In the midst of my second recent extended stay in San Francisco, there still were a few promising pizza places I had planned to visit. There also were tons of places that I lacked good intel on and some that just looked like they’d be downright awful. One that showed a spark of hope was the Nizario’s Pizza location in the Mission District. I got a kick out of reading their Yelp reviews, since most of them started out with “I was drunk.” I guess that tells you something about the late-night nature of this neighborhood. (BTW – Nizario’s has four other locations in San Francisco.)
I had previously spotted Nizario’s blaring “Pizza by the Slice” neon sign one afternoon when they were closed (hours are 5pm to 3am), and I made a mental note to give it a try should I get a chance. My time came on a weekend evening when me and the family were enduring an hour wait at a nearby vegan sushi restaurant. I’m sure everyone knew that when I suggested we go for a walk while we waited that pizza would be involved.
So, left to my own devices while the others got some tea and looked at vintage clothes, I moseyed into Nizario’s long rectangular room to order a slice at the rear counter. There on display was a pizza tray with a mix of different kinds of slices including a plain cheese ($3.25) that had my name on it. It did look to be much thicker of a slice than a normal pizza-loving person like myself would desire.
Nizario’s appeared to be a quick grab-and-run place with only three small tables and a sidewall counter area where one could scarf their slice. I didn’t have to wait long for mine which came out of its reheat experience at a most desirable eating temperature. There was however something odd about this slice. It was clearly constructed with a little too much dough, and both sauce and cheese were quite light in application. This sucker was also dry.
Somehow though, all that dough managed to make for a somewhat interesting crust. Within its depths were several layers creating empty spaces within its width. Oddly, this slice it reminded me of a good frozen pizza that I might have had at home when I was a kid. That said, it had a darn good-tasting and chewy crust.
But, the sauce and cheese were unmemorable and so missing from the standard pizza equation (i.e. Pizza = Crust + Sauce + Cheese). Despite this shortcoming, Nizario’s slice was tasty, I ate it and enjoyed it. Still, I won’t be sending you out of your way to go there.
PIZZA SNOB RATING ***1/2 Working on a Good Thing
Nizario’s Pizza (The Mission)
535 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110