Pi Co is where to go in Yorkville to grab customizable, built-to-order pizza, salads, breakfast and dessert pockets. Similar to American pizza chain Blaze , Pi Co lets you choose from an array of sauces, cheese and toppings to created individualized, personal-size pizza.
Owner Marc Askenasi wants to roll out locations throughout the city. This initial location is smaller than he hoped for, but his current storefront right next to Bay Station was too good to pass up on.
An open kitchen takes up most of the space, leaving room for just a handful of tables and rail seating along the front window. High ceilings and minimal decor keep it from feeling cluttered, but at lunch hour, the place gets mobbed as customers stream in for take out.
The classic Margherita is $9, while the option to pile on unlimited toppings will set you back $13.
Compared to Blaze, the pizza is smaller and more expensive, though I do like the crust better here. It's a classic Neapolitan recipe with a few tweaks, most notably it's double proofed, which gives it a delicious sourdough-like flavour.
It's baked in a specialty Marra Forni oven, resulting in a sturdy, yet pliable base and a puffy, "stadium-like" cornicione (the lip of the pizza) that blisters with leopard spotting.
Sauce-wise, there's a pesto, white sauce and two types of red sauce to choose from; a sweet San Marzano sauce and well as a garlic and oregano laced American-style sauce.
The selection of toppings covers classic pizza ingredients like pepperoni, onion and green peppers, but there's also shaved asparagus, arugula and kale.
Beyond pizza there are build-your-own salads which include your choice of two proteins (or cheese) with greens and unlimited toppings for $12 ($6 for a side salad). I get one with hard boiled eggs, chicken, olives, tomatoes and nuts.
For dessert there's a Sweet Pi ($6), which features pizza dough filled with items like Nutella, peanut butter chocolate and apple pie filling. Options for customization include candy, fruit and nuts.
Photos by Jesse Milns