Thursday, April 03, 2008

Bay Area Breakfast Pizza

Leftover pizza is what I think of as a default breakfast, the kind of thing you eat when that's what's in the fridge. Freshly made breakfast pizza, on the other hand, is nothing short of divine.

Two breakfast pizzas I tried recently were that wonderful combination of both crunchy and chewy, perfect for nibbling on, while chatting away. I guess that means they might be better for weekend brunch than a weekday breakfast-on-the run. I haven't come up with my own version yet, but I thought I'd share the ones I've tried, in the meantime. I'm happy to say I found good ones on both sides of the bay.

The first breakfast pizza I had was at Bar Johnny. Bar Johnny is a bit of a dream come true for me. It's right around the corner from my house, serves a variety of delicious and reasonably priced small plates at brunch on the weekend, and for dinner. Still hungry after a night at the ballet? The snackable menu is available until 1 in the morning. Oh Bar Johnny, I think I love you!
Bar Johnny Pizza
The pizza at Bar Johnny is topped with smoked salmon, red onion, dill and creme fraiche. The toppings are cold, so they don't get "cooked" but the crust is hot. It's the perfect portion for one person. It's a bit like a bagel, cream cheese and lox, but easier to eat and linger over.

On a good day, Oliveto Cafe is a sunny little breakfast nook, I want to return to time and time again. It's warm, casual and comfortable. You order at the bar, find a seat, and the food comes to you, eventually. When a colleague suggested sharing the breakfast pizza I figured, why not? It turns out it's so big we actually had trouble finishing it. You can get it with various toppings but pancetta and a couple of fried eggs are de rigueur as far as I'm concerned.
Oliveto Pizza
The Oliveto pizza has a thinner crust than the one at Bar Johnny, but it's equally satisfying. When the egg yolks break and ooze over the tomatoey crust, life is good...

Bar Johnny CLOSED
2209 Polk St @ Vallejo
San Francisco

Oliveto Cafe
5655 College Ave @ Keith
Oakland

For more Bay Area pizza reviews, though not necessarily breakfast pizza's, check out the pizza category on Michael Bauer's blog at SFGate.