As the sun sets over the islands, we can hear the sound of a gentle breeze in the rigging, and a scent of toasted cornmeal is wafting across the anchorage from the pizza boat. It’s four hours since lunch, yet the taste of the day’s “Mash Up,” a loaded meat and veggie pizza, is still vivid in my mind and on my tongue. Welcome to Christmas Cove and Pizza Pi VI of St. Thomas.
Pi Day is March 14 (as 3, 1 and 4 the first three significant figures of π). Accordingly, it seemed like an appropriate day to share this tale of Pizza Pi VI, the US Virgin Islands' world-famous floating pizzeria. My wife and I are on a sailing trip around the USVI with some friends, and I happened to put this iconic, blue and yellow pizza boat on their radar.
And I admit to having reservations about trying this boat-bound, take-out pizza joint. I figured there could be no way it's as good as the reports. But the little pizza boat that could, which is permanently anchored in St. Thomas' Christmas Cove, captured the imagination of our merry little band. It became necessary take the plunge.
So, how was it? It's a competent and serviceable New York-style pizza. That may not sound like high praise. It is. Creating such a pizza is not easy under the best of circumstances. And I have to temper this review with the fact that as customers, we were half an hour late in picking up our pies. With the heavy traffic that Pizza Pi experiences, you have to order your pizza hours in advance. Our trip from magnificent Magans Bay to Christmas Cove was impeded by strong headwinds and choppy seas that are atypical for the season. Getting to Pi took longer than anticipated.
With all that in mind, despite our lateness, the pizza was still nicely warm. The pie named Mash Up (pictured above) is topped with bell pepper, red onion, mushroom, sausage and bacon. It had an excellent flavor profile. And their “Plain Jane” cheese pizza is a proper New York slice pie. Pizza Pi gets an A-plus for effort. This is hard work that transcends the mere novelty of the pizza-boat paradigm. The pizza itself gets a solid B-plus for New York-style execution in a humid, unforgiving environment where baking is a challenge. (The craft beer in the photo is a really tasty half wheat and pale malt ale from St. John Brewers called Island Summer Ale. What's an island pi without an island ale?)
And you know what is most important about this pizza? You. With a little practice, you can easily make a pizza as good (or better?) in your home oven. You don’t even need a commercial pizza oven or a mooring in St. Thomas. Want to know how? Click here to Free the pizza!
Want to know more about PIzza Pi VI? Click here.
Blaine Parker is the award-winning author of the new, unusual and amusing how-to pizza book, Free The Pizza. Also known as The Pizza Geek and "Hey, Pizza Man!", Blaine is fanatical about the idea that true, professional-quality pizza can be made at home. His home. Your home. Anyone's home. After 20 years of honing his craft and making pizza in standard consumer ovens across the nation, he's sharing what he's learned with home cooks like you. Are you ready to pizza?
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