Zachery's Zachery's Zachery's. Since my first visit to Berkeley nearly 7 years ago people always tell me I HAVE TO go to Zachery's. When I tell people I like the food in Berkeley they ask me if I've tried Zachery's. When I tell people I'm going to go visit Berkeley they tell me to go try Zachery's. Finally I relented.
If you've never heard of Zachery's it's rated one of the best pizzas in San Francisco and the Bay area. They make deep dish as well as thin crust pizza, but deep dish is what they are known for. It's not a traditional Chicago style deep dish, but a "stuffed" deep dish pizza.
They start with a thin layer of dough in a 2 inch pan. They then add the cheese + toppings and cover the cheese + toppings with another layer of dough. Finally they put on the tomato sauce.
At the restaurant you can either dine in or do take out. We went around 1pm and there was a line outside the door for both options. I'm sure dinner time is horrible here since it takes almost 30 minutes to make a pizza. Since the restaurant is across the street from a school, during lunch time you can watch as the students mill around outside of restaurant doors and employees of the restaurants carefully screening who comes in to the restaurant.
So for our selection today, we had one of their specials: Italian sausage, hot peppers, onions, and green peppers.
As you can see the pizza is smothered in tomato sauce. Large chunks of tomato, basil, oregano are baked into the multi layered stuff pizza.
The dough itself is very thin. I'm not sure why but when I think deep dish.. I think of a thicker crust on the bottom. The pizza at Zachery's is almost crispy on the bottom.. probably the same thickness as a NY style pizza. As well the deep dish style pizza I'm used to has a softer texture, lightly doughy and just a bit crispy (kind of like pizza hut), but here the crust is very crisp almost like eating a bread stick.
Since the pizza is laden with sauce and cheese the bottom part of the dough gets soggy quickly. This ends up quickly becoming a knife and fork pizza eatery =).
As you can tell, I was not the biggest fan of the preparation of the pizza dough. I'm sure some people like flavorless thin pizza crust but not at $20 a pizza.
On top of that the combination of the pizza toppings made my mouth cry tears of sadness. Overly sour hot peppers with the pound of oregano they put in the sauce makes it so you can't even taste the sausages on the pizza. Of course.. that could also be because they only put about 9 slices of sausage on there. The precious few slices of sausage that we tasted were meaty and peppery, just how I like my sausage. I guess if you like random flavors hitting your mouth that don't meld well together.. this would be a pizza you'd like.
Now.. I do understand Zachery's does their pizza is a rather innovative way. I haven't seen a pizza so loaded with tomatoes and cheese in awhile. But the lack of REAL toppings on the pizza and the pretty underwhelming taste makes me wonder why the restaurant is one of the "best pizza" joints in San Francisco. Is everyone a follower? Is there really just no good pizza in San Francisco? Is it like saying "best burrito in Chicago".. where that doesn't really say much?
*shrug*. I might give it another shot when I visit again.. just in case it was the fault of the toppings (which shouldn't be a problem to begin with).
1853 Solano Ave.
Berkeley, California 94707