as it gets entrance from a male who has a repute for fussing over each final detail.

Yet notwithstanding a miss of fuss, Sandler has not unequivocally altered his character all that much. He’s still portion adult some of a best pizza in city — usually this time he’s doing it to a some-more rough beat.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY MABEL SUEN

  • PHOTO BY MABEL SUEN

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