First Look: Pielands brings New York-style pizza, subs to Virginia-Highland

Beer or wine? Round pie or square? Hot sub or cold? Pielands Sub & Slice in Virginia-Highland aims to please. Drinks include Miller High Life, draught beer and Ercole Barbera del Monferrato (red wine). Food options include (from left, middle row) the Highland Sub, Classic Round pizza, the Spicy Meatball and "Noni" Style (two square pieces of pizza); and (from left, bottom row) the McDowell, and Cheese and Pepperoni (round pie slices), and the All-American sub. If you have room for dessert, here's Chocolate-Vanilla-Swirl soft serve ice cream with rainbow sprinkles (center). (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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Beer or wine? Round pie or square? Hot sub or cold? Pielands Sub & Slice in Virginia-Highland aims to please. Drinks include Miller High Life, draught beer and Ercole Barbera del Monferrato (red wine). Food options include (from left, middle row) the Highland Sub, Classic Round pizza, the Spicy Meatball and "Noni" Style (two square pieces of pizza); and (from left, bottom row) the McDowell, and Cheese and Pepperoni (round pie slices), and the All-American sub. If you have room for dessert, here's Chocolate-Vanilla-Swirl soft serve ice cream with rainbow sprinkles (center). (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Though they’re from different parts of New York state, Pielands Sub & Slice owner Billy Streck and culinary director Jeff Stamp have one big thing in common: They both grew up with family ties to pizza places.

Streck, who also owns Nina and Rafi and Hampton and Hudson in Atlanta, grew up in Albany, where his grandfather and father “ran a couple of pizza places,” he said. Adding, “I’ve always been drawn to it my whole life. When I first moved down here, I got started in a little pizza bar in Buckhead. But I really enjoy it. I feel like it’s in my blood.”

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Pielands Sub & Slice owner Billy Streck (left) and culinary director Jeff Stamp pose for a team photo. Both came from families in New York state with pizza places. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

Pielands Sub & Slice owner Billy Streck (left) and culinary director Jeff Stamp pose for a team photo. Both came from families in New York state with pizza places. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

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Pielands Sub & Slice owner Billy Streck (left) and culinary director Jeff Stamp pose for a team photo. Both came from families in New York state with pizza places. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

Credit: Chris Hunt

Stamp is from Niagara Falls, where his parents own a pizza restaurant. “Pizza, wings and subs, that’s like a Western New York diet right there,” he said. “I grew up there eating New York-style pizza, and that’s where my inspiration comes from.”

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Freshly made pizza pies are on display at Pielands Sub & Slice's walk-up ordering area featuring individual slices for sale. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

Freshly made pizza pies are on display at Pielands Sub & Slice's walk-up ordering area featuring individual slices for sale. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

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Freshly made pizza pies are on display at Pielands Sub & Slice's walk-up ordering area featuring individual slices for sale. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

Credit: Chris Hunt

Pielands is located in part of the storefront space on Virginia Avenue in Virginia-Highland that was previously home to Going Coastal. The counter service-style build-out features an open kitchen with glass-enclosed shelves that display the current pizzas available by the slice.

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Floor-to-ceiling pizza-related stickers cover the bathroom's walls at Pielands Sub & Slice. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

Floor-to-ceiling pizza-related stickers cover the bathroom's walls at Pielands Sub & Slice. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

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Floor-to-ceiling pizza-related stickers cover the bathroom's walls at Pielands Sub & Slice. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

Credit: Chris Hunt

The cozy sunken dining room offers seating at banquettes and along a rail with barstools facing the kitchen. Decorative touches range from a mural of the Brooklyn Bridge, to a glowing neon sign that reads “Sweet Dreams Are Made Of Cheese,” and the floor-to-ceiling pizza stickers that cover the bathroom walls.

