The shop is located just next to the main restaurant in the Strip District and offers a walk-up window for slices and pies to go. In being big fans of the restaurant, you know I had to hit up this spot in the first week it was open.
Some Stellar Pizza at Pizzeria Davide
The menu at Pizzeria Davide contains a number of options ranging from unique appetizers, to pizza by the slice, Philly cheesesteaks (50 per day), build-your-own pies, and pre-made specialty pies as well (offered at a slight discount over making your own with the same ingredients).
What I love about the menu here is that there are several pizza styles you can choose from, including Old World (provolone cheese with sauce on the top), Marinara (no cheese with red sauce), and Margarita (topped with fresh mozzarrella) plus white and NY style available as specialty pies only.
Naturally, per my traditional model of ordering pizza in Pittsburgh, I was tempted to order a fair bit of food. But at this one, I hesitated due to an conundrum I had with the menu, and I'll dive into that a bit more below as I ended up still receiving a fair bit of food in the process. But first, the pizza!
My first order at Pizzeria Davide included a specialty pie with soppressata and mushroom, Old World style, as well as a side of their meatball bomb appetizer- a monster meatball wrapped in mozzarrella and pizza dough, covered in pesto and marinara.
When it arrived, my first thought was shock. The specialty pizza was one of the 20″ extra large pies, and slices were as long as my head with zero exaggeration on my part. It is easy to say that one slice was enough of a meal, but that would be an understatement- they're among the biggest slices we've had in the city.
The flavors of the pizza are quite delicious. The soppressata is fairly salty, which balances perfectly with the lightly seasoned red sauce and the mushrooms (not to mention, the toppings were generous in portions). The crust was exceptionally thin and lacked any sort of crunch, but could also be a bit because I had my pizza delivered and did not enjoy it right out of the oven.
The meatball bomb followed the monster portion trend and was enough food to feed four comfortably. The meatball itself was dwarfed a bit by the dough and cheese ball that encased it, and if you can get your bite just right tastes like a meat-heavy deconstructed pizza- a win in my books.
But beyond that, I look back at my order scratching my head.
The Size and Pricing Structure is Confusing
When it comes down to it, I think the menu at Pizzeria Davide is simply too confusing, and I may even be so bold as to say it is a poor offering compared to other pizza shops in the city.
Pizzas here come in only two sizes- a 12″ small and a 20″ extra large. There is no middle ground for those who want a normally large-sized pizza. The pricing for a small varies by style and is generally about $11-$14, while extra large pies are $18-$21 before toppings (which are a hefty $2-$4 per topping for standard items and $4-$8 per topping for premium options).
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Going further, specialty pies are seemingly only available in extra large, which is something I didn't realize when ordering, and my $25 pie amounted to a $2 discount versus building the pie myself with ala carte ingredients.
Had I made the same pie in a small pizza, it would've topped out at about $16- pushing the price point a bit much for its size.
Is it worth it to get 64% less pizza for only 36% discount in price? To me, the math doesn't add up, and I wish this one would offer a pizza in the conventional large size at a mid-range price point (or, as an alternative, specialty discounts available as a small).
Overall, I'll place some of the blame on myself and say I goofed when ordering at Pizzeria Davide. By choosing a specialty pie without thinking I received an extra large that was big enough to feed six or so people comfortably and resulted in an admittedly pricey meal for those who aren't entertaining guests.
I'd like to think I would order from this one more often as the pizza itself was delicious- there is no getting around this fact. But I would be hard pressed to order such a large pizza again. With the only other option for a pie that is nearly two-thirds smaller for only a third less in price, well, I'm having a hard time making that value work out.
For now, I'll be enjoying my seven days worth of leftovers while scratching my head all the same.
Pizzeria Davide is located at 2551 Penn Avenue in the Strip District.