Craig and Annie Stoll may get people in the door at Pizzeria Delfina with their cult-followed Neapolitan-style pies, but patrons keep coming back for the meatballs. Many of our city's best pizza dealers have a similar tactic, filling out the sidelines of their pizza-heavy menus with a stellar lineup of sides to create a meal. Here now, five of our favorite pizzeria menu items that are not pizza, and not to be missed.
It's asparagus season if you haven't noticed. Saturday morning, I started at Nopa with a shaved asparagus and pea shoot salad tossed with grilled thin slabs of Bodacious cheese. The next day, I was at Zero Zero diving into a heaping plate of asparagus, charred from the grill, tossed with black garlic and glistening with olive oil. That was brunch. When I wandered into the produce aisle to buy ingredients for dinner last night, asparagus spears as thick as broomsticks stared me down.
"I love a good thin burger on a soft bun. There are a couple places around town where I like to get them, like Sam’s in North Beach. It’s not a big thick burger—it’s more of a four-ounce, wimpy American one. It’s my favorite because it has balance, and it has that char flavor. I get it with lettuce, sweet pickles, red onion slices, and tomato.
A bun needs to be a soft, chewy, classic 5-inch bun, and it needs to be made out of highly processed flour, like the one at Red’s Java House. There, I get it Red’s style, with mustard and sweet pickles. And I really love cheese. For the cheese in this burger, I want two slices of American. It definitely has to stick to the back of your mouth a little.
Bruce Hill, chef-owner of Bix in SF and Picco and its next door pizzeria in Marin, is set to open the doors to his newest venture tomorrow: Zero Zero. Located next to LuLu in the former Azie space, the two-floored building has received a very Michael Brennan redesign (imagine a dark, rather gothic mural on the second floor, complete with images of tomatoes on the vine and … Pinnochio), massive mirrors over one of the two bars and salvaged vintage lights from flea markets. The man who first brought us pizza and soft serve took a minute out of a foggy day to give us the skinny.