Bamboo Pizza

Ok folks, this is it.  Bamboo Pizza.  The scariest restaurant I’ve ever eaten at, and maybe the scariest I ever will eat at.  Definitely it will be in the top ten I imagine.  I rode by this place on my bike a couple times before I ate there and didn’t think it could be a real restaurant, it was either an empty storefront and/or it was named by someone who didn’t know what “pizza” means.  There was no way that there could be a place called Bamboo Pizza really serving pizza.  Turns out I was wrong. 

Judging by this sunbleached poster thing in the front window, Bamboo Pizza has been serving slices for some time.  The mystery (one of them at least, there are dozens of mysteries surrounding this place) is how are they selling enough of them to stay open.

Upon entering Bamboo Pizza, Steve and I saw a table of four old Asian gentlemen (Steve and I disagree on whether the proprieter and this group of gentlemen were Chinese or Vietnamese) and this terrifying hot food display.  Being confronted with this filthy glass encasement, I began to feel panicky.  There was no menu, and no sign of any food being made to order.  This was it.  It looked fucking scary.  The pizza was unlike any pizza I’ve ever seen,  it looked like a frozen pizza that had been reheated and reheated and reheated until the cheese and sauce began to congeal and become one entity.  The potato wedges were glistening and wet.  The baked chicken (you are so lucky I didn’t get a good picture of it) looked like the chicken they cook in Gone With the Wind during the war when they’re nearly out of food; scrawny and almost black, with skin drawn taut over bones.  The fried chicken was not the color fried chicken should be.  It was all just so wrong. 

Steve ordered first because I was sort of in a state of shock.  He got fried chicken and potatoes.  I figured we might as well try everything they had, so I ordered the pizza and the baked chicken.  I ended up getting fried chicken and potatoes.  I don’t know if this was due to there being a language barrier, or if the dude just recognized that I really didn’t want to eat that pizza.  Our lunches (plus drinks, Steve had a coffee and I got a Tiki Punch) totalled up to eight dollars.  EIGHT DOLLARS.  A quarter of a chicken for two dollars.  Potatoes for one dollar.  Drinks, at one dollar each, were the most expensive things in the place.  It was mental.

Ugh, looking at this picture of what I ate is turning my stomach.  Look at those potatoes, my god!  I know you want a close up:

Barf. 

So, the thing is this food wasn’t TERRIBLE.  Hear me out.  It wasn’t good, certainly, the chicken was very salty and pretty tough and the potatoes…well the potatoes were pretty disgusting.  Intensely greasy, odd tasting and unevenly cooked, sometimes mushy sometimes crunchy, like an apple.  But the point is that nothing tasted rotten or putrid.  Everything tasted like it wasn’t fresh, but not like it had gone bad.  Well, everything except for the ketchup.  I started off dipping my potatoes in it, but noticed it was very sour and sort of effervescent.  I said to Steve, hey I think that ketchup is starting to go off, and he said, really?  as he squirted more onto his plate.  Guess which of us ended up with a stomach ache later?

The reason I couldn’t finish my food (or even my Tiki Punch!) was that I was so grossed out by the scary filthiness of the restaurant that I couldn’t stop thinking about it everytime I would bring a morsel to my mouth.  They even had a disgusting dirty TV-VCR set up on which they were showing some video of a concert or something.

One of those videos was titled “Jekyll and Hyde Together Again” which sounds pretty great.

There was a lot of weirdness going on while we were there.  To begin with, the four old dudes were there when we got there and still there when we left, showing no sign of budging.  They weren’t eating, they were playing cards but displayed no evidence that they were gambling.  Several people came in to buy food, not homeless people, but certainly very poor people.  That’s how we learned that slices of that gnarly pizza cost only one dollar.  One lady came in, we didn’t really pay that much attention to her at first because we thought she was just getting food.  She got my attention when she started very loudly talking about how someone had jumped out a window up the street on Ellis.  Then she left, with no food, but Steve insists that he saw money change hands between her and the proprietor.  So what else is this dude selling?  Also strange; a refrigerator like an ice cream display, about waist level with a sliding door on top, with what looked like old Jug Wine jugs full of what looked like olives.  I didn’t notice until we were leaving that there seemed to be a sandwich prep area in the back with a giant jar of peanut butter on it.  So the point is I have no idea what is going on with this place.  I just know that I never want to go back, and I recommend you avoid it at all costs.

