No pizza will ever seem quite as satisfying as the grease-laden deep dish pizza I ate three years ago at Uno’s, after a day of walking around Chicago in freezing rain. But since I am not running a marathon or fattening up for winter, the healthier “Cali style” Chicago pizza at Patxi’s hits the spot well enough. Yesterday, A and I placed an order, then walked around sunny Hayes Valley popping into boutiques and candy stores while waiting for it to cook. We’re definitely not in Chicago anymore.
It was one of my first forays into Hayes Valley, an adorable shopping nook next to the Financial District. My roommate has worked at various restaurants on this street for years, so I expect to come more often. A feast at her current restaurant Nojo is in the works!
"Do you want an action shot?" The charming waiter offered when I asked if I could take a photo. I knew the angle would be messed up, but snapped it quickly as not to delay the eating process. Keepin’ it real. (haaaay A)
Our 10” pie with whole wheat crust and half spinach and tomato for A, half vegan cheese and mushrooms, olives and onions for me ($22). Patxi’s offers several brands of alternative cheese, and I was very eager to try Daiya for the first time since it’s been a hit in the vegan world for its eerily cheesy properties.
Verdict: more similar than most other store brands, but still lacks the sharp umami of cheese and the “stretch factor”. While I’d enjoy Daiya in small amounts, I found it a bit too salty and one dimensional in flavor, and too snotty in texture (sorry I went there). Bear in mind, I’m not a huge fan of real cheese, so my favorite kind on the Vegan Pizza Tour remains the tofu garlic ricotta at Lanesplitters…or maybe the one at Bobby G’s. Point is, not this one.
But this is not a review for Daiya! I know Patxi’s makes a mean California-Chicago style pizza and think they do a better job than Zachary’s, which everyone on the East Bay is obsessed with. Patxi’s isn’t trying to be something it’s not–I mean, if I asked for whole wheat vegan pizza at Uno’s I’d probably be exiled from Chicago–but they do their own thang deliciously.