Photo by Steve Pan

Review: Red and Moe

Photo by Steve Pan

A dual review in which Steve and Tina talk about their shared experience at Red & Moe.  Here’s Steve’s take:

It’s pretty difficult to get excited about pizza. As a basic American food, the concept of topping dough with sauce, cheese, and other ingredients before nuking it in an oven has been done to death.

I admit I’m pretty jaded. Red and Moe’s sustainability gimmick with their pizza seemed interesting enough for us at Footprint. I’m now glad we went to take a gander. Their pizza is fantastic.

Red and Moe, located at 21 North Ninth Street, is tastefully decorated, combining a hip, modern aesthetic with subtle, vintage charm. For example, the retro-looking tableside lamp at our table flickered whenever I banged on the table (not always on accident), bringing me much joy. In addition, water is brought to you in a highball glass, giving common Eau de Columbia a much more rarified presentation. You’d swear it tastes better too.

But the real show here is the pizza. In addition to the generic red sauce n’ cheese, Red and Moe has a rotating selection of specialty pizzas made exclusively with locally sourced ingredients. The apples that go into their apple and red onion marmalade pie, for example, are from the CCUA.

We chose JJR’s farm roasted chicken, which was probably one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had.  It’s a glorious shitshow of various European cuisine archetypes plus good ol’ roasted chicken.  The roasted chicken topping was succulent and full of flavor. I I’ve probably eaten a henhouse’s worth of rubbery, flavorless chicken from a CAFO. This however, is the real deal. Additionally, the pizza is topped with escarole, a somewhat pretentious leafy green but wonderfully complementary with the roasted chicken and mozzarella/basil base. Also interesting is the dressing on the escarole, a garlic aioli (raw egg and garlic mayo) that lent a powerful, but not overwhelming flavor to the pizza. Overall, there was not much to be disappointed with. I thought the crust was a little underwhelming, and at $15, it’s pretty expensive.

If you’re just looking for a quick slice after class or drinking too much, Red and Moe may be an in appropriate choice. Those looking for sustainable take on an American favorite in a classy but casual environment will be rewarded.

Tina:

I disagree with Steve. I get excited about pizza. It’s the energy currency of this whole campus, for goodness sake. Maybe that’s why I was already excited about Red and Moe.  Disregarding the fact that expanding this currency analogy presents some real-life logistic problems, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that cheaper pizza like Domino’s or Gumby’s is a dime a dozen for college students. Getting Red & Moe is like someone handing you a crisp $20 bill. Hel-lo, Andrew Jackson.

Red & Moe was legendary.  I had heard of its sustainable sourcing and tasty inventions, but was always too put off by the prices to go inside.

First off, it’s less snooty than the price tag makes it seem, which I guess makes sense because, well, it is a pizza joint. Our waitress was super helpful as she walked us through what exactly aioli sauce and escarole entails. After hearing her description, Steve and I didn’t need words to agree that we wanted that pizza.

My only regret is that I didn’t have room to finish it all. Thin, crispy crust, garlic mayonnaise and uncooked greens are best enjoyed fresh, so bring two friends if you’re going for lunch.

Know what else you can have at Red and Moe? Wine pairings with pizza. To-go options. A nice bout of the warm fuzzies.

Would I pick Red and Moe over Shakespeare’s? They’re too different to compare. I’d go to Shakespeare’s to hang out with a bunch of friends and have a lot of pizza that is instantly satisfying and delicious — comfort food and lots of noise. With a good friend like Steve, I’d go to Red and Moe, where we can talk about life and savor all the flavors of the food. I’m glad Columbia has options like this, so I can cash in on my pizza cravings no matter the mood.

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