Ahh...pizza, besides hamburgers it always brings up much discussion about what is the best and opinions about that are a dime a dozen as they say. Pizza for me reminds me of that old joke--"pizza is like sex--when it's good it's really good and when it's bad--ehh--it's still pretty good." For my money I prefer a pizza with a cornmeal crust and luckily there are a couple places in San Francisco that can supply me with this delight. One of those is Paxti's Chicago Pizza. They have several locations around town and on this day I decided to hit up the one in the Marina since I was volunteering nearby it seemed kismet to go.
After perusing the menu I decided to go whole hog as it where and get the full on 14 inch Chicago stuffed pizza Special with mushrooms, onions, green peppers and sausage. This type of pizza is a thick deep dish monster with a layer of crust, layer of cheese and toppings then another thin layer of crust followed by more cheese, toppings and sauce. This does take about 40 minutes or so to cook but believe me when I say it is worth the wait.
The crust is golden brown (not burnt which happens in this town) and crispy and the cornmeal adds an extra crunchy and flavorful texture that I think takes the pizza up a notch. The veggies are cooked but not over done so they still have that great crunch to them and the sauce is spicy with a small hint of tomato sweetness that doesn't overwhelm the fresh mozzarella and Italian sausage. One thing that I really like is that the pie holds together when you pull a slice out, the crust stays firm and not soggy even with all the layers and this is always a plus for me. There is also plenty of cheese so you don't need to ask for extra but maybe they could kick up the sausage a bit, though that's a minor quibble.
I can't say enough about how much I really enjoyed this pizza and if you are not into the whole deep dish thing they do a thin crust cornmeal which if you are really hungry you could order a small to tide you over till your order for this big boy is ready. Either way, next time you are craving crunchy, cheesy goodness you should seek out one of their locations or better yet--they also deliver to a fair number of neighborhoods--so dial up--dig in and enjoy.