Bamboo Pizza

407 Ellis

Their Yelp Page (two reviews!  amazing!)

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Pizzeria

OH MY GOD I KNOW.  It’s been forever.  I have been treating this blog so deadbeat dad style.  Here’s a treat for you though, a very special trip outside the Tenderloin to start AND later, another post!  Because shit, I have got a TON of restaurants to get through!  Just because you haven’t heard from me doesn’t mean I stopped eatin’, y’all.  Oh, I have been eating up a storm.  Believe it.

Anyway, here’s the deal with Pizzeria.  Yeah, it’s on Valencia, but the owner, Juned, was kind enough to invite me over there for dinner on him in exchange for me writing this post that you are currently reading.  So I was like, sure, why not?  I had been wanting to try this Pizzeria place for a while, I’d read about it being as good as any other pizza spot in the area, but perpetually empty. 

And yeah, it was pretty much a ghost town in there.  But, to be fair, it was Cinco de Mayo, which is not a day when people generally go out for pizza dinners, especially in the Mission.  And though the dining room was quiet, throughout the meal I noticed they were doing a pretty brisk delivery business.  I asked Juned about this and he confirmed that they do a lot of delivery because they are a halal establishment, which mean no alky-haul.  That’s a problem for some people.  Trust me, I know all about it. 

We started with this Greek salad, which was as delicious as it looks.  Everything was impeccably fresh and the balsamic dressing was sweet and salty and rich.  I have to admit, I was pretty relieved when this salad came out.  I was starting to doubt a little, to think that maybe this place stank it up and that’s why it was empty.  This salad reassured me that that was not the case. 

I was having trouble choosing a pizza because they all sounded really good (especially the Philly Cheesesteak, wow) but Steve was immediately drawn to the Chicken Tikka Masala and I certainly wasn’t going to argue with that. 

Oh man.  This was a pretty good pizza you guys. The crust was crackly and the flavor was robust and developed.  Juned told me this is because they let the crust rest for a day before they use it.  The extra time is totally worth it.  I appreciated that, though the crust was awfully thin, there was still a raised edge and that the sauce and cheese and toppings came right up to that ring.  Do you find that with a lot of very thin crust pizzas these days the toppings are just kind of sprinkled over the center and not spread out well?  I feel like I find that to be the case.  Not so cool.  The sauce here was applied with a light hand, and had just the right amount of sweetness.  The chicken was still tender and the Indian spices were subtle but definitely there.  There was a soft but lingering heat. 

Steve and I didn’t order wings because we try to be kind of healthy, and usually when we go for pizza we get a salad and a small and we are stuffed.  Maybe Juned sensed how tempted I was by the mention of wings on the menu because he brought us some after we finished our pizza.

Holy crap you guys, these wings.  I mean, I’ve already said how delicious everything else was, but these were definitely the highlight of the meal.  So. Freaking. Good.  They use free range chicken and that, plus whatever else they do to these wings, make them so chicken-y tasting.  I’m used to dry, sort of flavorless chicken under all that sauce.  These wings were juicy and bursting with flavor.  And they make up their own sauce here, starting with a base of Frank’s Red Hot sauce, then adding their own touches.  These are what will bring me back.  Well, these and that Philly Cheesesteak pizza.  I have got to try that. 

