Pizza is something everyone in my family can agree on, so I was extra excited to try Pies & Pints with my family for WRW2017. The restaurant specializes in pizza and beer, as the name would indicate, but the experience and food go way beyond just simple eats and drinks. Pies & Pints is a great spot for meeting friends after work, a casual date night, fun family dinner, watching the game on the weekends, and more.
The restaurant is located in prime real estate in Southside, on the corner of 20th street and 2nd Avenue South, just up from the much anticipated downtown Publix and minutes from UAB, Railroad Park, and downtown. As you walk in, you’ll notice the large digital beer list above the bar, a modern touch that is even connected to an app, Digital Board, that updates you in real-time on what’s available and even how much of your favorite brew is left before the keg is blown. The rest of the interior is equally cool – wood, tile, large glass windows, and a painted elephant mural on brick against the back wall. (The elephant is the mascot of this place, which should please a lot of a certain football team’s fans.) There are wide leather booths for larger parties and cozy tables for smaller groups. No matter where you sit though, the experience is hip without being pretentious.
For the WRW menu at Pies & Pints, a $30 dinner will get you a large salad, a large pizza, and dessert. Plenty for two adults to split, since the portions on even the salad are generous. We started our meal with two beers for the grownups and two sodas for the kids, but I did notice craft root beer on the menu as a kid- or non-drinker friendly option.
We chose the House Salad with house vinaigrette to start, and it was as beautiful as it was large. The House Salad comes with lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, pepperoncini, red onions, cheese, and homemade croutons. Each ingredient was fresh and crisp, and the house vinaigrette was pleasantly tangy, just the right mix of oil, vinegar, and seasonings.
You get several choices of pizza with the WRW menu, but my husband had been super excited to try the Grape, Gorgonzola, and Rosemary pizza the most, so I agreed, even though I wasn’t 100% sure I’d love the result. I’m so happy I let him choose. The gorgonzola was a welcome addition to the traditional mix of cheeses on top of the thin, crispy crust and subtle white sauce, while the grapes added a nice hint of sweetness when your bite included them, kind of like pineapple or fresh tomatoes work. Plenty of salads mix fruit, cheese, and blue cheeses, but the creativity of putting them on a pizza never occurred to me before. I’m so glad it occurred to the chefs at Pies & Pints. The pizza was simultaneously sophisticated and comfort-food satisfying, balanced and nuanced and just plain good.
The icing on the cake, or layered brownie as it were, was the dessert. Layers of thin, crunchy brownie and peanut butter were covered in a thick chocolate ganache. The combination of textures, and of course the classic flavors, was highly satisfying, rich, and delicious.
Pies & Pints is a new find for us, both with and without the family in the future, I’m sure. The location is convenient for a bite before or after events downtown, and the fact that we ran into two separate groups of friends while we were dining proves it’s a great spot for gathering and hanging out (especially if you have time to explore the beer list).
A proud Birmingham, Alabama native, Emily Brown has long been in on the secret that Birmingham is an incredible food town. When she’s not writing about food, restaurants, and purveyors for Birmingham Restaurant Week, she’s out enjoying new culinary adventures, whether in one of the city’s restaurants or from her own kitchen. Raised equally on a diet of storytelling and great, Southern food, Emily is also the author of Birmingham Food: A Magic City Menu, a book about the history of food and restaurants in Birmingham from The History Press.