Monday, April 24, 2006

Patxi's Chicago Pizza, Palo Alto

Having lived in the East Bay for several years, when I think of good Chicago-style pizza in the Bay Area, the first place that comes to mind is Zachary's. Well, that is, until this weekend -- when Jon and I took a trip to Patxi's in downtown Palo Alto.

Let me get this out of the way though: I am by no means a pizza connoisseur. In fact, most days, if you offer me a slice, I will turn you down without any hesitation. But every once in a while, I get a craving for pizza. And I've been hearing good things about this Patxi's. (Pronounced "pah-cheese.") So we went for lunch yesterday, shortly after they opened, and placed our order to go. Jon got the special -- sausage, mushrooms, onions and green peppers -- Chicago-style. With its thick crust and vast amounts of tomato sauce, the deep-dish is a little too heavy for me, so I ordered a thin-crust slice of pepperoni. (When we went, they had plain cheese or pepperoni slices available.)

Jon's pizza took about 40 minutes to bake. (BTW, Patxi's also has half-baked pies if you're in a bit of a hurry.) So...

  • If you're planning to take your pizza home, you may want to place your order and then stroll University Avenue -- which is exactly what we did.
  • If you decide to wait at the restaurant for your pizza, it's not a bad place to hang out; the decor is comfortable and definitely a step up from your average pizza joint. You can probably catch a sporting event on the not-so-big-screen-TVs.
  • And, if you're dining in, you may want to order a salad to enjoy while your pizza's in the oven.

Okay! Now back to our story... We got our pizzas home, after a torturous car ride -- we were SO hungry, and the pizzas smelled SO good! My thin-crust was awesome. I counted ten slices of pepperoni on my wedge of pizza, the crust was perfectly crisp, and it wasn't too greasy. Jon's pizza was not quite as hot as he would have liked, though this could be attributed to the fact that we live about ten minutes from the pizzeria. Still, he said it was pretty good, although not quite at the level of Zachary's.

I think the next time, I'll stick with the thin-crust anyway because that's just how I roll -- even though some might say it's sacrilegious to go thin-crust in a Chicago pizzeria. Like I said, I'm no connoisseur. I just know what I like. And I like me that thin-crust pizza at Patxi's.

P.S. It turns out that Patxi's actually does have a connection to Zachary's: One of the owners, Francisco "Patxi" Azpiroz, spent more than a decade working at the East Bay institution.

Patxi's Chicago Pizza
441 Emerson Street
Palo Alto, CA
(650) 473-9999