Author Topic: San Francisco, Seattle, Portland  (Read 1722 times)

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Offline walterstewart

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San Francisco, Seattle, Portland
« on: September 14, 2013, 02:07:58 PM »
Hi,

my wife and I are taking her daughter to Univ. Washington for her
starting Freshman year. Will spend time in San Francisco, Seattle, and
Portland. We would greatly appreciate suggestions of which Neapolitan
pizza places would be worth a visit. We've been to A16 and weren't
greatly impressed. Suggestions would be most welcome!!

On a similar topic, we visited Pieous here in Austin -- the food
there was incredibly good. Best pizza I have ever had!!! Strongly
recommend the place!!!

Walter


Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: San Francisco, Seattle, Portland
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2013, 02:25:24 PM »
In SF go to Delfina and stop by Tartine right around the corner.

In Portland you have two great choices: Apizza Scholls and Ken's. I've never eaten at either one but some day I hope to. I have Ken's book which is great. A nd I use the Apizza Scholls recipe all the time.

Offline walterstewart

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Re: San Francisco, Seattle, Portland
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2013, 02:27:33 PM »
Thanks!!! I have Ken's book, think it is great, and he was on the list!!! Thanks
for the other suggestions!!!

Walter

Offline Gianni5

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Re: San Francisco, Seattle, Portland
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2013, 02:37:22 PM »
In San Francisco my favorite places are:

Pizzeria Delfina, great NY/ Napoletana pizza, their fried appetizers changed daily and are always delicious.  Also if you make it here order the magic pie, tomato sauce, cream, fennel sausage, and shaved parm. Reggiano.  It's not on their menu but it's the best pizza they make.

Zero Zero, napoletana style pizza, best arancini I've ever had, fried chicken thighs are mind blowing, also I love their pastas.  The atmosphere here is really fun and they have great cocktails as well.

Tony's napoletana and una pizza napoletana are the two most talked about pizzerias in the city but the waits can be really bad

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: San Francisco, Seattle, Portland
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2013, 03:11:10 PM »
One of the best pies I've ever eaten was at Tony's in SF/North Beach. My uncle lives in SF, and Zero Zero is his favorite. I agree with you about A16.

I think you might really appreciate the Del Popolo pizza truck - Jon was the pizzaiolo at Flour + Water before building the truck. My Acunto oven is the original oven he purchased for the truck, but I believe the city required that he get a UL listed oven instead. If you track him down, please be sure to tell him I said hi. http://www.delpopolosf.com/#location
Pizza is not bread.

Offline dineomite

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Re: San Francisco, Seattle, Portland
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2013, 11:52:57 PM »
I agree with most every rec so far, here are some of my additional faves:

Seattle
Serious Pie
Tutta Bella

Portland
Lovely's Fifty Fifty

Bay Area
Make the trip to Berkeley for Emilia's
Gioya's (not sure of the spelling)
Many adore Una Pizza Napoletana, wasn't for me

Hope you have fun!

Offline RobynB

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Re: San Francisco, Seattle, Portland
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2013, 01:08:43 AM »
In SF, I love Tony's (get the stromboli!), was completely unimpressed by UPN.  I haven't been to Zero Zero, but I've been to the owner's other pizza place, Pizzeria Picco in Larkspur, and wasn't thrilled by it.   Maybe Zero Zero is better, or maybe I'm just too tough on pizzerias (or more likely, both). 

In Portland, Lovely's 50/50 is my favorite (it's actually my favorite anywhere, it just happens to be in Portland).  Don't miss it. 

That said, my visit to Apizza Scholls was wonderful, and I definitely want to return there - if your tastes run more to East Coast pizza styles, go there. 

I'll be in Portland in a few weeks, and hope to try Ken's on that visit.   

Offline walterstewart

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Re: San Francisco, Seattle, Portland
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2013, 04:36:36 PM »
Hey,

Thanks so much for the great opinions!! What a great place to hang out!!

Thanks all!!!!

Walter

Offline Serpentelli

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Re: San Francisco, Seattle, Portland
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2013, 09:34:02 PM »
Seattle --Via Tribunale

John K
I'm not wearing hockey pads!

