Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pizza Politana - Pizza Margherita with Bacon

Today's sun and warm weather brought people out in droves to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, and Pizza Politana had their hands full baking pizza for what seemed like a never-ending queue. All of their specials sounded pretty appetizing (especially the Market, which included greens, black olives and house-made Italian sausage), but in the end I settled on their Pizza Margherita, to which I added bacon.

What makes a good pizza is largely personal preference and can usually be compartmentalized into a favorite "style" of pizza: New York, deep dish, Detroit, California, etc. New York style, the dominant style on the East Coast, is characterized by its hand-tossed crust, which is usually very thin and droopy. I personally prefer that kind of pizza, which I grew up with, and find pizza on the West Coast to have thicker crusts and be a little too doughy. I like the focus of my pizza to be the cheese, sauce, and minimal toppings. My all-time favorite pizza in the world is from a joint called Regina's, located in Boston's North End. I am on an eternal quest to find pizza that comes even remotely close to that superior pie. So far I haven't been successful, but I have found places that I truly enjoyed. Pizza Politana is one of those places.

Pizza Politana bakes up Neapolitan-style pizza in their mobile wood-fired brick oven. They serve their pizzas at various Bay Area farmers markets and are at the Ferry Building on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Their toppings are seasonal and locally sourced, so their menu fluctuates depending on the time of year. The pies are made fresh to order, so they are handed over piping hot after a drizzle of oil is brushed on the crust.

I really enjoyed my Pizza Margherita today. The outer crust was crispy, but the base was thin and floppy, just like you'd find on the East Coast. The tomato sauce was delicate and flavorful, and the amount of cheese was sufficient to compliment the other ingredients without overpowering them. The basil added a nice aromatic zest, and everything together really worked for me. What I didn't like was the bacon that I had added as an extra topping. It appeared that the bacon wasn't pre-cooked before it was added to the pizza, so it turned out rather chewy and meaty. I was instead hoping for crisp bacon and a smoky taste.

Overall, I savored my pizza, even though I wished I had ordered the Margherita in it's virgin form. An individual pie serves one person, but I assure that when you are done, you'll be wanting more!

Rating: 3.5/5, though without the bacon it would have been a solid 4. (ratings guide)

Pizza Politana (@pizzapolitana) $8.00 for Margherita, $2.00 extra for bacon


Does reading this make you want to try this vendor? Tell them that you saw them at I Left My Cart in San Francisco and support San Francisco street cuisine!

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