I'm a regular at Zachary's Chicago Pizza...I usually go to their College Avenue location in Oakland's Rockridge neighborhood. Occasionally, I stop at their Solano Avenue shop in North Berkeley. And, I'm going more and more to the newest location in San Ramon, which is the easiest drive from my house.
Prior to Zachary's, I'd had limited experience with Chicago style deep dish pizzas. Zachary's spoiled me with their amazing pies, laden with fresh tomato sauce, lots of cheese, and whatever fillings I chose. The deep dish (stuffed) pizzas are so substantial that I can barely consume more than one piece of a small pie at a meal...believe me, I can eat a lot more of the traditional flat pizzas at any other pizza parlor.
A few weeks ago, when I hosted my MacManiacs group of Apple computer lovers, I chose Zachary's San Ramon for our meeting. For most of the day before the meeting, I was envisioning whether to order the Spinach and Mushroom stuffed pizza...my favorite...or to go with the Zachary's Special, a combination of Sausage, Green Pepper, Onion and Mushroom.
Well, all my dreams were squashed when one of the members declared that he does not like stuffed pizza and that he wanted a Thin Crust Pizza. After much debate over how to order, the rest of us decided that, just this once, we would all share a Flat Pizza in a place famous for its deep dish pizza. We mutually chose toppings: Pepperoni, Mushrooms, Zucchini...and started with a Caesar Salad to share.
To my amazement, the THIN CRUST PIZZA is every bit as good as, if not better than, the Deep Dish!!! When I got my first look at it, I wondered what the layer of white sauce on the top was...as our waiter began serving us individual slices (how many fancy restaurants do that?), I realized that the white stuff was a rather thick layer of cheese! Oh yum, or, as Rachel Ray would say, "YUMM-O!" The crust is not cracker thin...just the right thickness...the tomato sauce is Zachary's same fresh tomato sauce that is used in the Deep Dish version. Zucchini, instead of being sliced is diced and layered on the top. All told, a fabulous pizza.
So Deep Dish or Thin, Zachary's is a satisfying pizza experience. And, their salads are always delicious...your choices are Caesar, Garden, or a wonderful Spinach with Feta Cheese, Toasted Walnut, Red Onion, Tomatoes, and Bacon (or not bacon, if you wish).
Zachary's can make all their pizzas Half Baked so you can take them home and cook them to your order later that day or, if you keep the pizza refrigerated, a few days later...almost as good as eating at the restaurant.