I met this great girl named Caryn, a plant-based cooking instructor who goes by STLVegGirl, while I was completing my training to become a certified Food for Life instructor in DC. Caryn is from St. Louis, Missouri, hence the "STL," and really wanted to go to this new pizzeria in DC called "District of Pi." Come to find out, this pizzeria is based in St. Louis and is not located anywhere else in the US other than the new one in DC. That was intriguing. So, I met her and her husband at Pi in Penn Quarter.
District of Pi does not take reservations. When I approached the host, she said there would be a 20-25 minute wait. She gave me a buzzer, which seemed sort of cheesy, and I took a seat in the window. As I looked around, I noticed that it was a pretty big place. There was a large bar, seating in the main dining area, and seating on the second floor. The restaurant is pretty big by DC standards and even bigger by DC pizzeria standards. After about 10 minutes, Caryn and her husband arrived, and they called us up to be seated. We were pleased to have been seated so quickly.
Caryn actually knew the owner, Chris, and had been tweeting about her visit on Twitter. She told me that at some point during the day, Chris sent us a Sqwid for a free pizza -- a delightful surprise! That called for a celebratory drink. I took a look at the drink list to see what was offered. There was a short list of liquor and wine and a longer list of beers, which is to be expected at a pizza place. I decided to order a glass of wine-- a red blend that included carignan.
We started by ordering three appetizers -- the pi hummus plate, marinated cucumbers with Thai chili, and roasted mushrooms with roasted garlic and rosemary. Out of the three, I enjoyed the pi hummus plate the best though there wasn't anything particularly special about it. The bread was really fresh, hot, and soft and paired well with the hummus.
The marinated cucumbers were fine.
The roasted mushrooms weren't really that good and I don't think I'd order them again.
When we were ready to place our order for pizza, the waiter informed us that the thin crust is always vegan. The deep dish crust is also vegan, but they coat the pan with butter so if you'd like a vegan deep dish pizza, they require you call 24 hours in advance so they can be sure to have all the butter cleaned off the pan and to allow the dough to proof properly. 24 hours?! Who can think about pizza that far in advance? Oh, well. [Update: since then, I've read you need to give 6 hours of notice.] Then, I suddenly realized we have vegan deep dish pizza in DC -- this is a first. I can't wait to try it! But, not on this visit, so we ordered the Berkeley and replaced the cheese with Daiya vegan cheese and added vegan Match Meats and jalapenos.
When the pizza arrived, it looked amazing. The veggies were piled high over the cheese and the crust was thin yet soft. I took a bite and it just melted in my mouth. The crust is cornmeal-based and was a great complement to the portabello mushrooms, red onions, kalamata olives, red bell peppers, garlic, and zucchini. Oh, and then there was that Match Meat! The Match Meat was sausage-like with fennel seeds--incredibly spicy and delicious.
The wine was pretty good as well. Oh, and did I mention -- the service was great. Our waiter came by regularly to check on us and place our drink orders. By the end of the meal, we were really stuffed. I was somewhat glad there were no vegan desserts on this menu. District of Pi is a great addition to an area that already has lots of great restaurants. I'm excited that we have yet another great pizzeria in DC and the first that offers vegan deep dish. I can't wait to come back for more!
District of Pi
901 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20004