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TnT Pizza explodes with flavor in every slice

Opt for New York or Detroit, cheesy or vegan, gluten-free or seasoned crust

Detroit-style pizza: cooked in a deep, rectangular pan so that the cheese crisps up at the crust
Detroit-style pizza: cooked in a deep, rectangular pan so that the cheese crisps up at the crust

Eighteen months ago, we all saw the pandemic make things tough on restaurants, a few of which never made it back. However, if we liken that to a long winter of attrition, what we’ve been seeing since the summer might be considered a spring of rebirth. Though indoor dining restrictions have gone away, many of the parklets restaurants built to surmount them have been made more or less permanent. This leaves a number of businesses with increased capacity, and the lure of outdoor seating where it was not previously available. Most surviving restaurants also came through with more robust take-out protocols, and thanks to recent legislation at the state level, those may continue include take-away cocktail sales for at least another five years.

Place

TnT Pizza

550 14th Street #116, San Diego

We’re also witnessing the emergence of pandemic born restaurants, launched by folks who took the shut-down as an opportunity to pivot into entrepreneurship. Case in point: new East Village pizza joint, TnT Pizza.

TnT Pizza went from Instagram pick-up sales to an East Village pizza shop.

Now, those paying attention to such things will remember that, last year, East Village previously saw the birth of a pandemic pizza joint — literally named Pandemic Pizza — started by a couple dudes in their apartment prior to setting up shop within Italian grocery, RoVino The Foodery. However, the Foodery partnership ended last spring, and for the moment Pandemic Pizza operates as an occasional pop-up restaurant, posting updates over Instagram.

Inside the shop, pizza is available whole pie or by the slice.

TnT Pizza likewise started out as a pair of dudes, out of work due to Covid-19, baking pizzas in a home kitchen to sell over Instagram. Kevin Gist and Joseph Wehrly brought years of experience making pies at local restaurants — including Pizzeria Luigi — and built up enough of a following that they’ve now opened up an actual pizza joint of their own, at the corner of 14th and Market Streets.

A flavorful take on New York style pizza. with everything bagel toppings added to the crust

Besides the presumption this brick and mortar business would not exist without the pandemic nudging these two pizzeros on a new trajectory, the most intriguing about TnT is that it offers not one, but two types of pizza: New York and Detroit style. Adding to that, they employ both organic and carefully selected ingredients, and offer both gluten-free and vegan options. The latter shows some particular pizza swagger in the case of Detroit pizza, which relies on a thick, focaccia-like crust, cheese caramelizing against the pan to create a savory, secondary crust.

A cupped slice of pepperoni collects everything bagel toppings

Basically, if you’re the sort to praise the refined simplicity of a cheese pizza or a margherita pie, this is not the pizza for you. I picked up examples of both styles for the family, and each proved about as flavor-forward as pizza gets.

Take the shop’s Detroit style House Classic, which draws plenty of flavor from its toppings: pinches of ground fennel sausage, pepperoncini, red peppers, and onions. Add the salted umami of that cheese-crisp crust and richly seasoned sauce, and you find an entire pie worth of flavor in a single, rectangular slice. Even the comparably simple New York style pie, which I ordered with pepperoni, had flavor to spare, especially as I embraced the $1.50 add-on option, which adds everything bagel seasoning to the crust.

The East Village shop does sell pizza by the slice, allowing customers to pace themselves with TnT’s different and unique topping combinations, including the Hot Sop (soppressata, hot honey, date, and balsamic reduction), Corny Peener (jalapeño sauce with corn and cilantro), and the Trifecta, which rather than a multitude of toppings, stacks flavor from three different kinds of sauce: pesto, vodka, and tomato.

Order a pie, and all of these are available in Detroit or New York styles, vegan or not. That said, the 10x14-inch Detroit pies and 20-inch New York pies run between 25 and 30 bucks apiece, with the 8x10-inch gluten-free Detroit pies a little bit cheaper. A little spendy, whereas a couple slices can definitely fill you up.

