BBE Editor's Pick
211 23rd Ave., San Francisco (Outer Richmond)
How does a miniature pizzeria in the Outer Richmond manage to bewitch crowds in spite of limited seating (four tables inside and a few outside), the potential to run out of dough (for pizza that is), and a no-reservations, cash-only policy? Surely it’s their charmed thin-crust, artisanal pies that happen to feature some of the most original topping combinations in town. Diners must act quickly, because a favorite can disappear like magic; the specials rotate weekly. A recent visit highlighted a pie topped with beer- and tomato-braised beef (imagine Italian pot roast), creamy Crescenza cheese, kale, and caramelized onion, crowned with a pair of the restaurant’s famed perfectly runny farm eggs, cooked until they’re quivering just so. The tomato sauce here is bright and tangy, coating a tender and lightly crisp crust. The specials rotate, but the rosemary, fiore sardo cheese, and pine nut combination is a steady, along with a pizza draped with plump, white anchovies like rays of the sun, and a ricotta and goat cheese calzone. The limited wine list is mostly French (and served in bistro glasses), with some Italian beers and microbrews. Dessert may include saffron biscotti, a spellbinding flourless chocolate cake, and a shot of Blue Bottle espresso to snap you back to reality.
Tomato, mozzarella, and white anchovy pizza
Weekly pizza special
Flourless chocolate cake
*menu changes weekly
view full menu here
Try to go Wednesday to Friday during lunch—odds are better you’ll be seated quickly. During the week, the wait can be long, and they won’t seat you until your party is complete. Coming in a party of two (max) is recommended—only a few of the precious tables can seat four. (On my visit, blankets were offered to diners patiently waiting on the planter in the chilly Richmond evening breeze, and there are heat lamps near the outside tables.)
chew on this
On Monday and Tuesday nights you’ll find house-made sausage specials on the menu. Sausages are served on pizza, and also as an appetizer with anything from tomatoes to beans to salad.
lunch: Wed.–Fri. 12 noon–2:30 PM; Sat.–Sun. 12 noon–5 PM
dinner: Mon.–Fri. 5 PM–9 PM; Sat.–Sun. 5 PM–9 PM
price range for pizzas
$10 (tomato, mozzarella, basil) to $14 (artichoke, Meyer lemon, tapenade, ricotta salata)
211 23rd Ave. (between California St. and Clement St.) , San Francisco, CA 94121; 415-379-9880