19 Oct 2020

New Hill East:

Three Pizza-Related Questions with Rachael Marie of Slice Joint

By now, many of you especially in Hill East have tried the newest pizza joint around the Hill, Slice Joint at The Roost. Rachael Marie, who developed the Slice Joint concept for The Roost, has spent over 12 years working in and out of pizzerias, earning the title of Pizza Queen, so I assume she knows a thing or two about good pizza. I asked her three pizza questions and here are her answers (very lightly edited) and now I’m starving.

Enjoy– preferably with a slice of grandma pizza!

Rachael Marie. Photo courtesy of NRG.

I’m sure you get this question a lot, but what is it about New York-style pizza that makes people so excited about it? Do you want to replicate NYC pizza here in DC, or do you think it’s about time for a DC style to emerge? 

I think people get excited about New York pizza because of the unique craftsmanship seen at different pizzerias. Every slice shop does it a little differently. There are the old school favorites like Di Fara, the new school hits like Mama’s Too, and the neighborhood favorites (in my neighborhood I always go to Tony’s). Not to mention, the classic NYC $1 slice. The foundation of NY pizza is built on learned techniques and experience as well as the love of pizza itself. Almost every slice shop will have plain, pepperoni and white slices, plus a variety of square slices. Some pizzerias have much more variety, but those are the basics. Slice Joint will be offering the same menu in DC as in NYC: a small selection of slices as well as whole pies that you can customize to your liking.  I’m really excited to be in the neighborhood and hope that we can offer a slightly different take to the DC pizza scene.

I love the concept of a grandma style pizza. What exactly makes a pizza “grandma style”? 

Grandma style is typically a thin square pan baked pie that is reminiscent of Italy (typically a mozzarella-and-tomato pie), whereas Sicilian style is a thicker square pan pizza, but both baked in olive oil. Detroit style is another square pie where the toppings are brought all the way to the edge. At Slice Joint we call ours “squares” – it has a thick and airy crust that is baked in olive oil, similar to a Sicilian pie. We also bring our toppings all the way to the edge to create the frico layer, which is typical of a Detroit pizza. 

What is your ideal pizza? If you want to treat yourself, what do you make? 

My ideal pizza is plain cheese. When you nail the dough, sauce, cheese ratio and get that perfect balance, there is nothing better. If I’m treating myself, I’ll typically go for a white pie with mushrooms or something along the lines of supreme with Sausage, Pepperoni, and Peppers. I also love getting a variety of seasonal vegetables on a slice. Fresh ingredients are the best.  

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