Offline dineomite

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Re: San Francisco, Seattle, Portland
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2013, 09:06:10 PM »
Piggybacking on this thread. My wife and I will be in Seattle tomorrow through Sunday. She loves Serious Pie so we'll end up there one night. We've never been to Via Tribunale so we're going there one night. Has anyone been to The Independent Pizzeria? I wouldn't exactly say it's flying under the radar, but I hear good things about it. We didn't really care for Delancey and I'll end up at Tutta Bella for lunch one day. Does anyone have any recon on Independent?


Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: San Francisco, Seattle, Portland
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2013, 10:46:41 AM »
Walter when are you going to be in Portland?

Offline walterstewart

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Re: San Francisco, Seattle, Portland
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2013, 07:07:03 PM »
Hi,

I'm in Portland today!!! We're lined up on 3 restaurants, all of which open at 5:

1) Ken's Artisan Pizza

2) Apizza scholl's

3) Lovely's 50-50

Will report on the results!! Had some fascinating experiences yesterday, will report on those ASAP (or you can look on the Neapolitan board).

Walter

Offline walterstewart

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Re: San Francisco, Seattle, Portland
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2013, 07:09:10 PM »
Well, here's the report from Portland, of necessity at some length!!

1) First stop, Ken's Artisan Bakery. We split a Ken's hero on a roll --just delicious,
fantastic bread and combination of cold cuts. Bought 2 butter croissant for next
day breakfast (delicious!) and a roll of Country Blonde sourdough bread, also
delicious.

2) Second stop, we were first in line for Ken's Artisan Pizza at 5:00 PM. There was
in fact a line as we had been told. The inside was exquisite: wonderful pizza oven,
chairs and tables made of Douglas Fir from a amusement ride taken down in the
70's I believe. Service was really good, the team knew their job, great morale. I
was encouraged to watch the process, even though I was in the way. We ordered
Fennel Sausage and carmelized onion, basil and mozz. Fantastic pizza!!! The best of the
night. Not advertised as Neapolitan, and clearly not so, as it took about 3 minutes
to cook, I would guess the temperature might have been 725-750 F. But Neapolitan
in concept in some ways: thin toppings, 12" pie, very very artistically done. We cleverly
took 50% home in foil, as we had a long night ahead of us!! It reheated extremely well the
next day!!! As we left, we congratulated the entire staff on a fantastic pizza.

3) Apizza Scholl, we were there early at 6:30 PM, still had a 45 minute wait. We accepted
seats at the bar, where we could watch the entire process!

This was a pizza of a completely different sort. Enormous at 18 inches, thicker crust and I would
guess oil in the dough. Someone help me out here, what would that be?? Possibly NY style??

While we sat waiting for our pizza, we had 2 fascinating discussions! The first with a single
guy eating part of a pizza and taking the rest home for his kids -- he went on and on about how
the crust here had Ken's pizza (#2 above) completely beat!! He went on and on about it, in
a friendly and knowledgeable way, then paused and said that he was not trash-talking Ken's --
they made a wonderful pizza, it just wasn't anything like Apizza Scholl. This spoke to me about
how pizza is in some way a metaphor for the human condition!!!

The second discussion was with a friendly older couple. When we explained the nature
of our pizza quest, they promised to contact us with information about other pizza
places n Portland. Here is what they texted us a day later:

"We are headed off for moose hunting in BC today, but here is a quick list of pizza joints
in Portland:

Ken's Artisan Pizza, 304 se 28th ave;
Lovely's 50/50, 4039 n. mississippi ave.
Dove vivi, 2727 ne glisanst.
tastebud, 3220 se milwaukie ave -- this one
is only open a few days a week.  Good luck and enjoy!!!"

This once again spoke to me of the human condition!!!

We watched how the staff worked together. There was a great
morale, a great sense of teamwork, and a huge physicality to
the way they worked. They all bellowed as they turned corners,
to avoid collisions. It was highly amusing to watch. A large
and very capable woman worked an electric deck oven, cooking
pies in the 6 to 6 1/2 minute range, with great repeatability.

