This past Saturday we decided to drive over to South Lake Union specifically for the purpose of getting a chicken biscuit from the newly opened Dahlia Workshop biscuit bar. Tom Douglas has expanded to the corner of Westlake and Harrison with a huge space that holds a coffee/bakery/ prosciutto bar and a bread and pastry bakery on the first floor. Soul Wine is also on the ground floor with the bar and you can look out at the wine shop, biscuit bar, and some serious baking from the mezzanine level, where Serious Pie is located.
Because the idea of getting out of the house before noon on a non-workday gives me the hives, we didn’t arrive until right around one. Just in time for the hostess to direct us into the Dahlia Workshop bar by saying “Come on in, we’re out of chicken….”
The whole reason for coming was to try one of Dahlia’s tricked out biscuits. I wrote about Pine State Biscuits last year and how I went crazy over The Reggie, a chicken biscuit with gravy and cheese. Apparently Dahlia’s serving up a Tom Douglas version of this that I know will be magnificent. It must be true if they’re running out of chicken an hour before closing.
After drying my tears, James suggested we try another weekend and head upstairs to try some serious pie instead. He does know how to console, doesn’t he?
The wonderful light in Serious Pie is due to sky lights poking holes through the roof. The wonderful flavor in the pizza is coming from those sticks of wood that get chucked into a big oven with flames painted all over it.
We were greeted warmly and led to a communion style table. Here’s where I mention once again that the people Tom’s got working for him are some damn friendly people. They’re not merely polite and efficient, they know how to make a girl feel welcome, especially after being denied a chicken biscuit.
I do love open kitchens and this one is more spectacular because of those brilliant skylights.
There are two negatives I can mention about SP and those personal preferences aren’t necessarily deal breakers for me, but are more like “Really? That sucks” items. Number one, they don’t have Diet Coke. Really?! They serve the bottled versions of Coke with real sugar. Ok. I’m disappointed, but ok. I ordered the iced tea. Number two is there is no pepperoni on the menu. That sucks. I’m disappointed again, but ok. I love how a nice pepperoni can provide the spicy sweetness to any pizza and I’m usually not a sausage fan because the large chunks of it tend to be too fatty and meaty, whereas pepperoni is really just little discs of spice that don’t overwhelm the other ingredients. But ok, Tom. Fine.
The family of four sitting beside us were just hedonists. They had the mozzarella, potato, and sausage pizzas. I’m thinking I need to have two kids just so I can justify ordering three pizzas, man. They all looked wonderful and the kids were enjoying it just as much as dad and mom.
We had just about decided to go with the potato pizza, but our server told us the sausage was her favorite. I like to try servers’ suggestions on first visits, so in spite of my reservations about sausage, we decided to go with it and I’m really really glad we did.
The sweet fennel, roasted peppers, and provolone ($17) was the second best pizza I’ve had in Seattle. Second best because Pomegranate not only had pepperoni, but pepperoni from Salumi. That pizza is just a mouth party waiting to happen. However, Tom’s crust is better than Lisa Dupar’s, so if Tom ever considered getting that ingredient for his pies, it’d go way past Serious and into Crucial.
The wood-fired oven guarantees these gorgeously blistered crusts. I once read somewhere that eating charred meat increased the risk of pancreatic cancer because of how it changes the amino acids into carcinogens. I wonder if the same thing happens to pizza crust? Maybe ignorance is bliss.
Even though this is a photo of a serious hunk of sausage, it didn’t overwhelm the pizza or give it that heavy, meaty feel that sausage usually does. It was flavorful and the little bits of fennel zinged my tongue while the slightly sweet peppers and creamy provolone balanced it out. The tomato sauce is slightly sweeter than I normally like, but not a deal breaker at all.
I remember when I was a kid and I’d never let those flakes touch my pie. Now I can’t eat a slice without them. The truth is, I love to squeeze a little hot sauce on my pizza, and the dirtier truth is that Taco Bell hot sauce is my favorite. But that sauce is generally used to kill the taste of bland pizza, and this pie seriously didn’t need any flavor boosts (uh, other than the pepper flakes).
Little bowls of freshly grated Parmesan were available for sprinkling, and while this slice might’ve gotten a little too much dumped on it (ohhh, how I suffer for art), it’s awesome cheese.
No matter how pitifully I may have gazed upon that kid’s pizza that was right at my elbow, he never once considered offering me a slice. Don’t people know what communal eating means?!
That crust is the reason Serious Pie has some of the best pizza in Seattle. Thin, thin crust that is crispity good on the outside and softly chewy on the meager inside. The only crust I’ve had that rivals this is the slice I had from Slice in Portland. Amazing.
The view to the left from the top of the stairs at Serious Pie looks down into Soul Wine. I’m not a wine drinker, but by the look of wine bottles and people standing around talking and sniffing and tasting, I’m guessing they definitely sell wine there.
To the right is the chicken-less Dahlia Work Station bar. Because I couldn’t resist, we stopped by for a biscuit on the way out and it was amazing. I can’t wait to try it tricked out with chicken and gravy.
To the rear of the SP restaurant there are windows that allow diners to see where the baking magic happens for the TD eateries. I don’t know if all baked goods are prepared here, but when I was looking at the large version of this photo, I spotted pie crusts that will no doubt become homes to triple coconut pies. Unfortunately not many goods were being prepared, or this could’ve been a great view.
While good pizza is hard to find (uh, easier than chicken biscuits), by opening up the South Lake Union branch, Serious Pie increased the chances by at least a hundred.