Project Pie – Hillcrest, San Diego
Project Pie is the latest in a series of new quick service pizza restaurants to make their entrance into Southern California. Although they may not like my analogy, I think an accurate description is Chipotle meets CPK (California Pizza Kitchen). It is a great concept that I’ve wondered about before, but strange that this hasn’t turned up sooner. Anyhow, Jorgina heard about this new pie shop and we eagerly checked it out. Project pie is located in the neighborhood of Hillcrest (central San Diego). Parking was be a bit of a challenge, but it was worth the extra effort.
Their tagline is simple: Design, Build, & Eat. (works for me!)
There is a great visual appeal to seeing your pie being made right in front of you. They start out your pie completely custom, or you have the option to choose a set pizza from their menu. For us, we decided to choose a base pizza and then built it from there. (Eg. I ordered a base of #2 which is the meat lover’s pizza).
I asked for three cheeses and started piling on extras like mushrooms, basil, and prosciutto. Jorgina got a BBQ chicken pizza and added on a ton of different meats. The nice thing is that the price is set, so you don’t need to worry about every last topping. *Having said that, have you ever added too many things? This happens to me from time to time in unlimited menu item restaurants. Sometimes, subtlety is more.
Once they are done preparing your pie, they toss it into their oven and ring you up on their POS system running on iPads.
This is a bad picture, I know, but they’ve got a a really cool fountain full of Boylan Cane Sugar sodas to choose from, including two types of root beer. No sooner than I got my drink, they were already calling my name. (That was fast!)
Here is my customized #2: PEPPERONI, ITALIAN SAUSAGE, CRUMBLED MEATBALLS, MOZZARELLA, OUR SIGNATURE RED SAUCE, GARLIC – My additions were: Mushrooms, Basil, & Prosciutto.
Here is Jorgina’s customized #6: GRILLED CHICKEN, SLICED RED ONION, CILANTRO, MOZZARELLA, GORGONZOLA, BBQ SAUCE – Her additions were: Pepperoni, Sausage, Meatballs, Bacon, Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Prosciutto, and Basil.
Both pizzas were piping hot and delicious. I was completely amazed at the speed of execution. The pies were personal sized, but definitely generous in portion. I had a slice and a half left when I was done and Jorgina had 2. The dough as you imagine is thinner than a traditional pizza, and was crisp on the outside and bouncy on the inside. I really liked all the toppings we chose, although next time I may ask for a little more marinara sauce.
From what I overheard, Project Pie has been open in this location for just a little over a month now. I think it’s a fantastic addition to San Diego’s pizza choices. It will definitely become a regular on my schedule.