Wednesday, April 9, 2008

NY vs. SF Round 1: Pizza

New York versus San Francisco. It’s a contentious, polarizing debate. Two different cities, opposite sides of the country, totally distinct vibes. I have a love affair with both. In the realm of food especially. New York has a vast array of restaurants and a meld of world cuisines. You can find just about anything there at any hour. San Francisco fare is fresh, cutting edge, healthy – although there’s less of it and perhaps less selection. And while I love my SF taquerias, I definitely still miss my New York pizzerias.

But all is not lost! You don’t have to give up beautiful weather, Tahoe and a (more) gorgeous city for perfect pizza. Where to go in SF to quench that craving for a piping, crispy, mouth-watering pie? Pizzeria Delfina, near Dolores Park in the Mission, is a nice place to start.

The lines, especially on weekends, are annoying. But the fare is worth it (if you’re waiting less than an hour at least. Nothing except Mama’s is worth waiting longer than that). Delfina’s magic lies mainly in the dough. It’s slightly crispy, delightfully chewy and doesn’t get soggy under the weight of tomato sauce and chunky topics. Most of Delfina’s pies also showcase a delicious tomato sauce as a base, which is tangy and rich.

The Salsiccia pizza is a classic – pork sausage with fennel, cheesy mozzarella, pan tossed red bell peppers to add a bit of crunch. Worth getting an extra pie to take home for the next day’s hangover. I was less a fan of the clam pizza – too fishy tasting for my taste. It was like having a piece of a salty lagoon on a pizza pie, if you’re into that. One of the Delfina special pie that day, Speck Pie, was a white pizza that offered an unusual combination of flavors – spring garlic, leeks and harder Italian cheeses with some prosciutto on top. Check out the menu for other cool topping combos.

So, while I fully plan on enjoying a slice or two of New York style heaven during my visit to the Big Apple this weekend, Delfina should be a nice surrogate for the rest of you staying back in Baghdad by the Bay. . . Just don't park in this dude's garage.

Pizzeria Delfina
3611 18th Street
San Francisco

(photo credit: Nik)

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