Avenue/20th Ave., SF
hearing at Trad'r Sam
for one at Gaspare's. It's a pizza house and Italian restaurant all
under one roof. The great part is they do both really well. We started
with the "Pizza House" fare and let me tell you it was far more than
fair. The style is thin, thin cracker type crust that is hard to beat.
We had the Pizza Margherita: garlic, olive oil, sweet basil, oregano,
mozzarella cheese, and tomato sauce. Sounds simple but it's full of
flavor. The pizza menu is large: no less than 27 specialty pizzas. I
favor the minimal topping pizza myself and with the thin crust Gaspare's
offers you won't want too much getting in the way and weighing it down.
Eat it as soon as it hits the table, because the crust weakens quickly,
especially in the center, so you could end up with a soggy mess.
Next came the main course, from the Italian restaurant portion
of Gaspare's. I went with the basic rigatoni with meat sauce, also
offered with your plain ol' marinara. I topped it off with a couple
meatballs, for a couple extra bucks. It was well worth it. The meatballs
added the extra zing a pasta dish can use. My dish was great, no complaints,
except for maybe the price: $11. Judge Vardigan opted for the spaghetti
with Italian sausage. I'll take the meatballs over sausage any day.
JV, not being the shy type, added a couple meatballs just to call it
a party. I think I saw him flashing back to an episode involving a
jar of sauce on his door step with a similar Italian sausage poking
up over the rim. I must say he really seemed to enjoy his meal.
Turner let us partake of his delicious and large portion of Veal
Cutlet Alla Parmigiana. An enjoyable entree that I was happy to taste.
Throw a little bread and butter on top of all this and you'll leave
Gaspare's stuffed all the way up to the smile on your face. Get on
out to Geary and have some super pizza/Italian food. Saturday was
bit crowded but they are open 'til midnight.
Stop eating now
and save room for Gaspare's. Pizza, pasta, chicken, veal and eggplant
-- all clamoring for your belly at this old world eatery. I don't know
how long Gaspare's has been there, but it seems like a long time. And
that's good. Fake grape vines hanging from the ceiling (that's class!)
and mini '50s-style jukeboxes in the comfy booths. Bring quarters.
And for the love
of the Pope get some pizza. We three shared one as an appetizer. Pizza
Margherita ($11.25 for a medium) -- garlic, olive oil, basil, oregano
and mozzarella. It rocked! And I tell you now, New Yorkers, that this
may be the pie you've been so vocally mourning since you were forced
out of your beloved city. Thin crust, but with that micron thick layer
of cracker-like crispiness. I don't know of another pie around with
such a perfect thin crust. Maybe Goat Hill Pizza...anyway, check out
this pizza pie, I think they've got some crust voodoo going on.
Then there was my
entree, Veal Cutlet Alla Parmigiana ($13.25). Real good. Of course,
it's hard to go wrong with a hunk of veal that's breaded, fried, then
topped with melted cheese and tomato sauce. But the veal was tasty and
crispy, the cheese plentiful, and the sauce flavorful. Alongside that
was my vegetable, which was like "greens"...I'm not sure what it was.
Like mustard greens, but with white veins in it....well it was pretty
good with some salt and pepper.
and entree prices are kind of steep for a non-gourmet joint, but they
get away with it. The place was packed on Saturday evening. I think
their atmosphere and solid menu make it worthwhile, and thin crust pizza
lovers should at least check THAT out. Eat! Eat!
rolls out a very wet welcome mat in March, but if you can make it inside
Gaspare's before dissolving, you'll find a warm and comfortable refuge.
In fact, after eating, you may just want to curl up in a booth and wait
out the rain...until May.
a grueling two hours of afternoon basketball, I believed I might have
trouble getting full. So I kind of went overboard, ordering meatballs
(just a dollar extra) on TOP of my spaghetti with Italian sausage. In
my defense, I didn't know they'd come at me with a full sausage, but there
it was, atop about of a pound of pasta -- and with the meatballs over
that, well, I felt like quite a glutton. I sat sheepish. And I really
couldn't eat much more than half, as much I wanted to. When you consider
that, the $9.95 price tag is a pretty good deal, because I got another
full meal out of it the next day.
won't bowl you over (except for the pizza, maybe -- see Judge Turner's
review), but the old-time atmosphere and satisfying, generous plates make
Gaspare's a winner, especially on a downpouring night, out in the avenues,
far away from home.
to reader-eater Pamela for suggesting Gaspare's.