Best Pizza (Thick Crust) - 2012
Watching a beloved restaurant continue to grow evokes mixed emotions. On the one hand, of course, you're pleased for its success. On the other hand, you worry about overreach, dilution, the inevitable loosening of standards as the pool from which both front- and back-of-the-house employees are drawn has to grow. With Pi Pizzeria, at least, your worries are unfounded. The local chain now has four sit-down restaurants — including its newest location in the Mercantile Exchange building downtown — a carryout-only storefront and, until it was retired from everyday service this past summer, a food truck. Not to mention a restaurant and a food truck (also recently retired) in the nation's capital. Throughout this rapid growth, owners Chris Sommers and Frank Uible have made sure the restaurant's standards haven't slipped, and no matter which Pi you visit, its signature pizza with its deep-dish, cornmeal-based crust remains the most delicious town, stacked high with premium ingredients, the ratio of cheese to vegetables to meat (most of it hormone-free) to the brilliant red tomato sauce that tops it all never failing to showcase each topping at its best.