Another chain restaurant has discovered Fresno. Pieology Pizzeria opened its first location in Fig Garden Village last week and is planning at least two more in town.
The Southern California-based chain specializes in individual-sized, made-to-order pizzas.
Think of Pieology as the Chipotle of the pizza world. Customers order at the counter, picking what sauce they want — red sauce, herb butter or olive oil — and cheeses. Pieology offers 24 toppings and “after bakes,” including traditional ones and more unusual ones such as cilantro and dollops of fiery buffalo sauce.
The create-your-own pizzas cost $7.95 a pop, no matter how many toppings you pile on. It’s not uncommon to see people posting pictures of their pizza creations on Instagram or Facebook.
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Pieology also has some pizza suggestions if you’d rather trust the experts to mix flavors.
The thin-crust only pizzas, which are 11 1/2 inches wide, are baked in open-flame oven in four minutes or less.
This is a gluten-free friendly place, too. People with the wheat allergy can get a gluten-free crust for $2 more and employees will ask if you want them to change their gloves. They’ll use different utensils, but things aren’t as friendly in the oven, so they can’t guarantee your pizza will be 100% gluten free.
If the build-your-own pizza sounds familiar to you, that’s because it is. Clovis already has its own made-to-order individual-sized pizza place: Blast 825.
Owned by the same local brothers who run Me-N-Ed’s and Piazza Del Pane restaurants, Blast opened its first location in an outbuilding at Sierra Vista Mall last summer. It also offers gluten-free crust and build-your-own pizzas with unlimited toppings, but with some differences: They cost a buck less and the thick-crust dough is hand-tossed instead of machine pressed.
Blast 825 will open another restaurant in the food court by Fashion Fair mall before the holidays. Blast has a restaurant in Roseville and two more coming in the Sacramento area. The company is also looking for franchisees to open more locations.
Pielogy is much larger, with 30 locations in nine states and is getting a lot of buzz because people have seen them in other cities.
Pieology is also planning even more locations, at least 11 in central and Northern California before the end of the year. In the Fresno area, Pieology plans to open restaurants at the Campus Pointe development under construction near Fresno State and another at the Marketplace at El Paseo near Highway 99 and Herndon Avenue. Both are scheduled to open in early 2015.
The Fig Garden Pieology is in the former The Ripe Tomato Restaurant space, which closed last winter after 37 years in business, citing a decline in business. Pieology looks drastically different than the cozy, fine dining restaurant it replaces.
Want to have an offal good time on Halloween? If you can get past that pun, Peeve’s Public House is hosting a dinner featuring offal, which is the entrails and organs of animals used as food.
So that means pickled cow tongue salad is on the menu. There will also be cow’s feet soup made from cow leg, tendons and cow honeycomb tripe (that’s stomach, and you should only Google images of it if you have a strong stomach of your own, trust me), along with tomato chicken gizzards and a liver and onions hoagie.
The small-plate style dishes are sold individually and most cost from $6 to $10. The dinner runs from 5:30-9 p.m. Friday at 1243 Fulton Mall. They’ll also be spooky music, silent horror films and free post-dinner show by The Sleepover Disaster, Crisis Arm, Airs, Midwest Moms and DJ Heretic. Details: www.facebook.com/peevespublichouse or call (559) 573-5735.
Scary IHOP pancakes
For less gutsy among us, IHOP Restaurants will be offering free scary faced pancakes to kids 12 and under on Halloween. This scary face is made with a whipped cream smile and a strawberry nose and kids get to finish decorating the buttermilk pancake with candy corn and mini Oreos.
IHOP will offer the free pancake at all its restaurants from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday.