Pi Pizzeria Heads to Cincinnati

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Pi on the Loop. | RFT Photo

Pi Pizzeria is continuing its pizza domination and announced this week it's adding a location in Cincinnati, Ohio. It will be Pi's seventh location overall and only the second outside of St. Louis.

See also: Pi Pizzeria, Gringo Team Up with Mayor Francis Slay for Higher Minimum Wage

"We are thrilled to be there. Cincinnati is having a major concentrated and strategic resurgence," co-owner Chris Sommers tells us, "and we just wanted to be a part of it."

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Today is Officially "Imo's Day" in St. Louis

Categories: Pizza Pizza!

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Wikimedia via CH473

Some people hate Imo's (ahem, Jimmy Kimmel), but most St. Louisans love it in all its Provel glory. Mayor Francis Slay is obviously a fan, and after 50 years, he has declared April 8 "Imo's Day."

See also: Jon Hamm Defends Imo's on Jimmy Kimmel Live! (VIDEO)

UPDATE 3:02 p.m. This post has been updated with a comment from Mayor Slay.

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Mystery Solved: Alton Brown Loves Pi Pizzeria

Categories: Pizza Pizza!

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       Solve for Pi. | Laura Ann Miller

Earlier this week we chatted with Food Network star and James Beard award winner Alton Brown before he brings his one-man show to St. Louis on February 1. Brown recalled the last time he was in St. Louis, he tweeted that he was starving, and someone sent him a pizza.

See also: Help Alton Brown Find the Mystery St. Louis-Style Pizza that Stole His Heart

"It was one of the top three pizzas I've ever had in my life. And I don't know what that place was called because the name wasn't on the box. And I hate that, because if I was going to go back to one place in St. Louis, it would be to get that pizza again," Brown told us. "Honestly, pizza in Italy, one pizza in New York and that pizza's No. 3. And I'm afraid I'll never have it again."

Of course, the Internet came to the rescue.

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Monte Bello: A Basement Pizza Kitchen That's About to Become St. Louis' Worst-Kept Secret

Welcome to Hidden Gem, a short love letter to restaurants, coffee shop and bars we at Gut Check have discovered off the beaten path. These are the places that soldier on in relative anonymity, beloved by their regulars and largely overlooked by the greater populace. Hidden Gem will attempt to rectify these terrible oversights. Have a Hidden Gem of your own to recommend? Tell us in the comments.

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All photos by Mabel Suen
Monte Bello Pizzeria's homemade toasted ravioli.

In what seems like a top-secret pizza lair in south St. Louis -- in a Lemay basement, to be specific -- 54-year-old Tom Nix spends six nights a week single-handedly baking up what he calls St. Louis' original thin crust pizza. That claim sounds like a tall one coming from a place that many St. Louisans aren't even aware exists, but Nix seems determined to show us how it's done.

Last April, he took over management of Monte Bello Pizzeria (3662 Weber Road; 314-638-8861), equipped with all the restaurant's original recipes from 1950. Those pies are now flying out of the oven for the first time in decades.

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Katie's Pizza & Pasta Now Open in Rock Hill

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       Katie Lee opens her latest pizza venture today. | Savannah Dodd

Katie's Pizza & Pasta Osteria will open at 11 a.m. today at 9568 Manchester Road in Rock Hill. Owner Katie Lee left Katie's Pizzeria Cafe in Clayton in 2010, though her father still owns it. Lee began plans for her new restaurant in January of this year with a Kickstarter campaign which raised $40,000 for Katie's Pizza & Pasta.

See also: Katie Lee of Katie's Pizzeria Café Plans New Venture, Turns to Kickstarter [Updated]

"We loved it [Kickstarter] because we met so many people that became a really big part of the restaurant," Lee tells Gut Check.

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Jon Hamm Defends Imo's on Jimmy Kimmel Live! (VIDEO)

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       Jon Hamm sticks up for St. Louis. | YouTube

Hometown boy Jon Hamm -- fresh off his latest loss at this week's Emmy Awards -- stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live! Wednesday to promote his new movie A Young Doctor's Notebook with Daniel Radcliffe and talk about how much he loves St. Louis.

"For those who don't know, you are from St. Louis," Kimmel said to Hamm during the segment. "There is a pizza place that I've been at odds with called Imo's Pizza in St. Louis. Now, it's a beloved chain in St. Louis and...the pizza by the way is terrible."

Whoa whoa whoa. Whoa. Luckily, Hamm was all over it.

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A Pizza Story Will Serve Neapolitan Pizza Cooked Up By Two Wash. U. Professors

Categories: Pizza Pizza!

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       Pizza Margherita. | Arnold Gatilao

Muhammad Alhawagri and Sherif Nasser are not chefs by day -- they both work at Washington University. Alhawagri is a biologist in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery; Nasser is an assistant professor of marketing in the Olin Business School. But by night, food is their passion.

The idea to open a restaurant formed a few years ago but is finally coming to fruition for the two old friends. This is A Pizza Story.

See also: Gooey Louie's: King Louie's Empire aims to convert St. Louisans to pizza by the slice

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