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Friday, March 18, 2005

Zante's Pizza : Restaurant Review

Dungeness crabs, sourdough bread, a wide choice of cuisines--especially Asian. We are so blessed in the Bay Area with great food. But something else particular to San Francisco may be Indian Pizza. Yup, you heard right, Indian pizza and I'm pleased to report the one place making it, Zante's in Bernal Heights, delivers citywide.

Ever since I tried this pizza a few weeks ago I have been positively obsessed with it. There are several things that make this pizza addictive--but the most important is probably the sauce and the unique toppings. Now I know what you're thinking, pizza is all about the crust, but in this case it's not. They use Sag paneer, a cheesy pureed spinach that works perfectly as a base. On top of it they add eggplant, cauliflower, ginger, green onions, cilantro, garlic, cheese and if you like, tandoori chicken or lamb. The crust is a chewy and crisp thick pizza dough, good but not the greatest. The whole thing is baked in a tandoori oven. Luscious spicy flavors of India explode in your mouth from the first bite. I know it sounds weird, but surprisingly it's not.

If you're not in the mood for pizza Zante's also serves Indian food, though I haven't tried it. Around since the mid 1980's it's been garnering attention from various publications since it opened. Until just recently it has never really been on my radar, probably because I didn't realize they deliver...

Zante's owner has roots in India and yet learned to make pizza in New York. Exactly how this happy mix of pizza and Indian food happened, I'm not sure, but I'm ever so grateful!

Zante's Pizza and Indian Cuisine
3489 Mission St @ 30th Street.
San Francisco
Open daily 11-3 and 5-11 pm