Humble Pie hews so closely to the no-frills, locavore principles of owner Brian Solazzi that it’s kind of touching.
The location, on busy Rainier Avenue South, is as nondescript as it gets. The tiny building itself, all raw wood and translucent, corrugated walls with a brick oven as its centerpiece, is thoughtfully designed but doesn’t scream for attention.
Diners might be taken aback by having to eat their pies next to a chicken coop on the patio. But even there, big ideas are at work.
Solazzi embraces the idea that food should be produced as sustainably and as close as possible to the people who consume it, hence the chickens, as well as the shop’s green roof, where herbs and vegetables are grown.
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Most of the staff, including Solazzi, live within walking distance, as do many of his customers. And in keeping with the smaller-is-better vibe, prices are modest, too.
“It’s so much more than a pizzeria,” Solazzi says. “I wanted to express a vision for what a city could be — and what this little corner on Rainier could be.”
The menu: Ten pizzas round out a simple but thoughtful menu, ranging from the classic margarita ($8) to a pie with potato and caramelized onions ($10) to one with smoked eggplant, red onion and cherry tomatoes ($12).
Those chickens come in handy for the mushroom and egg ($10) and prosciutto, egg and arugula ($11) pies. Several heartier options (all $12) feature either animal or veggie sausage, pulled pork and sopressata.
What to write home about: Solazzi put a lot of love and attention into perfecting the sweetly smokey pulled pork he uses in the Whole Hog pizza ($12) and it shows. Prosciutto and bacon round out the porcine toppings on a pie you can really pig out on.
The setting: Solazzi has made clever use of the small-footprint design, with outdoor patio tables for warm weather and room for 20 indoors for colder months in a dining space whose wall slides open like a Japanese shoji screen.
Summing up: A Whole Hog pizza ($12) and Fremont Harvest Ale ($3.75) came to $15.75, plus tax and tip.
Tyrone Beason: email@example.com