So that was my dinner at Pizzeria.  It was awesome.  Now, you might be saying, oh, it was just delicious and awesome because they invited you there especially to wow you and they won you over with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.  But that’s just not true.  I was won over before the cookies came.  Also, I don’t think the treatment I received was especially preferential.  I think anyone who went to Pizzeria would have a similar experience, because Juned is a really nice guy who’s really excited about pizza.  He is super enthusiastic about the food he is making; he gushed about going to buy fresh basil and showed me the container they use to keep it fresh, and talked proudly about using only California garlic and real fresh pine nuts in the pesto.  He is just a dude who thinks he’s making really great food and wants to share it with people.  And he’s right, he’s making good food with lots of love.  I guess I should say something sort of negative so I don’t seem like a crazy shill, huh?  Well, if I have to, I would say that Pizzeria could do with a remodel of the interior.  I think they are trying to reflect the quality of the food and their desire to separate themselves from slice joints in the decor, but it comes off as uninviting.  More light I think would serve them well, and maybe white tablecloths.  The combination of leather chairs and shiny dark wood tabletops comes off a little cold.  If they could warm the dining room up, I think more people would be drawn to eat inside.  But then again, I’m not an interior designer, so what do I know?

I think you should try Pizzeria if you’re in the neighborhood.  If you really need a drink, there are tons of bars around that you can visit before or after you eat.  Or, if you’re not in the neighborhood, think of them the next time you’re contemplating delivery.  And don’t forget the wings!

Pizzeria

659 Valencia

http://www.sfpizzeria.com/

Village Pizzeria

It’s getting down to the nitty-gritty in terms of Tenderloin pizza places.  Not that there was too far to go to get there.  The neighborhood is certainly not known for great Italian food.  What it could possibly be said to be known for is a lot of slice places that you’d only eat at if you weren’t sober.  Village Pizzeria ended up on the last-ditch list because Steve thought the pizza at the other location, on Clement street, was bad.  I was willing to give this location, on Van Ness, the benefit of the doubt.  Especially after looking over their menu, which had so many tasty sounding special pizzas that it was really difficult to choose just one to order.  It’s nice that they have on their online ordering menu a half and half pizza choice, and for each half you can choose from a drop down menu of all their specialty pizzas.  There’s no hemming and hawing and/or having to call and ask whether they’ll do half and half.  It’s a small thing, but it made me pretty happy.

We ordered the fresh garden salad

which, to be honest, we chose because the rest of the salads seemed outrageously expensive.  The Greek salad was more than 9 bucks.  I suppose it’s possible that the salads are meant to be meals on their own, but still.  They seem a little overpriced.  The green salad was more reasonably priced at $6.25, and it was good.  I liked the combination of romaine, red leaf and butter lettuces, all of which were crisp and fresh tasting.  I got the house vinaigrette dressing, which was a little overly oily, but still tasty and cheesy. 

After a good deal of back and forth, we decided on a half prosciutto special, half supreme chicken pizza.  The prosciutto special was good, it had artichoke hearts and pesto, which are a couple of my favorite ingredients, but with the sun-dried tomatoes it was a little too sweet for my taste.  Steve and I disagreed on this though, he preferred the prosciutto and I preferred the supreme chicken.  I love green onions and fresh tomatoes on pizza, and as I suspected, I loved the broccoli.  Recently oven roasting has become my favorite method of cooking broccoli, so it seemed natural to make the move to broccoli pizza.  If you are a fan of the cruciferous vegetable and haven’t tried it as a pizza topping, you are missing out.  Anyway, beyond the novelty of the toppings, this was a pretty nice pizza; not too sweet nor overly thick of crust, and good sauce applied with a judicious hand.  I’m not rushing to tell all my friends and acquaintances that they MUST. GO. NOW.  but I am saying that it was a very solid good. 

Village Pizzeria

1243 Van Ness Ave

http://sfvillagepizzeria.com/

Piccolo Pizza

I’m pretty disgusted how much I let my life be dictated by the rain.  I don’t know exactly when I started hating the rain so vehemently, when I was much younger I loved it.  Now though, I am utterly disgusted by the very thought of rain.  I guess it’s a matter of choice; before it was my decision to go out and splash around and get soaked, now that I’m forced to find a way to transport myself to and from work everyday without a car taking me door to door it’s a different story.  Anyway, this is the story of yet another meal that was planned around the fact that it was a rainy night.  Yes, that means delivery.

