Out of this world pizza and beer? Maybe. Jupiter is a restaurant and beerhouse on Shattuck in Berkeley and is extremely popular. Completely packed on a weekend evening, it can be hard to hear yourself think much less have a nice conversation with friends in this European-style ex-stable building from the 1890’s….
Ok, how many pizza shops are called New York Pizza? Seriously, it took me 5 minutes to find this one on Google because even typing “New York Pizza San Jose” into the search comes up with more hits than and oldies radio station. I realize that many restaurants sell New York style pizza. Use. A. Different. Name.
I suppose I should apologize to A Slice of NY Pizza for that rant, they deserved it no more than the hordes of other pizza places of the same name. One of which, mind you, I’ve already reviewed. But these two are not related, thankfully, despite a flash of panic when we arrived to pick up this latest pie. Two of our friends who live in San Jose recommended (read: demanded) that we try this pizza place. And unlike all the other “New York Pizza”s out there, this one is actually called A Slice of New York Pizza, though the distinguishing forewords are in such tiny print on their sign that no one but the hummingbirds are aware of it*….
Update: Pyzano’s is now closed.Atmosphere: 3/5 ♦ Service: 3/5 ♦ Food Quality: 4/5 ♦ Value: 3/5 Times Visited: A Few ♦ Will I Return?: Probably ___________
Pyzano’s has somewhat of a cult following in the Hayward/Castro Valley area, and it always has. I’m not sure when this place opened up, but it’s not a chain and it’s owned by 9 Time World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani, who has tossed pizzas with the likes of Jay Leno, Oprah, Emeril, and all over the Food Network. He’s apparently quite good.
But with all this hype came a bit of a letdown for me. I haven’t been to Pyzano’s in years and forgot that the atmosphere of the place is just your run of the mill pizza joint. But the prices aren’t – you’re paying for gourmet here for sure. I thought (read: was hoping) that with all the fancy pizza twirling, there’d be something more than order-at-the-counter, standard-leather-booths-and-rickety-tables, serve-yourself-soda-machine, and grocery-store-floor-tiling. Seriously, I thought they might have put some effort into posh, above-and-beyond decor, and maybe even table service. Apparently that’s not their style – moving on….
The other night, the boyfriend and I decided to take the advice of an informative and wise mass-mailed flier and try a little known Hayward pizza place called New York Pizza. They offer reasonably priced pizza and free delivery and so we figured, what the heck.
The flier indicated a phone number for the Hayward location. Upon calling, they directed us to a different phone number, apparently also in Hayward. Since this was all over the phone, I can only assume, with the help of Google Maps, that the first call was made to the Tennyson branch, and the second call was to the store at A Street and Foothill….
Mountain Mike’s is a franchise – but most pizza places are nowadays, it seems. Though MM’s appears to have dozens of locations throughout the state and a few scattered stores reaching into neighboring states, I don’t really ever remember having Mountain Mike’s particular brand of pizza pie before.
Let’s face it, it’s not one of the massive chains with corner shops on every block. And I’m not sure if they’ve had a lot of growth recently, or if there just haven’t been any MM’s in my immediate vicinity until now, or if I’m just completely blind, but there seems to be a few around now. And now that I’ve had a Mountain Mike’s pizza, I may take notice when one of the stores is quietly tucked into the strip mall where I’m buying pot holders or popsicle sticks.
Hungry Howie’s is where I choose to begin the ‘broccoli and chocolate’ adventure as it’s a good, solid, established Hayward locale that’s been around the block and back again. Often overlooked, this tiny take away joint stands proud with its blindingly bright yellow sign along Mission Boulevard, smooshed between the Hayward Plunge (or, as I call it, The Dive) and an ever-faithful 7-Eleven. I’m not sure how long this particular Howie’s has been in operation, but I am sure that it’s changed since I was a teenager.
Hungry Howie’s was the go-to cheap pizza place in my heyday and it seems to have evolved into a full-blown, semi-classy venue since then. …