I decided to try lunch at San Francisco Oven today based upon the idea that I had previously read about it in the newspaper and because it was a driver and a three iron away from work. I think of S.F.O. as a more pizza-heavy version of Panera Bread or Camille's that is custom made for a better-than-fast-food lunch just like those two other chains.
The main attraction in the place is the pizzas, which are made in the special oven that sits behind the counter. Pizzas come in 8- and 14-inch sizes. The vegetarian options on specialty pizzas include a four cheese bianco pizza made from provolone, romano, smoked Gouda and mozzarella cheeses on a thin Neaolitan crust with a garlic white sauce and a classic Margherita pizza with basil and all the trimmings.
I went with option B: make my own pizza. I ordered the pizza combo, which is an two topping 8-inch pie with half a soup or salad. I tried a pizza with tri-colored peppers, mushrooms and basil pesto sauce with a garden salad, all pictured above, for a grand total of $6.99 plus tax.
The pizza was better than I expected. The pesto sauce was tasty. The pesto gave the pizza a green, herbal character that complimented the vegetal notes of the peppers and the earthy smoke of the mushrooms.
The salad was solidly made if unspectacular. The lunch crowd also kept the place pretty busy. The service was steady if not quite rapid. However, the cheap prices do make it a useful lunch option.
There are a few other vegetarian items on the menu. Most items contain cheese and are less than vegan friendly, including the mozzarella tomato focaccia sandwich, the California calzone, baked ziti and numerous salads. Some of the salads may be vegan depending on the dressings. But this place is more amenable to lacto vegetarians than it is to their militant and highly disciplined vegan bretheren.
Check out the pictures below, and check them out for a cheap lunch if you're in the neighborhood.
|San Francisco Oven|