by janet on December 23rd, 2010

We recently went to Paxti’s -the one in Hayes Valley- for Charlize’s hatch day. “Say ‘PAH-cheese!'” it says on their banner. I had been to the one in the Marina with R2, just after it opened. I remember that night as it was the first time I watched Star Wars V with R2, who shyly at first and then with locomotive-status enthusiasm peppered the home screening with SW trivia.

I remember this night because there was an epic discussion of Patxi’s vs. Zachary’s. None of the party guests had been to Paxti’s before, so they asked me to describe it. “Well, it’s crust with toppings on top, but there’s also cheese and then tomato sauce.” I then realized I was just describing pizza. “I guess I’m just describing what pizza is,” I said. They agreed.

So I’ll try to do better here. It’s Chicago style pizza. The first thing that means is it is a serious, serious pizza. If you get takeout, the box will weigh about ten pounds when you get it. Maybe more. It’s thick crust – very. The crust was so flakey and tender it was more like a croissant/biscuit hybrid. Dangerous. The toppings and cheese are then placed on top, and the whole shebang is covered with a thick layer of tomato sauce – probably a quarter inch or more, so it’s like pizza-ey soup, which I love.

We got one large “Favorite” with pepperoni, mushrooms, and black olives. Birthday girl hates olives, and her husband hates mushrooms, so this was a curious choice, but they picked out their respective nemeses and ate/slurped it up. We also got “Spinach Pesto” with spinach, basil-garlic pesto and parmesan, which came out looking like a normal pizza, not green like I anticipated.

We also got an antipasto plate, choosing prosciutto, Genovese salami, and chorizo. The “artisan” cheeses that accompanied were the true winners – each sharper than Ben Folds’ critiques of the groups on the Sing-Off that packed a punch even with the uber-polite teeny slivers that everyone was taking.

Back to the debate. The whole thing is funny if you know that Tina had gotten Charlize a gift certificate to Zachary’s as her birthday gift.

Tina: [Inexplicably suddenly  a big fan of Zachary’s] Well, nothing beats ZACHARY’S OF COURSE!
Charlize: [Feeling awkward like her guest didn’t like her choice of dinner location] Well, I think this pizza is great! [Now, emphatically] Yeah! Patxi’s is WAY better than Zachary’s!
Tina: [Beginning to worry more about her gift choice] REALLY? Have you HAD Zachary’s recently?
Charlize: [Along with all the other dinner guests minus Tina’s husband who is just giggling at this point, starting to wonder why Tina is shouting about Zachary’s] I guess I haven’t had it in a while, but I still think this is better! [Recklessly] I want another slice! I’m gonna have another slice!
Tina: Well…ok fine well… Happy Birthday! [Proffering giftcard]
Charlize: OHHHHH! Thank you I LOVE Zachary’s!
Me: lol.

I, too, have had Zachary’s, and need to dig up those pictures, but my take on things is that they’re the same. The first three bites or so are thrilling in their density, flavor, and smooth and juicy fattyness, and from then on it’s just a fucking battle. There is no way to get out of this meal without a distended belly, which is a plus for me but a minus for less gluttonous others. Perhaps it’s time to have a direct taste-off; both places offer par-baked pies to finish in one’s own oven. That will have to wait until this round of pizza digests…probably in another three months or so.

Patxi’s – many locations so just go to their website; maybe avoid the Marina one

One Response to “Paxti’s”

  1. R2 says:

    Three bites of perfection followed by a battle – that’s the perfect description of Chicago-style. Also, it was Star Wars IV.
    Also…it’s good to have MTFB back!

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