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Author Topic: Olives Pizza - San Francisco, circa 1993  (Read 414 times)

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Offline tylerwerrin

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Olives Pizza - San Francisco, circa 1993
« on: November 22, 2022, 12:16:32 AM »
Hi!

Bit of a long shot, but I figure this forum is the best chance to track down this tasty, unique dough recipe that I haven't had in decades.

The pizza place was called Olives - it was located in the North Beach area of San Francisco. My parents would order from there every month or so and my whole family loved it.

Sadly the shop closed down in the late 90s/early 2000s and the delicious corn meal crust recipe went with it. I've tried tracking down the owner online to ask him personally and to my surprise I managed to find his wife, Cynthia Rankin. The old owner's name is Gert Rankin, and apparently he lives in Nicaragua now and isn't really into email or the internet - can't say I don't blame him, but sadly for me, it doesn't help this conundrum.

From what I remember, the crust was cornmeal based, with a slight crunch from the cornmeal as well as the crispy bottom. The pizzas were medium/medium large in size and were just delicious.

Anyways, if there's anyone out there who remembers this place or has the recipe, I'd be forever grateful.

Thanks a bunch,

Tyler

Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: Olives Pizza - San Francisco, circa 1993
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2022, 12:39:49 AM »
It was almost exactly like Vicolos pizza https://vicolopizza.com/organiccrust. I remember both fondly. I think I had the frozen Vicolo crust once and it was good but not as good as I remember the original fresh made pies.

It was in the Marina and not North Beach as I recall.

Offline tylerwerrin

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Re: Olives Pizza - San Francisco, circa 1993
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2022, 12:54:26 AM »
Wow! That was fast - so glad there's someone else out there who remembers the place!

Apologies for mixing up North Beach and Marina - but Marina does sound right.

After a quick search I found this recipie for Vicolos:

https://www.cooksrecipes.com/pizza_recipes/vicolo_pizza_recipe.html

I'll give it a shot tomorrow and report back.

Another long shot, but since you were in the area at the time - do you happen to remember Verona's Pizza on Church & 30th St? It was another place we'd go frequently - they had a great crust. We'd usually get sausage, clam & garlic as toppings.

Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: Olives Pizza - San Francisco, circa 1993
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2022, 01:36:32 AM »
Verona's Pizza doesn't ring a bell. In those days I was always working so rarely got out that way. Gaspare's on Geary was a favorite with a thin crust and lots of olive oil.

Offline tylerwerrin

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Re: Olives Pizza - San Francisco, circa 1993
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2022, 07:37:52 PM »
Got an insight into the Gaspare crust recipe?

The cornmeal one came out pretty good - hearty and lots of flavor. Pretty similar to what I remember - I actually had gotten a frozen cornmeal crust from Costco a little while back that was also close.

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Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: Olives Pizza - San Francisco, circa 1993
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2022, 11:53:29 PM »
I never tried to clone a pizza, I just try and make ones that taste great.

If I was I'd probably just do a thin NY and add plenty of a good olive oil after bake.

Offline peetzabone

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Re: Olives Pizza - San Francisco, circa 1993
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2022, 01:42:21 PM »
Bit of a long shot, but I figure this forum is the best chance to track down this tasty, unique dough recipe that I haven't had in decades.

The pizza place was called Olives - it was located in the North Beach area of San Francisco. My parents would order from there every month or so and my whole family loved it.

Daniel Rubinstein "Ruby" (I think) was the originator of the distinctive SF style crust. He was the creative force behind Ruby's, Olive's and Vicolo (which I think is still in business?).

I had an email chat a few years ago with a guy that worked for Ruby and was reminiscing after hearing about his shocking death in 2004:
https://lincolnmitchell.com/blog/2013/10/9/ruby-the-pizza-guy

I *Loved* Olive's and Ruby's.  I've tried to recreate with partial success and can guide you to something pretty close.

I asked Lincoln if Dan pre-soaked his cornmeal before making the crust and he confessed that Ruby never let him help make dough so he knew nothing of the method. But I suspect it's a must-do. Pre-soak meal in hot water and use that as part of the hydration equation. Use a fair amount of sugar (brown sugar would be good). 80% flour, 20% cornmeal. Bake in a "chicago-style" pan.




Offline dariaphoebe

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Re: Olives Pizza - San Francisco, circa 1993
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2023, 06:57:27 PM »
I came into the story later, a few generations past Ruby passing down his recipe. Anyway, the recipe Iím using, not mine, is message 10 in this thread. Give it a try. https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=17922.0

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