When District of Pi, based in St. Louis, MO, first opened a restaurant in DC, I rushed there to try their pizza only to discover that they require you to call ahead at least six hours in advance for the vegan deep dish. So, instead, I enjoyed their regular pizza. This time, however, I was ready. I made the call 24-hours in advance just to be safe. They say that they require you to call ahead so they can wash the butter off of the pans they use for deep dish pizza. I think a better way to run that pizza joint would be just to keep a few clean pans aside for vegans who want to order deep dish pizza so they can make that decision upon arrival. But, it is what it is.
We went around lunchtime on a Friday and there was already a line of people waiting to be seated. Luckily, because the dining room is so large, they were able to seat everyone pretty quickly. The restaurant is quite big for a pizzeria, but still maintains that cozy feel with the warm wood floors and tables.
I started off by ordering a lemonade and a small house salad sans the cheese. The "small" salad was actually quite large and loaded with fresh field greens, red bell peppers, red onions, and chopped walnuts in housemade vinaigrette. It was pretty good.
After about 30 minutes, the deep dish pizza arrived. There it was - a real "pizza pie." Immediately my mouth began watering at the sight of it. The steam was shooting off the top of it like a steam engine and I knew it was too hot to eat, but I had to dig in anyway.
In one bite, I was in pure bliss. On top of the crust were layers of melted Daiya cheese along with mushrooms, red onions, jalapenos, artichoke hearts, and Match vegan meat topped with tomato sauce. The Match meat is an incredible delicacy as the fennel and spices are a great complement to the other pizza spices. Zach asked me if it was as good as Patxi's in San Francisco. Honestly, I'm not sure. They are both really good, but I think I'd have to try them side by side to be sure as it has been a while since I've been to Patxi's. District of Pi put all of the toppings underneath their great tomato sauce while Patxi's put a few of the toppings on top of the sauce so they are assembled a bit differently.
Regardless, District of Pi now offers the only vegan deep dish pizza in DC and is also one of the few pizzerias to offer vegan mock meats. This winning combination should make you run, not walk, to District of Pi. If you haven't yet tried it, go now. Thanks, Pi, for coming to our city and bringing us the best of Chicago from St. Louis!
Previous review of District of Pi - Jan 2012
District of Pi
910 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20004