Tucked into the blocks of the great eating and drinking establishments called The Loop, just a short drive from campus, is the newest restaurant in the area, Doughocracy. Think Chipotle, but for pizza. Then think Chipotle for pizza, but better. Doughocracy is a “fast casual” restaurant where you pick a specialty pizza, such as the Classic Margherita or The Smokeshow – featuring smoked mozzarella, tomato sauce, sautéed onion, and sausage. You can also split your pizza, like I did, to taste multiple offerings on a single pie. Those who find menus oppressive can also build their own pizza, limited only by the toppings they see before them in the open-concept restaurant.

As soon as you walk in, a worker greets you with an order card. Simply pick your pie or salad, or walk with your pie (just as you do with your burrito at Chipotle) down the line as multiple workers craft your pizza into the delicious Neapolitan masterpiece it is destined to be. One of the workers may be a fellow SLU student, and applications are still being accepted.

The pizzas served are made with fresh ingredients, and pies and salads can be ordered to go, too. Attractive copper tea pots hold the olive oil used on all pizzas.

Local beer and desserts are also offered, with the Nutella Bomb being one of the most popular items – think pizza dough folded on itself and keeping warm a gooey Nutella filling inside.  Both the Green Mile and the Vegetarian Nightmare, a pair of other specialty pizza offerings, are also fan favorites. The next-generation soda fountain has multiple pop options just a click away, using a touch screen interface to either choose your favorite brand or make your own unique combination, with sparkling water among the options.

The neon green and black color scheme, true Italian-style pizza, and trendy design scheme come from the next generation businesses owners who grew up in the hospitality industry. Chicagoland natives will recognize Al’s Beef and possibly Nancy’s Pizza family businesses. Doughcracy is the brainchild of those owners’ children.

Doughocracy is not just a funny name, it is the philosophy behind the pizza. The dough comes first, it is the only ingredient hand made in house daily. The dough worker is the first station along the food line. Other ingredients are prepped each day, and are all high-end. Which brings us to pricing.

There are 3 classes of pies: simple, one topping and specialty. Simple pizzas are just as they sound and cost $5.95, one toppings run for $7.45, and specialty pizzas will be $8.75. Bring your SLU ID and you will save 10% on your bill. Management is also considering accepting Billiken Bucks, too, but details still need to be worked out with the University. I recommend splitting your pie between two specialty pizzas, such as The Smokeshow and the Vegetarian Nightmare.

If you are on a budget, simple pizzas get you about the same amount of food for a little bit more than half the cost, since all pies are 12 inches. You could also visit the restaurant next Wednesday, Nov. 18, between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. when it will be giving away free pies in celebration of its Grand Opening. Like Chipotle, delivery is not available, but services like GrubHub can do the work for you, for a price. Doughcracy management hopes to open another location, possibly near SLU’s campus or in South City, in the near future.

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