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Pauline’s, Wine and Art

Last Friday, my friend Arnold and I practically used up all of our minutes on the phone trying to decide where to eat dinner. We didn’t want to spend a lot of money, or get dressed up, and we wanted something yummy and relatively healthy, so we agreed on Pauline’s Pizza—their salads and pizza toppings are the freshest around, the dough for the thin-crust pizza is handmade daily and their wines are a steal.


These obviously aren't from Pauline's—I forgot my camera

The two of us first ate at Pauline’s about five years ago, so it’s sort of “our restaurant”—I’ll go without him, but not without a twinge of guilt. Without fail, we share the chef’s special salad, which changes according to what’s available from their two organic gardens (one in Berkeley and one at Star Canyon Ranch in the Sierra Foothills). That night, our salad consisted of spicy arugula sylvetta, plump figs and juicy peaches. Then we split a large pizza (since we can never agree on the same toppings), and share either a half-carafe or a bottle of Pauline’s house red. On Friday, I opted for roasted eggplant and roasted peppers, and Arnold got prosciutto and mushrooms.

Did you know that Pauline’s has its own bonded winery? Apparently they grow five different grapes on 13 acres at the Star Canyon Ranch in Calaveras County. And there are plans to open a wine bar in the alley around the corner some time this year. Anyway, we tried one of the “Pizza Reds,” an ’04 Meritage blend of Zinfandel and Merlot—an amazing bargain at $18/bottle, and pretty tasty, too.

Last but not least, dining at Pauline’s gives us an opportunity to let our artistic sides shine. The crayons on the paper-covered tables are a nice touch that brings out the competitive kid in each us. I swear my drawings are framing material, but Arnold’s, well, he’s delusional to think his drawings are better than mine.