Sunday, September 17, 2006

Zachary's Pizza

If you're from the Chicago area, you probably can get Chicago style pizza any time you want. I've never been closer to Chicago than I-80, driving from San Francisco to Philadelphia, so I don't know for sure. But if you live in the Bay Area, the best place to get Chicago style pizza is indisputably at Zachary's. The problem is that Zachary's is always CROWDED. There is one location in Oakland, another in Berkeley, and the wait is often over an hour. So the 'in the know' solution is to get your pizza 'half baked', and take it home, finish cooking it there, and enjoy.

Well, good news to those of us on the "wrong side of the tunnel" as I like to say. There's a brand new Zachary's restaurant, located in San Ramon, and boy, it's tasty pizza. If you don't know Chicago Style pizza (at least what Zachary's calls Chicago style I said, I've never been to Chicago), it's deep dish, which at Zachary's, means stuffed pizza. From their web site:

  • Different from a traditional "deep dish" pizza or calzone, stuffed pizza is unique.
  • We begin this luscious creation with a bottom layer of dough inside a two inch deep pan.
  • A hearty helping of cheese topped with ingredients of your choice are added next.
  • Then another thin layer of dough covers the ingredients, and our zesty tomato sauce tops the pie!
  • As the pizza cooks, the top layer of dough will melt into the cheese, and the result is a delicious pie that you will enjoy!

  • Looking at their webpage, I'm thinking Z's takes a bit of liberty, and it's different than other Chicago style pizzas.

    No matter. What matters here is that it's seriously yummy pizza, and that the best time to go is probably at the most inconvenient time, because if it's inconvenient for you, it's probably inconvenient for others as well. We went at 4:00 in the afternoon on a Saturday, their 4th day of business. They were full, asked for our name, but as we were giving it to them, a table came available. By the time we left, there was quite a long wait outside. Consider yourself warned.

    They are famous for their Spinach and Mushroom pizza. It's their signature dish, really. Unfortunately, spinach isn't such a lovely thing to eat right now, so they weren't serving it. No matter. Avoiding meat for our newly vegetarian daughter, we opted for the Mediterranean Pizza, which was filled with a mixture of red bell peppers, artichoke hearts, and green olives with feta and jack cheeses. The menu didn't say so, but the red bell peppers tasted roasted to me, if that matters.

    So, if you live in the Bay Area, and you're at all interested in Pizza, please note that there are now THREE Zachary's you can visit, and they are all yummy, and, fortunately for them, they are ALL very busy.

    A side note...seems that the owners, Barbara and Zachary, are retiring, and instead of selling the restaurants, they have decided to make it an employee owned business. Pretty cool, huh?

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