Street/3rd Ave., SF
hearing at Last Days Saloon
If this were a
real restaurant review in a newspaper or weekly, you know it would
be called "Gorgin' at Giorgio's." But our reviews don't have
headlines or titles, just our modest names atop them. We only trot
out the pun-making, word-playing flair in subject lines of e-mails
back and forth. An uproarious little game you'll never see, barring
a documentary tracing the strings behind this "irreverent celebration
of cheap Bay Area füd, as they call it." (Wall Street Journal,
January 28, 2003)
Gorge we did, at
Giorgio's. A monumental meal, marking as it did Judge Turner's return
to his rookie place of employment in
San Francisco. If
we didn't have a job to do (gorging), we'd have all had a good, honorable
bawl. A lawyer could convincingly argue that "San Francisco Dining
for the Average Eater," our tagline, truly began with Judge Turntable's
arrival in San Francisco, and his many greasy nights in Giorgio's kitchen.
eughfuhfd (Excuse me, that was my tears hitting the keys.) So, obviously,
an emotionally charged night for the judges. You should see our diary
The experience at
Giorgio's somewhat recalls Gaspare's. You're in the Richmond eating
a pretty basic pizza pie,
seated in a booth under fake
grapes. Turner drank some cheap red wine, McClure a beer, and me
a Dr. Pepper (on draft). The Dr. Pepper was not great. The pizza was
greasy and pretty thin in the crust, with just cheese and pepperoni.
I'm a one- or two-item man when it comes to pizza. Toss some red
flakes on and I'm set. As usual, I could not wait for the pie to
cool, so I bit right in, and burned my mouth roof, which is really
a ceiling, isn't it?
Who doesn't love
pizza? I do know someone, Magistrate Louise, who does not love pizza.
I also know a guy, Jay Manning, who could eat it every day. I fall
in the middle somewheres. Pizza every day would get in the way
of other treats like cheesesteak, Indian grub, or Burmese cuisine.
I might eat pizza every day if it came on a stick but I haven't seen
that since the 80's.
Giorgio's is a pizzeria
I've been frequenting for a few years now. Once I finally went I wondered
why I had avoided it
for so long. Probably
because it's in the Richmond District, you know a bit of a trek, or
maybe 'cause Judge Turner used to work there. Just to let you
know, I don't think I've ever ordered anything other than pizza and
Giorgio's so I can't speak for the pastas and other items.
the pizza is great. Definitely on the thin crust side of the
pizza world but not your super thin cracker crust type. The
outer ring bakes up soft and doughy, making every bite a delight.
basic on this trip: pepperoni pizza, X-Large=12 slices=$15.75. There
of meat, cheese, and a wonderful sauce. All put together they
serve up one delicious pie. The salads are a good deal. The
house salad is $4.15, the small antipasto salad is $6.50; either
2-3 people. All the salads come with "The Famous Giorgio Dressing," which
seems to be basically oil and vinegar with some special seasonings,
very tasty indeed. You also get nice soft french bread and
service is fast and friendly but Giorgio's can get crowded -- don't
be afraid to wait a bit.
One last thing: I
liked when we got free pizza at work but I'd rather have gotten a raise.
a cool autumn day in 1987, a 20-year-old man walked into Giorgio's
pizzeria looking for a job. Having rolled off a Bakersfield hay wagon
only a few weeks prior, his funds were nearly depleted. If he couldn't
get a steady job, he might not be able to afford beer, let alone Top
Ramen. But with a history in the culinary arts, including the pizza
industry, he got the job. And through this job he was able to pay the
rent, maintain proper beer levels, feed his no-account rocker roommates,
and gain a toehold in the city that would be his home for the next
know who that clown was, but his story is identical to mine. So, when
we accidentally found ourselves diving into Giorgio's,
admit to feeling nostalgic. It had been roughly 15 years, after all.
Not that Giorgio's isn't a swell joint, and not that the people weren't
nice, but I'm just the kind of guy who doesn't go back to his old workplaces.
Turn the page and whatnot. Onward and upward. But there I was. And
nothing had changed.
was Vic, the owner, and Sandra the waitress. I didn't see Patrick or
Manuel, the pizza cooks, but I wouldn't be
surprised if they're
still around. Also absent were Jack from the Philippines, Emilio
and Briege from Ireland. Didn't see Lee, the punk dishwasher who
once made (and ate) a pizza with dog food on it. But, there was the
oven where I got the worst burn ever pulling a tray of cannelloni
out. I was the non-pizza cook, see. And the old-world charm was still
with lattices dripping fake grapevines over big red booths. Looked
about the same.
is good, because Giorgio's is all about being an old school pizzeria.
And pizza you should get. Unless things have
is a lot
less attention paid to the pasta, meat, and sauce dishes. But the
pizza is as honest and forthright as you can get. They did, and
still do, make their dough fresh every day, out of just a few ingredients.
You know, flour, salt, yeast, water...that kind of thing. They
also sliced their own mozzarella, pepperoni, salami, and vegetables
Mixed up a simple tomato sauce. Just fresh, honest, handmade pizza
pie, that's what I'm talking about! It's good, get that, and maybe
and garlic bread. The salad is also a hearty, honest affair, with
enough cheese and meat to make it interesting if you want. Good
dressing. Good bread. Good cheap red wine (or not-so-cheap Chianti).
I avoided Giorgio's for so long because I thought it WOULD be the same
after all those years. If that makes any sense.
the same, it turned out to be a welcome relief. Now I wish I
hadn't turned so many pages before dropping back in. There's comfort
I drop to the floor and weep like a child, let me just say: Go
get a pizza.