Piccolo pizza is a mostly delivery and takeout place; they do have seating there, but I’d wager that’s not how they do the vast majority of their business.  When Steve and I lived out in the Richmond we ordered pizza once and the guy who delivered it (or the guy who took the order, I can’t remember) was our neighbor, which was a funny coincidence.  Unfortunately we didn’t like the pizza that well and never ordered from the place again, which apparently caused Steve to feel guilty.  He says that Piccolo was the place from that story, and I don’t remember so I’ll have to just believe him.  The reason I’m telling you that story is to explain why we didn’t order pizza.  I was a little confused myself when I was downloading the pictures; I thought to myself, “could I really have forgotten to take any pictures of the pizza?”  Steve had to jog my memory.  He’s pretty helpful to have around. 

We started off with the Mediterrean Salad, which is just a basic green salad with olives, carrots and onions.

I was glad to get a nice fresh salad, I’m so tired of getting the ubiquitous spring mix from a bag with the ineveitable slimy bits.  The Italian dressing they provided was also surprisingly yummy, very cheesy. 

N0t that we were lacking for cheese, since we also ordered garlic bread with mozarella

This is the half order.  Of course, this was fucking delicious.  It’s hard to screw up garlic cheese bread, you know?  It came with a ranch dipping sauce, which was totally unnecessary, but if you put a ranch dipping sauce in front of me I’m not going to be able to say no. 

Really though, I probably should have refrained from the dip because the hot wings we ordered also came with ranch

Not much to look at are they?  But they were surprisingly good; I was pretty worried because when I picked one up and bit into it, the only way to properly describe the texture I encountered is flabby.  That is pretty much never a good thing, especially for hot wings, which you would generally like to be a little crisp on the outside and meaty of the inside.  The flavor, though, was great, and the meat ended up being very tender and juicy.  I would probably have to say that these were some of the best wings I’ve had in some time. 

My enjoyment of this meal made me rather anxious to try their pizza again.  I guess, really, it would be like trying it again for the first time, since I truly have no recollection of eating it before.  The high quality of the food I ate makes me dubious that their pizza could be really horrible.  Plus, their yelp reviews are fairly stellar for the type of joint they’re running.  I don’t have much else to say, so let’s end with a photo of my greasy fingers clutching a hot wing soaked in ranch, shall we?

Piccolo Pizza

799 O’Farrell

Website with Online Ordering

EZ Pizza

It was a lazy, kind of sickly day, and a suggestion of delivery pizza sounded pretty good.  I hit up grubhub to find an acceptable place.  It’s not easy.  When you’ve set a goal for yourself like I have you have to make certain sacrifices, one of them being denying yourself pizza you know to be delicious to engage in the crapshoot of randomly picking a Tenderloin delivery-only pizza joint.  But that is my cross to bear, and so I waded through 20 something restaurants before settling on EZ Pizza.  What made me choose that particular one?  Well, first off getting delivery from EZ meant that I wouldn’t have to eat there; it’s located on Taylor between Turk and Golden Gate, which I have to admit is not my favorite area to hang out in.  Second, it has fair reviews on Yelp, which I take with a grain of salt, but are nice to see.  And lastly, the menu was pretty interesting, they have a lot of very delicious sounding special pizzas.  So I entered my order in grubhub, which I love.  I love ordering food online, I love not talking to people on the phone, especially now that I seem to be going deaf, I love getting a confirmation email, I just love everything about it.  Right, so the order went through and my pizza arrived in an acceptable window of time and here is a really great picture of it

Ha ha, not!  That is a terrible picture!  In real life the cheese was, y’know, a normal cheese color, not some crazy neon yellow green horrific color.  This pizza looks a little radioactive, I know, things are just really yellow in my house for whatever reason.  Anyway, this closeup is an teensy eensy bit better.

