Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Masterpiece to Masterpiece to Masterpiece

Pizzetta 211 was on our way home. We had heard of it mentioned from the Hawaiian resident, Albert Grande's website called Pizzatherapy.com. They had mentioned that they made the best Margherita Pizza around in an article which had been written by Sunset magazine. We had just left the deYoung Museum where the Impressionist Exhibit was taking place. The exhibit was our Anniversary present that Mom had given us to celebrate our 35th anniversary. My favorite artist is, of course, Vincent Van Gogh. Six of his paintings hung in a room just inches from our faces. Vibrant colors and determination by the artist jumped out at us as we gazed at the master pieces of this misunderstood artist. It was hard to leave that room. After the exhibit we headed for the bridge taking a scenic route and soaking in the City. The weather in San Francisco was perfect for sight-seeing. We meandered through the city using the GPS and realized we were near Pizzetta 211.
   Pizzetta 211 is definitely a hole-in-the-wall kind of place. Possibly enough seating inside for 8 customers and two more 2 person tables on the sidewalk sandwiched between old Victorians on 23rd Avenue, at of course, 211 23rd Ave. We stopped and walked over to the pizzeria and had the opportunity to ask the server some questions about the pizza. They seemed to break all the rules of the perfect Margherita but with enormously successful results. No tipo "00" flour here, they used all purpose flour. No wood fired brick oven at 900º either but a standard Bakers Pride double oven. No San Marzano tomatoes either but plum tomatoes from the Stanislaus Valley. Even their cheese was low moisture mozzarella instead of the classic Mozzarella di Bufala. Their basil was fresh but with a twist. Instead of fresh basil leaves laid on top of the pie they had chopped the leaves very fine and mixed them with olive oil. The server told us this helps to keep them fresh.
   Now, if you told me that they made the pizza this way without the endorsements of Pizza Therapy or Sunset magazine I would've probably said we'll go somewhere else. I am however, a firm believer in doing things in a way that whatever works. Fortunately, I was not dissuaded by the hole-in-the-wall appearance of this place. I wanted to give it a try. The pizza we ordered came back to us as we sat at the  the sidewalk table and from appearances looked like perfection on a platter. Thin crust, bright red tomato sauce, melted white mozzarella and spoonfuls of deep green basil/olive oil dripped carefully in all the right places. The colors were vibrant and carefully placed. I think Van Gogh would have seen it as an artfully painted canvas. Whatever works is by far an under-estimated statement. I have to agree with the testimonials to this place. It definitely is a hole-in-the-wall and it definitely serves up an amazing Margherita pizza. In a word, it was a Masterpiece.
   On our way home we noticed that the Blue Angels were practicing for the air show over the Bay. We wanted to stop and watch but this is San Francisco. Where do you stop and watch? As we headed over the Bay Bridge, it  came to me. The perfect place to stop and watch was on Treasure Island! Why not be in the middle of the action. Some of these jets came so close to the island you could see the pilots while covering your ears from the roar of the jet engines. Amazing choreography and intense power turned this practice session into a real show. What a great day! Three venues and three masterpieces! Van Gogh, Pizzetta 211 and the Blue Angels. This is something you don't get in Hawaii, right Albert?

1 comment:

  1. I have eaten pizzas in some of the best pizzerias on two continents and I have been lucky enough to sample a variety of pizzas made by Vincent. I do believe that his pizzas match, and dare I say, surpass some of the most famous of places. And I do love a great Margherita pizza!