At Pi Craft Pizza, the possibilities are infinite.
That’s the motto of the owners of the restaurant at 1750 Niagara Falls Blvd. in the Town of Tonawanda. The eatery features hand-crafted pizzas, salads and the “Focacciawich” – pizza baked on focaccia bread – all made to your specifications.
On a recent Friday night, the restaurant was bustling with activity. Guests lined up at the counter to choose their pleasures while a mix of friends hanging out and families enjoying mealtime filled the large dining area.
My husband, Patrick, and I took our places in the rather long line approaching the counter. We didn’t mind the wait, as the options were overwhelming. First, we had to choose between pizza sizes, which included a 12-inch round ($9 to $11.99) or an oval “Pi” ($7 to $8.99), which resembled a football.
We later were told that it’s necessary to have the two different shapes because when the pies are in the oven, workers can’t distinguish between smaller and larger circles.
According to the restaurant’s website, the dough is an original recipe that falls between an American-style bread and a thin European crust. A European yeast culture and four flours are blended to create a whole grain artisan crust.
Next, Patrick and I decided on our toppings. So many options. Six different sauces, six cheeses, eight meats and more than a dozen vegetables and fruits. After the pizza is baked, 13 more after-bake options meet you at the register, including oils, salts, peppers and cheeses.
Patrick opted for the 12-inch Classic Meat Pizza ($9.99) with herb red sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, turkey sausage, meatballs, red onion and bell peppers. I selected the 12-inch pesto chicken ($9.99), which was topped with a bright green pesto sauce, chicken, zucchini, mushroom, red onion, mozzarella and four dollops of red tomato sauce.
Once in the revolving stone oven with temperatures reaching 1,000 degrees, the pizzas cooked in about six minutes. Most pizzas and sandwiches take three to six minutes to bake, but the cook time may be longer depending on how many toppings are added.
Both crusts were crunchy on the edges and sturdy enough to hold our toppings. The meats and other veggies were plentiful and tasty, while the cheeses were perfectly melted to hold everything together and to string out as we took each bite (that’s the fun part of pizza-eating, after all).
Patrick also enjoyed his after-bake, a chipotle barbecue sauce he had put on half of his pie for a spicy kick. While he paired his dinner with a Johnnie Ryan grape fountain soda ($2.25), I opted for a bottled, tart Hubert’s strawberry lemonade ($3).
For $4 more, diners can choose the “Fork and Knife Pizza,” which includes extra toppings of “anything and everything” – so much that it’s guaranteed that the crust won’t hold it.
Nonpizza options included salads ($4.75 to $6.50, or create your own for $3 more) and the 4-inch Focacciawich featuring veggies, meatballs, chicken or bacon ($4.75).
It’s likely you’ve missed this restaurant, as it is tucked into a plaza near the I-290. It’s worth slowing down your travels on the boulevard to pay Pi Craft Pizza a visit.
Pi Craft Pizza
Where: 1750 Niagara Falls Blvd., Town of Tonawanda (833-5300, pi-craft.com).
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days per week.
Wheelchair accessible: Yes.
Extras: Gluten-free options, all-natural and organic snacks at counter, kids’ meal for $6 (12 years and younger).