Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I found my thrill on Potrero Hill (well, good pizza at least)

My husband and I were on a quest this last weekend to find the perfect apartment in San Francisco. After five hours of driving up and down the streets (literally), we still hadn’t found an apartment we loved, although we had learned that North Beach is actually Little Italy and, just like North Beach, South Beach is not a beach at all.

Our last stop of the day was Potrero Hill to see a quaint two-bedroom for a reasonable price, and we figured even if it didn’t work out, we could wallow over some Anchor Steam, one of our favorite local brews; we knew it would be fresh because Anchor Brewery was just down the street.

The apartment didn’t work out, and who’d have thought that the brewery was only open on weekdays. We walked up to 18th Street (again, literally!) and, looking for a place where we could have a nice cold one, stepped into Goat Hill Pizza. It’s a no-frills neighborhood pizzeria with red and white check tablecloths and a piano in the corner on top of which is a plastic jug with a sign, “tips for musician.” Locals come in and out to pick up deliveries, and while waiting may read a local paper that is stacked by the piano, or watch the TV located by the entrance, even though they aren’t necessarily interested in Mexican soccer. Finally, they excitedly get their pizza and rush out the door, hardly able to wait to eat it while it’s still hot.

We were seated in the front area, with a nice street view. A super-friendly waiter (the kind that calls you “honey”) came and took our order – minestrone served with garlic bread, small “Greek Gourmet” pizza (my husband, born and raised in Greece, is obsessively drawn to anything that says “Greek”), and two draft Anchor Steams. A busboy came to our table with a Rubbermaid pitcher designated with black permanent marker, “H20 – Water.” Like I said, no frills.

I was first impressed with the minestrone. Filled with an assortment of chunky vegetables, fresh greens, and a ton of garlic, it surely surpassed my expectations of the minestrone I’m accustomed to getting at pizzerias, generally a bit more watered down with some elbow macaroni. The pizza was also delicious. Although I couldn’t necessarily make out that the crust was sourdough, which Goat Hill prides itself on, the crust was flavorful and baked to crispy perfection in the kitchen’s brick oven. It was topped with Goat Hill’s fresh tomato sauce, provolone, mozzarella, and feta cheese, sliced red onions, green olives, fresh tomatoes, and spiced with rosemary and thyme. Not a crumb was spared.

It took a bit of coaxing to get the check, but I didn’t mind the wait considering the laid-back atmosphere; it just felt natural. It also gave me a chance to look at the black and white photos lining the walls, some frames askew, of Potrero Hill circa 1900.

Goat Hill Pizza is a great place to go if you’re in San Francisco looking for good beer, good pizza, and good people. I know I’ll be back for their Monday all-you-can-eat “neighborhood night,” even if we don’t end up belonging to the neighborhood.

1 comment:

ett094 said...

you're soooo good! xox,
Dora