Our monster arrived!! We had ordered 1/2 sausage and tomato,
1/2 white cheese and bacon. As you might guess, there were not
a lot of veggies on the menu!!

The pie was fantastic!!! Rich and tasty, we could see how some
would prefer the bready crust to Ken's, though for us it was the other
way around.

We wisely took most of the monster home. We asked our waiter
to take a second and convey to the staff our appreciation of what
they had accomplished for us. We saw him do this, and were amazed
to see a cheer go up from at least 9 of the staff!!! Talk about great morale!!!


How to compare Ken's and Apizza Scholl?? It occurred to me an odd idea:
Ken's is a white collar pizza, emphasizing style presentation, etc. Apizza
is more blue-collar, emphasizing the food and eating it. Both delicious, both
very different!!!

Mary's morale flagged for a second here -- we had a 3 hour drive ahead of
us, we were stuffed, and we were tired. But, by God, we had a job to do, and
on we went!!!

4) Lovely's 50-50. We had showed up at 2 because the telephone message was
unintelligible. We were curtly told the place was closed, and when Mary mentioned
the message was hard to understand, the manager just looked at us as if
we had fallen off a turnip truck. So customer service wasn't their thing, at least
that afternoon.

When we showed up at 7:30, things were looking
up!! Long line, we were glad to walk around. This was 12 inch pizza place, very artsy
pizzas featuring a lot of veggies (which was good for us at this stage of our eating!!). We
ordered a pie with chicories, lemon, garlic, and olive oil. I watched the preparation and
chatted with the cookers, who were generous sharing information. The bread was naturally
leavened, I would guess the oven was running about 750 F. The design of the oven was
singular: the vent, which went straight up, was in the oven itself, not outside the
mouth. With this enormous hole in the ceiling, I doubt they could even get up to
Neapolitan temperatures if they had wanted to. Our pie was excellent, in the same mold
as Ken's, but not actually quite as good in our opinion. The crust, with the natural
leaven, was every bit as good, and the flavor was in fact better.

So what about Lovely's?? First of all, it was just excellent!! I could live on that food
for the rest of my life.  But two things were missing: I didn't see any of the sense
of artistic vision that were so clear at Ken's and Apizza's -- each vision different to
be sure. Then, perhaps related, the staff seemed a lot less certain what they were
doing there. A distinct lack of morale, that bled over into the experience.

So that's it!!! At least for now. One other very interesting observation I made that
I will continue to test: ask any one at any pizza place what temperature they cook at, and
they will quote a range, the upper number of which will be 900 F!!! Thus when we asked
our waiter what the electric oven cooked at, he said 600 -- 900 F!!! This is really quite
amusing, it is as if everyone wished they were cooking at Neapolitan temperatues!!
Could we call this "Neapolitan envy"?

All comments welcome!!!

Walter


Online Pete-zza

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Re: San Francisco, Seattle, Portland
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2013, 07:34:42 PM »
Walter,

You might be interested in knowing that Brian Spangler is a member of this forum. He apparently found it after I had attempted to reverse engineer his dough formulation based on public information that I had collected through Internet searches. I assume that he somehow saw what I had done and he sent me a very nice PM in which he offered to answer any questions I had about his dough formulation. I suggested that he post on the forum and the members would like that, and, later, with his help, I was able to come up with and post his dough formulation at Reply 95 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11994.msg124161.html#msg124161. You might find the entire thread a fun read since you were at Apizza Scholls.

Peter
« Last Edit: September 26, 2013, 03:15:13 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline walterstewart

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Re: San Francisco, Seattle, Portland
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2013, 08:11:03 PM »
Wow!!!

How fantastic to be able read the thread from the owner/founder of Apizza!!!! What a revelation!!

I started reading the entire thread on a borrowed computer, will read and reread it when I get home on Thursday!!

Thanks so much for that very very informative link!! What a great site!!!

Walter

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Re: San Francisco, Seattle, Portland
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2013, 08:39:13 PM »
Walter,

While you are at it, you might also read the front part of the thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,25773.msg259756.html#msg259756 , where one of our members attempted a modified version of Brian's pizza, and to which Brian responded.

