Sunday, December 6, 2009
There's A Pizza War
And lucky for us, we're living on the front line. When we first moved to North Beach, we ate at North Beach Pizza about once a week- it's a block away, has friendly service, and beautiful pizza. We soon realized that by walking an extra two or three blocks, we could also enjoy the classic, Golden Boy Pizza, or the new kid, Tony's Pizza Napoletana. Talk about hard decisions! Nikos stands by North Beach - once he finds something he likes, he's difficult to budge. I, on the other hand, although enjoying North Beach for its feel-good atmosphere and always-consistent pizza, and appreciating Golden Boy for it's no-nonsense, pizza-in-hand-with-beer-at-the-bar attitude, have a soft spot for Tony's (if we can ever get in). It's pricier than the others, but I don't mind paying for the top-quality ingredients. Tony Gemignani (a bit of a celeb in the pizza world: he's won a pizza "world-cup", has been on Food Network, etc etc) is passionate about each pie that goes out. Sitting 10 feet from the 900 degree wood burning oven (there's also a domed gas brick oven and a NY flat top gas brick oven), I've watched Tony expertly assemble ingredients imported from Napoli ("the pizza capital of the world") for his award-winning Margherita (he only makes 73 a day) and then slowly shift the pie in the oven, constantly moving it around until it's perfectly done. Another star is his Cal Italia with asiago, mozzarella, gorgonzola, sweet fig preserve, and prosciutto (almost a dessert pizza). Because they don't take reservations, it's almost impossible to get in on a Friday or Saturday night, so it's best to go for a late lunch/early dinner around 4 or 5. Or you can swing by North Beach or Golden Boy!