Skip to content

Barely passable pizza from a San Francisco icon

Barely passable pizza from a San Francisco icon

Review of: Pizzeria Delfina
By: Avery Glasser
Rating: 2
Read review on Judy’s Book.

I have three words for Pizzeria Delfina: overrated, overrated and overrated.

I’ve got serious passion for the pie, so when I first heard that Delfina was opening up a small pizzeria next door, I made a point to visit. The first visit was in September, 2005.

When you get there, the first thing you notice is that there isn’t much “there” there – with small, cramped seating for maybe 18 people inside and 8 outside, it’s a challenge to get seated, though the briskness of the service does mean that even a long line moves pretty fast… that is, if they’re not making 25 pizzas for take out orders and making everyone inside wait as a result. This night, with 4 tables ahead of us, it took a half hour.

On that first visit, my wife and I ordered two pies. Pulling my notes from my journal, I said about that night –

The presentation was fantastic, as was their choice to provide a small plate of dried oregano, hot pepper flakes and shredded Parmasan cheese. The sauce tasted of fresh tomatos – simultaneously sweet and acidic. The cheese was excellent, and the flavor of the crust – lightly salted to bring out the flavor – was the best I have had in years. The sausage, peppers and red onions on the Salsiccia pizza? Perfect.

However, there were issues. Surprisingly, service was not one of them – we had a stream of constant but non-intrusive queries from the waitstaff about the food, informing us that the kitchen was a little backed up if we wanted to have an appetizer first, offering desserts and beverages. The crust was, however the weakness. Seriously. Making a paper-thin crust is an art that requires an almost exacting knowledge of the dough and the oven, and in this case there was no such mastery. The result was that the sauce weakened the pizza at the center, giving it the dreaded “drooping point”. On the margarita pizza, this was just a mild annoyance, but with the weight of the sausage, I needed to support the crust with my knife to get it from the pizza pan to the plate. Get an inch in and it was fine, but the pizzaolios need to either crank up the heat (to give a harder crust at the center), adjust their stretching to give the center a little more dough, drop the amount of sauce in dead center or something. The crust flavor was amazing, so I would not change the recipe, but there is certainly room for some improvement.

So, even back then, there were some kinks. This was exacerbated on my second visit, this time with three other pizza fans, and over the night, we ordered 6 pies (and yes, we did take lots home). The service took a major turn for the worse, and the waitress actually audibly sighed when we decided to order another round of both pizzas and beer. I guess we had overstayed our 30 minute welcome. The majority of the pies suffered not just from point droopage, but the centers actually dissolved. That’s right, the crust put up a valiant fight but surrendered to the sauce and essentially disappeared all together.

Other people who have been there recently confirmed that this is still a regular problem.

Pizzeria Delfina needs to get back to the basics – cancel the take out for a while and let the staff figure out how to replicate the crusts of A16 or Pazzia. Once the restaurant service is fixed, then sensibly restart the takeout business. Trust me, anyone who picked up a slice of pizza to have the point fall off along with the majority of the toppings will thank you.

Posted in Reviews.

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.