Author Topic: San Francisco vacation: Zero Zero and Tony Gemignani's Slice House  (Read 558 times)

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Offline jsaras

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I took the gang up to the SF Bay area last week and I managed to try two pizzerias during our time there.

Zero Zero apparently makes Neapolitan-ish pizzas in their wood-fired oven.  I spoke to one of the pizza makers and he told me that they use 00 flour and they bake at about 700F for three minutes.  In spite of the longish bake time and the pale bottom, the top of the pizza looked quite good IMO and the toppings of my "Castro" pizza where in perfect balance and harmony.  My wife noted the overall lightness of the pizza, both in the weight of the slice and its overall texture.  We also had their arugula salad with strawberries and their wines were also very good.  Baking niggles aside this was a very nice meal and I wouldn't hesitate to go there again if I were in the area.

The pizza at Slice House, located just two doors down from Tony's Pizza Napoletana, didn't live up to expectations.  Back in February my wife and I went to Pizza Rock (also owned by Tony Gemignani) in Las Vegas for my 50th birthday.  At that time we ordered a Neapolitan margarita and one of their "classic Italian" pizzas, both of which were very bland and disappointing.  On the way out I noticed their takeout/slice window and those pizzas looked better than what we were served in the restaurant.  With that in mind, I looked forward to having a Gemignani slice from his flagship operation in San Francisco.  Unfortunately, the slices were utterly unremarkable.  It didn't cross the line into "bad" pizza but I've had much better NY-style pizza in several places here in Los Angeles.  Their oven temps were 541F for the ceiling and 530F for the deck.  I didn't get the chance to chat with anyone about their bake times, but the pizza was definitely baked on a screen, the assembly a bit "sloppy" and the flavor was just OK.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2016, 05:16:25 PM by jsaras »
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Offline jsaras

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Re: San Francisco vacation: Zero Zero and Tony Gemignani's Slice House
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2016, 04:27:31 PM »
more photos
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Offline parallei

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Re: San Francisco vacation: Zero Zero and Tony Gemignani's Slice House
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2016, 04:38:43 PM »
Thanks for posting!  A good read and nice photo's.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: San Francisco vacation: Zero Zero and Tony Gemignani's Slice House
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2016, 05:06:31 PM »
Yes, thank you. What kind of cheese was on that salad?
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline jsaras

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Re: San Francisco vacation: Zero Zero and Tony Gemignani's Slice House
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2016, 05:14:51 PM »
The salad had Yerena Farms strawberries, a LOT of toasted Almonds, basil, pecorino, Lambrusco vinaigrette, Manodori balsamic.  For $14 you should get a decent salad!
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Offline invertedisdead

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Re: San Francisco vacation: Zero Zero and Tony Gemignani's Slice House
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2016, 12:31:33 PM »
Doesn't seem like Tony's spots have left much of a regarded impression on you. I would hope it would be really good @ $5 a slice for a screened pie. Not that i'm 100% against screens, member Chickenparm got some nice looking pies out of them; just seems strange to see them in the World Pizza Champions place.
Ryan

Offline jsaras

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Re: San Francisco vacation: Zero Zero and Tony Gemignani's Slice House
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2016, 12:46:30 PM »
I really want to like his pizza.  Maybe his staff gets sloppy when he's not watching and the marketing hype makes up for it with the less discriminating customer.  My bar is simple: it has to be as good or better than what I can make. 
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Offline invertedisdead

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Re: San Francisco vacation: Zero Zero and Tony Gemignani's Slice House
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2016, 01:41:18 PM »
It doesn't look like your pie ever hit the oven floor. It seems like someone forgot to pull the screen. A lot of the Yelp photos look much more browned. And I agree with your bar 100%.
Ryan

Offline jkb

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Re: San Francisco vacation: Zero Zero and Tony Gemignani's Slice House
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2016, 01:53:00 AM »
What blows my mind is that so few places in the business of pizzamaking, with employees that make more pizzas in a week than I've made in my life, can meet that bar.

Offline waltertore

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Re: San Francisco vacation: Zero Zero and Tony Gemignani's Slice House
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2016, 12:17:17 PM »
What blows my mind is that so few places in the business of pizzamaking, with employees that make more pizzas in a week than I've made in my life, can meet that bar.

First off I have tried Pizza Rock in Sacramento and all our pies were very good- see phots. Tony does an incredible job considering how many variables exist for consistency issues with running so many shops.   Most pizza makers on this forum are truly drawn to making a great pizza and information is shared freely.  This coupled with being in a very controlled environment- home setting- leads to being able to create a pie that can be better than most pizzerias.  Pizzerias today often have lost the family way that was around so long of each person knowing the entire spectrum of making a pizza and growing up in the business.  Today many places use the assembly line approach(a good one if all know each job in the shop).    It is not that hard today to shine as a pizzeria if one possesses the old school approaches to pizza making but as one expands keeping a top shelf product becomes more difficult.  I have talked with Tony several times and am always amazed at how he can multi task with all these things.  Walter
« Last Edit: July 04, 2016, 02:08:54 PM by waltertore »
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Offline jkb

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Re: San Francisco vacation: Zero Zero and Tony Gemignani's Slice House
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2016, 06:10:56 PM »
I wasn't commenting on Tony's pizza - I've never had it.  I was commenting on the references   to unremarkable pizza and setting the bar at "better than my own".  I rarely go to a decent non-casual restaurant that can't meet that bar.

Offline mitchjg

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Re: San Francisco vacation: Zero Zero and Tony Gemignani's Slice House
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2016, 06:32:38 PM »
My wife and I paid a visit to the Slice House on 2nd Street (near the ballpark) last year and we both enjoyed the pizza. 

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=38014.msg380405#msg380405

As best as I can tell/guess, the pizza you were served was less done.  The oven temperatures were about the same.  Too bad you were disappointed! 

I will be trying them again sometime soon because they opened up a new location in Walnut Creek - an East Bay Area suburb that is a much easier/faster commute for me.

A couple of shots of my slices below for comparison.



Mitch

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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: San Francisco vacation: Zero Zero and Tony Gemignani's Slice House
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2016, 08:42:51 PM »
My bar is simple: it has to be as good or better than what I can make.

I'd never be able to eat pizza out.  ;D  :-D
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline jsaras

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Re: San Francisco vacation: Zero Zero and Tony Gemignani's Slice House
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2016, 09:20:30 PM »
I've tried three different styles of pizza at two different locations and none of the pizzas I had hit the "excellent" bar.  My wife's taste buds are better than mine and she agreed as well. 

Three strikes, 'yer out!
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Offline jsaras

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Re: San Francisco vacation: Zero Zero and Tony Gemignani's Slice House
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2016, 09:21:09 PM »
I'd never be able to eat pizza out.  ;D  :-D

That's the difference between you and me
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Offline jsaras

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Re: San Francisco vacation: Zero Zero and Tony Gemignani's Slice House
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2016, 09:26:05 PM »
It doesn't look like your pie ever hit the oven floor. It seems like someone forgot to pull the screen. A lot of the Yelp photos look much more browned. And I agree with your bar 100%.

I'm not philosophically against the use of screens.  One of my favorite places in LA, Vito's, uses screens but they do so after the bottom has been baked on the deck for some time and the bottom has been set.  The unsightly marks are avoided and the bottom of their pies are perfect IMO.
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