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The Weekender: Controversial pizza

The Weekender: Controversial pizza

Alyson Strickler-Vazquez

Columbus, we have opinions! Visit one of the city’s food-based many message boards or Facebook groups and you will see that we are passionate about pizza. Whether it’s a months-long waiting list to grab a specialty pie or the addition of bizarre toppings, vocal Columbus customers are always up for a slice.

These three pizza shops are making distinctive pies that are both delicious and daring.

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Pie of the Tiger, a Yellow Brick Pizza spinoff based out of Short North Tavern, has quite the bag of tricks for inventive pizza concepts. Their Detroit-style crust develops perfectly crispy dark edges, creating a solid foundation that can hold up a mountain of toppings. My favorite is the Tiny Panther, loaded with sausage, bacon, ham, and cheddar and brimming with yellow mustard. Other amusing pies include the Dill Thrill (dill pickle chips, Old Bay hot sauce, ranch) and Schmear Campaign (everything bagel crust, capers, tomato, red onion, cream cheese, smoked salmon). The complexity and well-balanced flavors of every elaborate creation make Pie of the Tiger a worth-it destination.

Insider tip: add on the Thicc Cat – this sub is topped with mozzarella sticks and house-made Tiger Sauce

Wizard of Za is the Instagram darling of 2020, known for its prepaid months-long waitlist. Pulling up to a yellow sidewalk and seeing their frosted door with a small wizard hat thoroughly convinces me the Wizard is a marketing genius. Everything is made from scratch with a focus on local sourcing. Plus, these Sicilian-style pies are fired in a Neapolitan oven. The Vodka Pie is a crowd favorite, featuring a house-made sauce. The standout for me, however, was the Pepperoni Pie. The acidity from the San Marzano tomatoes beautifully pairs with the kick from Ezzo’s pepperoni and the drizzle of Mike’s Hot Honey. 

Di Carlo’s Pizza is famous for adding freshly-grated provolone and toppings after being baked. The room-temp toppings slowly melt into the warm base, creating a one-of-a-kind bite. The old-world crust, derived from an Italian bread recipe, is proofed for days before baking in steel pans to create golden corners. Pick up a pizza and you will see customers devouring slices in their cars because the combination of crunchy crust, tangy tomato sauce, and buttery-fresh shaved provolone unexplainably works and is distinctively gratifying.

If you like this, read: Yellow Brick to unveil “Tiger Style” pizza at weekly pop-up

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