Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Gioia to the World

* UPDATE 22Feb09 *
Lesson learned, we ordered by phone and got their sausage and mushroom pies. They ran out of dough again, but we just made it. Their housemade sausage was the real winner. Hopefully next time we'll get to try a seasonal pizza! They were out of the butternut squash.


Mikey and I came here the night before Super Bowl, which ended up being a bad idea especially since we didn't call ahead. Gioia is closed on Sundays, so people were buying stacks of pies to reheat for the next day's game, making our wait over an hour long. They didn't even have pies by the slice when we got there. We were lucky to get our order in though... right before they ran out of dough.

This North Berkeley pizzeria marriages the owner's native east coast with its west coast location - New York style pizza with seasonal and fresh ingredients. Very simple, made with love and care. The general manager is really great (not Will Gioia) and friendly, and puts the finishing touches on each pie with some freshly chopped oregano.

Since they were getting so slammed that night, we just bought one whole pie - basically cheese with anchovies. After about 30 minutes or so, they started busting out pies that weren't on the menu (sausage, butternut squash, etc etc), but we had already ordered and didn't want to overly stuff our faces. Once they finally called our name, Mike didn't want to eat there, so we sped home in hopes that it would stay hot. Well, it was a cold, cold night, and hot it was not. It's hard to judge based on one luke-warm-congealing-cheese pizza (microwaving it did help a bit, but really.. what a shame), but based on that experience alone, I prefer Pizzetta 211. Gioia's crust was nice and chewy, had some good yeasty flavor... but I just wasn't feeling the toppings. But that's not a fair assessment, I know. I will definitely have to go again if I'm ever in Berk and craving pizza. And I will call ahead! We were seriously there FOREVER.

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