Peter

Offline walterstewart

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Re: San Francisco, Seattle, Portland
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2013, 01:57:27 PM »
Thank you, Peter!! Will read in detail when I get home!!

Report from Via Tribunale in Seattle!!

Visited Sunday night. Gigantic oven, I could see right away it was not up to temperature. Tempted to
propose a "Laziness Neapolitan Factor" for those who run their ovens under temperature (see below
for a belated report on Seattle's Tutta Bella!!). Regardless, the pies were just fantastic. First was a special, 
figs, prosciutto, goat cheese, and a balsamic reduction. The second was sausage, rapini (bitter green), and tomato. Both were just excellent. Took about 2 minutes, one was slightly overcooked, no matter, they were just excellent.

Two minor variations on the oven temperature question. Our waitress, who was gorgeous and smart, said the oven temperature was 1000 F (which it clearly was not!!!), and the oven operator said it was at 6000 F and was a little too cold (the latter point was correct).

Even though the pies were just fantastic, I missed the artistic and culinary drive of Ken's and Apizza Scholls.

A report on Tutta Bella: we arrived for a late lunch, the oven was way cold, 2 1/2 minute pies that were
dried out and poorly cooked. We had a DOC margerita and some other pie. The hostess asked me
how I'd liked the pie, and when I told her, she took 1/2 off the check, which was very handsome of them.

Frustrating, because it could be good if they cared enough to make it so!!! They rate a LNF (Laziness Neapolitan Factor) of 1.0, which is for now the maximum.

That's all for now, comments welcome!!!

Walter

Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: San Francisco, Seattle, Portland
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2013, 05:53:29 PM »
Well, here's the report from Portland, of necessity at some length!!...

Walter, thanks very much for your informative and engaging post about pizza in Portland.  You hit two places I really admire, Ken's and Apizza Scholls.  So it is fun to read about them and vicariously enjoy the great atmosphere and pizza!  And cheers to your wife for hanging in there for three pizzeria visits.  Very commendable! 

Regards,

TinRoof

Offline walterstewart

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Re: San Francisco, Seattle, Portland
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2013, 08:58:03 PM »
Well, thank you TinRoof for your kind comments!! The truth is I got lucky when I met Mary!!!!

Here's the report today from Delfina!!

We yelped the place before we went. I found it comical that so many people were actually angry about having to wait!!! That's what you do for great places, no???

Well, it so happened that we got there about 2 pm, so the fuss had died down. We ordered the pizza with home-made sausage and a tomato sauce --  a good choice!!! I was impressed that there was a complete lack of self-promotional material. Our waitress, who was incredibly pleasant and intelligent (and incidentally, gorgeous) remarked that the oven ran a little under 700 F, a clear exception to the rule that everybody and their dog says their pizza ovens run at 900 F. Sure enough, they had electric deck ovens.

I didn't time the pizzas, since they were clearly not Neapolitan. But it was a thin crust, puffy cornicione, thin toppings, and cooked relatively quickly (would this be Neo-Neapolitan???). We split one pizza between us, as Mary is getting tired of having it also for breakfast!!! Just delicious!! Light crust, very nicely cooked, no leoparding but some black blisters. The pizza was just delicious and airy. Thoroughly enjoyable meal!!!

The mobile guy that sold TXCraig1 his oven (business name: pizza delpopolos) is unfortunately catering today and tomorrow, so I will not get to sample his wares on this visit. Tony's over in North Beach was shut Mon and Tues, but is opening tomorrow, and is our next target!!

All comments welcome!!

Walter

Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: San Francisco, Seattle, Portland
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2013, 02:12:01 PM »
We stopped by Delfina at about the same time of day, mid-afternoon. And we just waltzed right in and sat down to a great pizza.  It was just as you said. Light and delicious.  I hope to get back there soon.

Did you stick your head in around the corner at Tartine?  You would have been a bit early for loaves, but hopefully you got a chance to see it anyway.  They had a big line when we were there, even though the bread wasn't due out for another couple of hours. 


 

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