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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Gaspare's Pizza House & Italian Restaurant

I love pizza, and as a former East Coaster, I find it difficult to get good pizza in San Francisco. But I adore Gaspare's Pizza House, and it makes me feel like I am back in the North End of Boston.
It's probably my favorite pizza here in San Francisco, and even though I vow to try some of their Italian dishes "the next time I go," I always end up just ordering the pizza.
It's that good!
Gaspare's has a wide variety of pizza combinations, but I am a double cheese kind of girl. Sometimes I add mushrooms, and if my son whines enough, we sometimes get pepperoni. But on the whole, I think that ordering it with just cheese really brings out the flavor of the sauce and the crust. Gaspare's tends to be a little on the salty side, and that's just the way I like it! Their crust is thin, and when you lift up a piece, it bends and drips and is gooey. To me, this is an ideal pizza.
The restaurant has a cool, old-world decor as well, with individual jukeboxes at the booths and a some wine grapes hanging from the ceiling. I feel like I am going back a few decades when I step into the place, and I think that just adds to the ambiance.
Even when I circle the block upwards of 10 times trying to find parking, I never get annoyed because I know what delicious taste awaits me!

Don't even think about coming here on a weekend, unless you are prepared to wait. There have been times when I have ordered take-away and it's still a 45 minute wait. They have a sign-up sheet at the door where you can write your name, and my advice is to either say inside, or keep your ears open outside because if you don't answer when they call you, your name gets crossed off. Personally I like to hover around inside and check-out who is almost done. I dig the anticipation!

Here is the pizza maker in the kitchen. It's where the magic happens!

I always start with their house salad for 2, and it's a pretty big portion, easily enough for our family of 3. It consists of lettuce, tomatoes, olives, onions and pepperoncini. The highlight of this salad is the dressing which is an olive oil and vinegar based creation that is addictive! They pour it on, so we sometimes keep our empty salad dish and use our crusts to sop up the left-over dressing. It's not on the menu but if you ask, they will sell you a container to take home. If it's really busy the pizza can take a bit to come, so treat yourself to a salad or appetizer while you wait. They also serve a basket of bread to each table.

Tonight we kept it simple and ordered an extra-large, double cheese pizza. There were three of us and the extra-large is pretty big, but I like to have left-overs to eat the next day.

My jukebox was broken this evening and that made my son sad, but luckily I was able to call up some Italian tunes on Rhapsody which seemed to appease him. Hey Mambo, Mambo Italiano!

I swear I could eat the entire pizza all by myself. I love it when it's gooey and soft and drippy! 

Gaspare's has a full Italian menu besides pizza, and they also offer nightly dinner specials. I keep eyeing their calamari salad, so I might have to get that the next time I go. They also have opened another location in San Rafael. 

5546 Geary Boulevard @ 20th, San Francisco, CA 94121

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