I guess.  It’s still looks kind of nuclear or something.  Anyway, I ate a slice of this pizza, the Gourmet Chicken Pizza with pesto, chicken, black olives, mushrooms and garlic, probably as I watched Jeopardy, and most of the cheese and the toppings slid off, which is annoying but doesn’t really take away from my enjoyment of it, I can deal with that.  It tasted pretty good.  The chicken I liked a lot, it was totally not what I expected when I read “marinated chicken” on the menu.  It was very saucy, very tomato-ey, not all dried out and hard enough to cut the roof of your mouth like chicken on pizza often can be.  It was my favorite part of the pizza.  I did like the crust a lot too, it was crispy and had hint of cheesiness.  Really though, the pie was about a million times better the next day, cold out of the refrigerator.  Weird how that happens sometimes.

Oh I also got a Caesar salad.

It wasn’t bad, it was lightly dressed and I didn’t find any of those weird slimy dark pieces of lettuce, so I guess they probably actually cut up some lettuce leaves to make it.  Which is nice, and the romaine was fresh and crisp.  The croutons were a little salty, but all right.  This is a pretty solid place to get a meal, and it’s pretty cheap (our large specialty pizza was around 23 bucks) and they have some good deals available on grubhub right now. 

EZ Pizza

39 Taylor St

www.ezpizzasf.com

Galaxcy Pizza

I used to be really scared of Galaxcy Pizza.  I have an irrational fear of a lot of pizza places I’ve never been to.  I think it stems mostly from the creeps who hang out at Napoli Pizza on Polk and the pizza places I’ve visited on Haight Street.  That old saying that pizza is like sex, even when it’s bad it’s pretty good; I’ve never believed either side of that equation.  Bad sex and bad pizza: both can be really REALLY bad.  Like scary bad.  I used to walk by Galaxcy Pizza pretty often while on my way to the (now tragically shuttered) Central YMCA.  The whole block of Golden Gate between Hyde and Leavenworth is pretty unpleasant.  One of my favorite stories that I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at is when I walked past a young lady pushing a stroller and a young man asked her if she wanted to smoke out with him.  She stopped and very seriously and sternly said Hell no, she was with her baby!  There was a dramatic pause before she burst and laughing and said “I’m just kidding!  Let’s go!”  It’s sad to see all the kids on the sidewalk throwing footballs and riding scooters around old guys passed out on the ground.  So yeah, I had some negative associations with Galaxcy pizza.  Also, they have a “c” in their name, how weird is that?

One day when I was searching GrubHub for some lunch I decided to check out Galaxcy’s menu and was surprised when it had my mouth-watering and my stomach growling.  All of their special pizzas sounded really good to me, and I liked the naming conventions (they’re all named after a celestial body in our milky way galaxy), it made me think that someone pretty clever was running the joint.  I didn’t end up ordering from Galaxcy that day, but I mentioned to Steve that I was really interested in trying it.  He was down too, saying that he’d heard they had a good happy hour.  We had tickets to see David Byrne at City Arts and Lectures at the Herbst Theater, and we figured that Galaxcy Pizza would be a good pre-show dinner spot.  I met Steve there after work on Tuesday.

The happy hour deal turned out to be $5 dollar pitchers.  Not too shabby, huh?  We started off with a pitcher of Fat Tire.  Check it out, a pitcher of Fat Tire for just 5 bucks!  It’s practically too good to be true!

Oops, that’s because it is.  It’s a teeny tiny pitcher!  We had a good laugh over that, but it still turned out to be a pretty good deal, because we got 2 pints and change out of it. 

Before we go any further, I guess I should talk about my impressions of Galaxcy, especially since I’ve already spent such a long time talking about my “judge a book by its cover” impressions.  Wow.  I was pretty surprised; Galaxcy is really nice inside.  It looks modern and clean, totally not what I expected.  Their trashcan says “Mahalo” for some reason;

I thought that was pretty cute.  They have some cheesy sample home sort of decorations, but for some reason they seemed sweet instead of weird and “trying too hard.”  Also, for the vast majority of our meal we were the only people there.  There were a couple people who came in to pick up take out orders and this cracked out lady:

Who ordered a slice to go, but then I think left and didn’t come back.  So yeah, I was totally off base about this place.  I was completely charmed and we hadn’t even ordered yet.

