Saturday, August 07, 2004

Arizmendi Bakery:Shop

I remember the first time I heard about The Cheese Board pizza. My parents told me that they had been to a place in Berkeley where they sold pizza at lunchtime and served it in old Reeboks. How disgusting! I thought. Old Reeboks? Dirty old athletic shoes? Really? Then it hit me, old "brie box" not Reeboks.

The Cheese Board began in 1967 as a privately owned business. But over time it became a worker owned collective. In 1985 The Cheese Board Collective began making pizza. It was quite a success and to this day, people line up and purchase pizza at lunchtime (they also sell pizza in the later part of the day)

An offshoot of The Cheese Board is Arizmendi Bakery in San Francisco. Also a worker-owned collective, they opened up in the Fall of 2000, and use the same recipes as their sister cooperative. So what is special about their "gourmet" pizza? Several things. First off it features a thin, sourdough crust. It is a very chewy pizza that crisps up on the bottom, and has a definite sourdough tang to it. The toppings are also unusual. Some examples of pizzas this month include portobello, shiitake and button mushrooms with a sesame, garlic and ginger vinaigrette and parsley. Or fresh corn, fresh red bell pepper, goat cheese, garlic, olive oil and cilantro. Or a more traditional tomato, red onion, smoked mozzarella, garlic, olive oil, parsley and Parmesan. They use as different combination of fresh, seasonal vegetables, herbs and different cheeses everyday. Their pizzas are vegetarian. After all, this is Bay Area pizza...!

On the negative side you pretty much have to buy it "to go" because there is no seating. Only one type of pizza is available per day. Pizza is only available after 11:30 a.m. and when it first comes out of the oven you may even have to wait in line. But that's ok. Because it's that good. It's reasonably priced to boot. Pizza is $2 a slice, $8 for a half and $16 for a whole one. You can find out what pizza they are selling each day by checking out the pizza schedule.

Arizmendi Bakery
1331 9th Avenue
San Francisco
Tuesday - Friday:7:00am - 7:00pm
Saturday: 8:00am - 7:00pm
Sunday:8:00am - 4:00pm
Pizza available after 11:30 a.m.

The Cheese Board Pizza Collective
1512 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA. 94709
Pizza Hours
Tuesday-Friday: 11:30am - 2pm and 4:30 - 7:00pm
Saturday 12 - 3pm and 4:30 - 7pm