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Pielands Sub & Slice offers round pies and square pan pies. Here are Cheese and Pepperoni, and Classic Round (homemade pizza sauce, mozzarella). The restaurant also has adult beverage options, such as white and red wines, Miller beer and draught beer. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

Pielands Sub & Slice offers round pies and square pan pies. Here are Cheese and Pepperoni, and Classic Round (homemade pizza sauce, mozzarella). The restaurant also has adult beverage options, such as white and red wines, Miller beer and draught beer. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

Combined ShapeCaption
Pielands Sub & Slice offers round pies and square pan pies. Here are Cheese and Pepperoni, and Classic Round (homemade pizza sauce, mozzarella). The restaurant also has adult beverage options, such as white and red wines, Miller beer and draught beer. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

Credit: Chris Hunt

In addition to slices, there are five round pies, five square pan pies, and five hot or cold 12-inch subs made with rolls from Best Bakery, plus a variety of salads and appetizers, and soft serve ice cream.

Hard and soft drinks include draft beer, red and white wine, and signature bottled cocktails, which are displayed in neat refrigerated cases, along with shorty Miller High Life bottles, sodas and sparkling water.

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The "Noni," named after Pielands Sub & Slice owner Billy Streck's grandmother, who made this style of pizza, is one of the square pies. It features homemade marinara sauce, mozzarella, pecorino Romano and extra-virgin olive oil, finished with house-pulled fresh mozzarella and fresh basil. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

The "Noni," named after Pielands Sub & Slice owner Billy Streck's grandmother, who made this style of pizza, is one of the square pies. It features homemade marinara sauce, mozzarella, pecorino Romano and extra-virgin olive oil, finished with house-pulled fresh mozzarella and fresh basil. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

Combined ShapeCaption
The "Noni," named after Pielands Sub & Slice owner Billy Streck's grandmother, who made this style of pizza, is one of the square pies. It features homemade marinara sauce, mozzarella, pecorino Romano and extra-virgin olive oil, finished with house-pulled fresh mozzarella and fresh basil. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

Credit: Chris Hunt

Stamp explained a few of the things that make Pielands a bit different.

“We’re doing the sauce on top, which is kind of a nod to some famous places in New York City,” he said. “That’s pretty new to Atlanta. The Royal is probably my father’s favorite sub. It’s a Western New York tradition, with Italian sausage, pepperoni, sharp provolone cheese and caramelized onions, and it’s served toasted.

“This is my new baby, and I have creative control over a lot of things here. It really speaks to what I’m about, and what I want my pizza to taste like. Really the flavors are me, and what we do with the dough and sauce.”

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The McDowell, aka the cheeseburger pie, is a favorite with families who visit Pielands Sub & Slice. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

The McDowell, aka the cheeseburger pie, is a favorite with families who visit Pielands Sub & Slice. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

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The McDowell, aka the cheeseburger pie, is a favorite with families who visit Pielands Sub & Slice. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

Credit: Chris Hunt

So far, the McDowell, also known as the cheeseburger pie, has been the big hit among the round pizzas. It’s loaded with seasoned ground beef, special sauce, American and white cheddar cheese, pickles and onions on a sesame seed crust.

“I’ll tell you what. We had so many families in over the weekend ordering that one,” Streck said. “The kids were going absolutely crazy for it.”

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Adult beverages await in a cooler at Pielands Sub & Slice. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

Adult beverages await in a cooler at Pielands Sub & Slice. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

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Adult beverages await in a cooler at Pielands Sub & Slice. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

Credit: Chris Hunt

It seems that the adults have taken to the bottled cocktails, which include a Martini, an Old Fashioned and a Negroni.

“There’s no bar here, so we wanted something where you could just do a quick grab and go,” Streck said. “People come in, grab a slice and a quick cocktail, and sit down for a bit.

“This neighborhood has been super supportive. I can’t tell you how many people come by and just want to stop in, say hello, and thank us for opening up here. It’s like that nonstop all day, every day. So it’s really been a treat to be embraced like that.”

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One of the subs at Pielands Sub & Slice is the All-American: smoked turkey, pressed and boiled ham, roast beef and American cheese, served toasted or cold. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

One of the subs at Pielands Sub & Slice is the All-American: smoked turkey, pressed and boiled ham, roast beef and American cheese, served toasted or cold. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

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One of the subs at Pielands Sub & Slice is the All-American: smoked turkey, pressed and boiled ham, roast beef and American cheese, served toasted or cold. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

Credit: Chris Hunt

DINING OUT

11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays.

1021 Virginia Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-968-9961, pielands.com.

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