Monday, April 26, 2010

Cheese Board Pizza - 04/09/2010

1512 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94709
(510) 549-3055

Located in the Gourmet Ghetto right next to Berkeley's most famous restaurant, is another culinary institution: the Cheese Board Pizza Collective. The restaurant features a completely flat structure with no employees and no bosses, fitting given its Berkeley origins.

Cheese Board's menu consists of a single type of pizza that changes each day. From what I could tell the menu is also completely vegeterian. The simple menu doesn't keep the restaurant from doing incredible amounts of business. We arrived around 2:30 and the restaurant still had a line out the door and dozens of students sitting on the island in the middle of the road wolfing down pizza.

Roma Tomatoes, Onions, Feta & Mozzarella Cheeses, Garlic Olive Oil, Lemon Zest & Juice, and Cilantro
I wasn't sure what to expect but this turned out to be an exceptional pizza. The restaurant included an extra slice with our pie. After taking a test bite I ended up wolfing down the slice in a single gulp. The pizza bursts with freshness and vibrancy from soft vegetal flavors of the tomato and cilantro to the subtle tang of the feta and lemon.

In a trip filled with exceptional culinary experiences, this simple pizza turned out to be the best single thing I ate during the entire time. I still have a hard time believing the neither of best two meals I had on this trip involved meat. While I am not ready to go completely give up meat, this experience has given me a new respect for vegetarian food. After just one bite of Cheese Board pizza I knew this was something special. Having 4 years to enjoy this pizza might be the single most compelling reason to attend Berkeley.


Jai Kohli said...

I've eaten there well over 100 times in my life. I love that place to death. Next time you're in the Bay, you'll have to eat at Cheeseboard, Gioia Pizza and Zachery's: Berkeley's three most famous pizzerias and each with a unique style. Cheeseboard & Gioia are two of my favorite places in the world to eat... I'm not a huge fan of Chicago style deep dish, so I can't given that endorsement to Zacharys but they do have legion of die-hards.

Jai Kohli said...

And P.S. Yes, always vegetarian. The pizza you had is my second favorite to the three onion four cheese pizza they serve.

Epicuryan said...

I've been to Zachary's before and it was okay but like you I'm not a fan of deep dish, but I will definitely try Gioia next time I am up there.

That three onion pizza sounds fantastic. Its a pity I can't eat there more regularly.

food je t'aime said...

It's so funny because now I realize you and Kevin went on that trip up north together haha

Epicuryan said...

Haha of course what could be more bromantic than a trip to Napa together?