If you know me in real life you probably know that I have a real weakness for pizza. It's pretty much my favorite food ever. And so, for today's Five Favorites I thought I'd pay homage to my favorite food and share a few of my favorite pizza places:
Johnny's Pizza gets the top slot. It's a little pizza place that our family frequents every time we go to California.
On our last trip west Paul was in town for only a few hours... and his one request? Stop and have pizza at Johnny's. Their pizza is delicious. You can find the Rock and Roll themed restaurant in the heart of the historic section of Weaverville, in far Northern California (think hours north of San Francisco).
And you know what makes me love this little restaurant even more than I already did?
They have gluten free and dairy free pizza (and they ask if it's an allergy or a preference). Which means that I could eat knowing that the food had been prepared in such a way that what I was eating wasn't going to make Patrick sick. And even better? The vegan cheese was the first vegan cheese I'd eaten that was actually delicious.
Our family ate every crumb of the gluten free dairy free pizza at Johnny's. And since we ate their before our dairy free gluten free days, I can guarantee that their regular pizza is fantastic too. Johnny's is the pizza parlor that every member of our family agrees is fantastic. And since Paul and I have totally different ideas of what pizza should be (his east coast opinions versus my west cost opinions), that's actually a pretty rare occurrence!
Dunsmuir and Shasta Lake City, California
This is the pizza of my childhood. And adolescence. The Pizza Factory is where we'd go with family and friends before basketball games and football games. It was where we went as often as not on Friday nights. In high school we'd call ahead and have a pizza or pizza bread ready at lunch time (since we could leave campus at lunch) before heading back for afternoon classes.
When we went back to California this last time I made a point of not going to the Pizza Factory closest to my parents' house (still an hour and a half drive, but in the past we've made sure to stop by on the way through) because I knew that I would not be able to resist their fantastic breadsticks with ranch dressing. Giving up dairy hasn't been that difficult for me... but if their the buttery parmesan breadsticks were in front of me? I'm not sure I'd last.
The Pizza Factory is a franchise... but we've had mixed luck when we've gone to other franchise restaurants... The restaurants in Dunsmuir and Shasta Lake City are my favorites.
I wasn't a fan of Dominos before we moved to Michigan. We'd tried them once in California and I remember not being impressed (maybe it was the hour and a half long drive home in the car from the closest delivery place... we passed it while driving through and stopped). We tried again in Michigan and the pizza is surprisingly good.
Then the gluten free/ dairy free days arrived and I said goodbye to pizza... except... guess what? Dominos will make your pizza without cheese (make sure to ask for no butter too because they put a delicious buttery garlic sauce on some of their types of pizza)... and they have gluten free crusts. My only wish is that the gluten free crust came in a larger size!
Thus Dominos has become our go to pizza place when something goes horribly wrong with dinner and I need a takeout place near our house to save me. They're usually here about twenty minutes after I place my order, which is impressively speedy in my book. And that puts Dominos up among my favorite pizza places at the moment!
San Rafael, California
Shortly after Paul and I began dating I went to work at a rock climbing gym in Marin County. Across the street was West Brooklyn Pizza. Paul and I were just beginning to discover that we had totally different ideas of what good pizza was (my response to the pizza he would pick out tended to be "What's that? A piece of paper?") and West Brooklyn Pizza had the perfect solution. They sold pizza by the slice and they had both Neopolitan (round thin crust) and Sicilian (thick square crust) pizza slices. So I could get a piece of Sicilian and Paul could get Neopolitan and everyone was happy! Which helped out budding relationship survive our drastically different ideas of what constituted a good pizza!
This one's for Paul. It's his favorite pizza parlor on the east coast. He's not as into waxing poetic about pizza as I am, so when asked why he likes it he said "it's good pizza."