Rico Lunardi knows that Pittsburgh doesn't lack pizza restaurants. But in the South Hills neighborhood of Beechview, not far from his family's Lundardi's Ristorante, he's established his own niche, affectionately called Slice on Broadway.
Slice opened two years ago, and while the BYOB eatery offers baked hoagies and salads, the magic is in its pizza, available as a whole pie or by the slice. Lunardi says Slice only use fresh ingredients and toppings. The shop grinds its own cheeses. "I don't even own a freezer," he says.
Still, he says, "There are so many pizza shops in Pittsburgh. We brainstormed about what we can do differently."
Slice finds some of its distinction in the amusing names it concocts for its pies. Take the Slaughterhouse Five, topped with pepperoni, sausage, bacon, capicola and prosciutto. ("Vegetarians need not apply" quips the menu.) Or The Fancy Pants, with basil pesto, prosciutto, baby spinach, sundried tomatoes and goat cheese. ("Best enjoyed whilst wearing a top hat and monocle, old chap!" the menu suggests.)
I tried a bifurcated pizza that featured the shop's bestsellers: the Athena — a white pizza with baby spinach, fresh tomatoes and crumbled feta — on one side; and on the other a Margherita, with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil and extra virgin olive oil.
My only regret: I ordered a "small" rather than the "ginormous."