So let’s get back to the food.  Here’s the list of specials that, as I mentioned before, are named after space stuff:

They all sounded pretty delicious to me, except the sun.  I just can’t get down with pineapple on pizza; Steve thinks I’ll learn to appreciate it when I’m older.  Anyway, the pizzas I was most interested in were the Neptune, the Uranus and the Venus.  We ended up ordering the Venus,  I think because Steve loves pesto.  We were a little surprised that they didn’t have Caesar salad on the menu;

but we shrugged it off and went with the Chicken Salad.

I was again pleasantly surprised by this salad.  All the produce was fresh and tasty and I liked that the dressing came on the side.  I really liked the chicken, but Steve didn’t, which is odd because, if you’ll recall, we had opposite reactions to the chicken at Hank’s Eats.  I found this chicken to be pretty much the same as the chicken at Hank’s with a few important distinctions: this chicken was served warm instead of bizarrely freezing cold, it was moist and flavorful instead of dry and bland, and it was edible.  It was similar in flavor to a McNugget, which is fine by me. 

The pizza arrived

and we both thought it was pretty big for a small.  The blackened bits on the crust were promising, as was the aroma wafting from the pie. 

Yum.  This is definitely one of the best pizzas I’ve had in the Tenderloin, and one of the best from a place that seems to focus mainly on delivery and take out.  The crust was really crispy, not soggy at all and not chewy either, and the pesto and cheese both tasted real.  The combination of toppings worked nearly perfectly, and it was pretty surprising that with the heavy load of veggies the crust stayed so dry.  That was impressive.  The only negative I have is that I would occasionally get a hint of a chlorine-y flavor.  It was something I’ve experienced before and I’m pretty sure the origin was the crust.  I can forgive it though because it was faint and not in every bite. 

So, who knew?  Galaxcy Pizza, despite an oddly placed extra letter and a kind of scary/dirty exterior is a pretty solid place to get a pizza pie.  And check out these delivery deals:

A two topping large pizza for $11.99?  We’re practically getting into Pizza Hut territory here.  I’m looking forward to trying more of Galaxcy’s combos in the future.

Galaxcy Pizza

288 Golden Gate

Pizza Hut

My friend Sarah and I made a date to see the latest Harry Potter and eat Pizza Hut.  We decided to go to the IMAX 3-D show because it was at the right time; I don’t know if you know about this “Harry Potter” thing, but the movies tend to be pretty long and if we went to a 7:30 showing by the time we got back to my crib it’d be a little late for a big pizza dinner.  Anyway, the movie was pretty good, I’m not a big fan of that series but the films are generally entertaining, as this one was, and I enjoy 3-D and IMAX, so I was pleased.  Even though I found it pretty weird that these kids are always like “man, I’m really bummed that my friends are always dying and that our entire way of life is being threatened and we are in constant peril and I need to depart on a really dangerous and possibly deadly quest, but do you think that so and so likes me, is it ok if we snog in front of her brother?”  I think I’d mostly be focused on everyone I know not getting destroyed and worry about the courting after I have that squared away. 

Anyway, we called ahead to Pizza Hut while we walked home from the movie.  We had, sadly, been unable to find any good coupons so we decided to order simply; a one topping (pepperoni) medium pizza.  The total was 16 bucks, we were picking it up so we didn’t have to tip a delivery driver (Sarah’s idea, she is a genius.  Seriously, we couldn’t spare it, IMAX movies are insanely expensive).  Our pizza was ready when we got to the little shop (it is a takeout and delivery only spot) and we paid and I asked if they had ranch dressing.  I would have told Sarah to ask for some when she called in our order, but I didn’t see any salads on their online menu so I wasn’t sure if they would have any dressings.  So really I was asking if they had it, not if they would give me some.  Still, they handed over a little sealed tub to me and then paused awkwardly.  “We usually charge for that,” the guy behind the counter said.  I was struck dumb for a moment because I had totally expected to pay for it, usually places like Pizza Hut are not giving anything away, but the way they said “sure!” and handed the dressing over made it seem like it was complimentary.  It was weird, and I said “oh, ok,” and was reaching into my pocket when the guy said “oh, it’s ok, we just usually charge for it.”  So Sarah and I left and were weirded out.  Thanks dude, you made me feel like a criminal. 

