Monday, October 21, 2013

San Francisco: Okay, it's actually East Bay (more specifically Berkeley) Pt:II

As we checked in at the the Hotel Shattuck Plaza, the desk clerk asked, "And what brings you to Berkeley?"

My wife instantly shot back with one word - "Pizza!" An incredibly puzzled reaction overtook the clerk.

That was pretty much the end of the conversation. What appeared to be a first in Hotel Shattuck history, someone declared their sole reason for visiting this storied college town.....was for pizza.

The first leg of my "Day O' 'Za" would begin with lunch at Gioia Pizzeria over on Tompkins street. This small slice house serves up - in my humble opinion - one of the better slices you're going to find out on the west coast. Now keep in mind, I've got some pretty good advice on a couple of places in Los Angeles, but as of today Gioia is one of my faves.

There might be eight seats (maybe six) in the place, but the rate of ordering, the heating of slices, and devouring food seems to meet some sort of comfortable equilibrium where no one is really left without a seat.

Spinaci Aglio [2013]
 The dough here has a toasted (not charred, except for the massive char bubble you see in my picture) appearance to it, with a crust that has a moderately airy crumb. Since I have a proclivity for unique topping combos, I went with the Spinaci Aglio (mozzarella, spinach, garlic, and olive oil). While the description sounds a bit bland, the garlic and - the unlisted in the description - red chile flakes pumped up the flavor factor.



The specialty slices all weigh in at the $3.50 price point. Since I didn't want to take up too much room for Saturday's main pizza event, it was only a one slice lunch. Although I haven't been, a second store has been opened in San Francisco if you can't make it across the bay.

Gioia Pizzeria
1586 Hopkins St
Berkeley, CA 94707
(510) 528-4692
http://www.gioiapizzeria.com/

Gioia Pizzeria on Urbanspoon



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