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Detroit-style pizza: cooked in a deep, rectangular pan so that the cheese crisps up at the crust
Detroit-style pizza: cooked in a deep, rectangular pan so that the cheese crisps up at the crust

Eighteen months ago, we all saw the pandemic make things tough on restaurants, a few of which never made it back. However, if we liken that to a long winter of attrition, what we’ve been seeing since the summer might be considered a spring of rebirth. Though indoor dining restrictions have gone away, many of the parklets restaurants built to surmount them have been made more or less permanent. This leaves a number of businesses with increased capacity, and the lure of outdoor seating where it was not previously available. Most surviving restaurants also came through with more robust take-out protocols, and thanks to recent legislation at the state level, those may continue include take-away cocktail sales for at least another five years.

Place

TnT Pizza

550 14th Street #116, San Diego

We’re also witnessing the emergence of pandemic born restaurants, launched by folks who took the shut-down as an opportunity to pivot into entrepreneurship. Case in point: new East Village pizza joint, TnT Pizza.

TnT Pizza went from Instagram pick-up sales to an East Village pizza shop.

Now, those paying attention to such things will remember that, last year, East Village previously saw the birth of a pandemic pizza joint — literally named Pandemic Pizza — started by a couple dudes in their apartment prior to setting up shop within Italian grocery, RoVino The Foodery. However, the Foodery partnership ended last spring, and for the moment Pandemic Pizza operates as an occasional pop-up restaurant, posting updates over Instagram.

Inside the shop, pizza is available whole pie or by the slice.

TnT Pizza likewise started out as a pair of dudes, out of work due to Covid-19, baking pizzas in a home kitchen to sell over Instagram. Kevin Gist and Joseph Wehrly brought years of experience making pies at local restaurants — including Pizzeria Luigi — and built up enough of a following that they’ve now opened up an actual pizza joint of their own, at the corner of 14th and Market Streets.

A flavorful take on New York style pizza. with everything bagel toppings added to the crust

Besides the presumption this brick and mortar business would not exist without the pandemic nudging these two pizzeros on a new trajectory, the most intriguing about TnT is that it offers not one, but two types of pizza: New York and Detroit style. Adding to that, they employ both organic and carefully selected ingredients, and offer both gluten-free and vegan options. The latter shows some particular pizza swagger in the case of Detroit pizza, which relies on a thick, focaccia-like crust, cheese caramelizing against the pan to create a savory, secondary crust.

A cupped slice of pepperoni collects everything bagel toppings

Basically, if you’re the sort to praise the refined simplicity of a cheese pizza or a margherita pie, this is not the pizza for you. I picked up examples of both styles for the family, and each proved about as flavor-forward as pizza gets.

Take the shop’s Detroit style House Classic, which draws plenty of flavor from its toppings: pinches of ground fennel sausage, pepperoncini, red peppers, and onions. Add the salted umami of that cheese-crisp crust and richly seasoned sauce, and you find an entire pie worth of flavor in a single, rectangular slice. Even the comparably simple New York style pie, which I ordered with pepperoni, had flavor to spare, especially as I embraced the $1.50 add-on option, which adds everything bagel seasoning to the crust.

The East Village shop does sell pizza by the slice, allowing customers to pace themselves with TnT’s different and unique topping combinations, including the Hot Sop (soppressata, hot honey, date, and balsamic reduction), Corny Peener (jalapeño sauce with corn and cilantro), and the Trifecta, which rather than a multitude of toppings, stacks flavor from three different kinds of sauce: pesto, vodka, and tomato.

Order a pie, and all of these are available in Detroit or New York styles, vegan or not. That said, the 10x14-inch Detroit pies and 20-inch New York pies run between 25 and 30 bucks apiece, with the 8x10-inch gluten-free Detroit pies a little bit cheaper. A little spendy, whereas a couple slices can definitely fill you up.

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