Whatever, it was totally worth it because the ranch dressing was delicious and totally enhanced the already delicious Pizza Hut crust.  Yeah, that’s right, I fucking love Pizza Hut pizza.  Say what you want about my taste, I don’t care, it’s good.  I’m not saying if you gave me the choice between, say Pauline’s or Pizzeria Delfina and the Hut I wouldn’t go for the more white table cloth joints, but still.  Pizza Hut has a tangy sauce, a pleasantly toasty cheese and the crust is the bomb.  In the past I remember it (the crust) tasting almost deep fried, but this time the crust was not quite so intense, but still delightfully greasy.  Sarah and I ate the whole pizza, and fast.  One of the coupons that came on our box was for this amazing deal, which we will be feasting on while watching America’s Next Top Model some time in the near future: 2 medium 2 topping pizzas, 10 breadsticks and 5 hershey’s chocolate dippers (whatever those are).  The price for this banquet?  $21.99.  I know!  It’s insane.  You could get one medium pizza for 16 dollars or you could get your monthly allowance of carbs (not to mention saturated fat, yum) for 6 bucks more.  Insane.

Pizza Hut

728 Geary

Irving Pizza

It was tuesday, I was attending my last pub quiz of the season at the Edinburgh Castle and I was feeling lazy so I went to Irving Pizza for dinner.  It’s two or so doors down from the bar, which is very convenient.  Also convenient, they are open til two or three in the morning every night.  So, if you’ve been out at the bars, their slices are pretty good.  Or, if you’ve been boozing it up at home, their delivery is better.  I wasn’t in the mood for pizza and I wanted to try something new so I ordered a cheeseburger.  It’s about seven bucks and it comes with fries. 

I sat at one of the tiny tables in the store and waited for my burger to come up.  Irving Pizza is not much for ambience.  If you are planning on eating in you had better be drunk and with at least two other drunk friends.  Otherwise, you will probably be weirded out by old ladies coming inside and rifling through the trash looking for cans or by random homeless people wandering around outside the door.  Or you will feel lonely sitting there by your sober self, watching Friends with the counter guy.  The guys who work there are pretty nice, they’re efficient and calm in a way that comes from dealing with crazy and/or drunk people all hours of the night. 

Sorry for the very very horrible quality of the food pictures but I took these inside the Edinburgh Castle and it is dark in there.  Anyway, here are the burger and fries, in all their glory.  I haven’t had a burger like an Irving Street Pizza burger in quite a long time.  It took me back to my elementary school cafeteria.  It was definitely a frozen patty that came out of a box with dozens of other patties just like it; perfectly round, perfectly flat.  Throughout it was that purplish-grey color you find in meat that is actually full of something other than meat and there were plenty of chewy gristly bits.  You know though, I didn’t find this burger entirely unpleasant.  I certainly wouldn’t order it again, but it was kind of a nice nostalgic experience eating it.  It didn’t taste bad, just average.  Actually, the bun was quite nice, and it was loaded with fresh veggies.  The only really bad thing was that they put pepperocinis on it, and they were just a bit too spicy. 

Oh, the fries?  I didn’t actually eat more than a couple, I was pretty stuffed after the burger, but they were unremarkable.  Creamy on the inside, greaseless, but definitely from frozen and in need of some salt.

This block of Geary is kind of gross, there’re a lot of people of the smelly variety milling about.  I wouldn’t suggest making a special trip, but there are a lot of popular bars in the area and it’s not unlikely that you’ll find yourself at one of them one night.  In that case, this is a perfectly serviceable place to grab a slice post getting your drink on.  Otherwise, if you’re dying to try them, I’d suggest getting delivery.  But steer clear of the burger, unless you’re craving a flashback to your K-6 days.

Irving Pizza

928 Geary

www.irvingpizza.com