Christmas Cheer at Bricks, Petaluma
Sunday night I finally had the chance to drop in on the one-year-old Bricks in Petalumas historic downtown to follow-up on a tip posted here for thin crust pizza. Bench seating and small tables wrap around a central bar area and theres more upstairs on the mezzanine. The warm red walls and black wrought iron were made even more festive dressed up with Christmas decorations. I instantly felt at home. Sitting down with the brief menu of salads, panini, and pizzas, I soon noticed the bluesy Christmas tunes . . . ka-thump . . . Santa Claus wants some lovin . . . twaaang. When I asked my server what ensemble CD it was because I wanted to buy it myself, she said, We cut our own to give to our customers, Ill get you one. Wow, I liked this place already and I hadnt eaten anything yet!
The various 10 individual pizzas are mostly $9.95. Plain cheese is only $6.95. I ordered the Sole Mio which has housemade meatballs, fresh tomato slices, and spinach. I also got an Anchor Porter on draft. I appreciated that they offer a 10-ounce size for $2.75, enough for dainty femmes who otherwise never finish their beer.
The first slice was superb with a delicious harmony of intense flavors. The very thin crust had yeasty depth and enough salt with an initial crisp texture yielding to chewiness. I liked the touch of garlic and piquancy in the unsweetened, zesty tomato sauce. The spicy meatball slices were fine textured and tender. The toppings were evenly distributed so that each slice had a portion of each ingredient. The second piece was really good too, just starting to soften at the tip from moisture. The fresh spinach and fresh tomatoes were delicious but added too much wetness underneath the heavy blanket of whole milk mozzarella. The remaining slices were too soggy in the middle. The crust and sauce are very good here, but Ill order something without fresh veggies next time.
The Petaluma Bricks is a spin-off of the original in Chicago. The owners came west in search of better weather and settled here. Their neighbors are McNears Mystic Theatre, home of the blues in the North Bay, and Old Chicago Pizza that serves up deep-dish style. Theyve fit in quite nicely bringing Chicago-style thin crust pizza and tunes to the neighborhood.
16 Kentucky St.
Open at 5pm
Open mike night on Tuesdays
Forgot to give the morning after taste test report, the true test of good pizza. This one was, unfortunately, too soggy to eat cold in traditional breakfast fashion after a night out on the kitchen counter. Heated in the toaster oven enough to melt the cheese, I think the taste was even better than the night before, and the edge of the crust was crisp and chewy. Nice.
Here's a shot of the cuts on the CD for those who might want to download and play a few of these for their own Christmas gatherings. Merry, merry!