I drove up and down Edloe Street about three times before successfully locating Pizza Motus, whose unadorned storefront is further obscured by its anterior outside seating area.
The delay left me harried for I assumed the West University pizzeria, which was recently described as “one of those neighborhood amenities that make a city more livable,” would be hopping and bopping. But midday on a Monday the dining room was eerily empty and the slice offerings in its window display much depleted. Clearly, I had missed the rush. The sole attendant nevertheless greeted me with a bright smile and assured me any fresh pizza of my choosing would be readily available.
Unfortunately for my wallet, but fortunately for my gluttony, the two types of Motus' specialty Roman-style pizzas I was most game to sample—porcini and truffle cream and eggplant parmesan—were available only by whole pie.
My order was ready within 10 minutes, and I settled in at one of the wooden tables outside for a delicious pizza picnic and some people-watching.
My first bites, however, were a disappointment: Too much black truffle cream (never thought I would write those words in a food review) made my porcini pizza soggy, and more importantly, overwhelmed to the point of masking the flavor of the mushrooms. An overzealous dusting of mozzarella only exacerbated the cloying richness. Shockingly, Pizza Motus explicitly invites customers to add on sausage or crispy prosciutto. Take a hard pass on that offer unless you’re looking to experience a sodium overdose-induced stroke.
Far better was the eggplant parmesan—thin, supple slices of aubergine topped with salty, freshly grated Parmesan abed a base of tomato. That combination alone gave rise to umami perfection, but the addition perky drizzle of pesto brought this pizza to the next level. In other words, not yo' grandma’s eggplant parmesan. Sorry, nonna.
With summer fast approaching, the window of time to enjoyably eat a hot, scrumptious square of Pizza Motus’ eggplant parm pie al fresco is rapidly closing. Stop by sooner rather than later.