Surprisingly good pizza at Pronto in Redwood City
Competition for good pizza on the Peninsula is sparse. Many styles are represented, and edible pizzas come as diverse as fairly thin crust pies at the Amici's chain to thick, sweet crust at Applewood. With few exceptions, local pizza is unexceptional. Pizzerias do reasonable business with largely mundane ingredients -- especially the mozzarella -- and dull sauces.
Pronto is a rotisserie and pizzeria on El Camino in Redwood City. Their oven burns wood. The style is what is widely known as New York, which is to say a round pie made with white dough, not very sweet, rolled fairly thin with a slightly thickened edge and usually with red sauce and mozzarella cheese.
We had a simple pie called "Chicken Rustica": just shreds of rotisserie chicken, red sauce, and mozzarella. The chicken is flavorful and not too dry -- dry chicken is very common on pizzas, alas. The sauce is a simple red sauce, but not watery -- reprehensible watery red sauce afflicts some of the best-rated pizzas in New York and New Jersey. And the mozzarella, while acceptable, was applied with too heavy a hand -- I wish pizzerias would spend twice as much on their mozzarella and apply half their customary amount.
But it gets better: we also ordered a 9-inch (small) pizza bianca, with just dough and cheese. This was a bit thinner than the larger pie, and the mozzarella was applied with a lighter hand. On removing the pizza from the oven, the pizza-tender brushed olive oil around the edge, which is one of the core techniques for keeping the crust edible. The blackened bits and the wood-smoke flavor were very nice.
Pronto would be better if they would make a spicier red sauce. In the future, I will always ask for a frugal amount of cheese. And I think I might always buy the small pie for its thinness.
Pronto in Redwood City makes perfectly respectable pies, and we will go back.
We've had a few good pizzas from Pronto's.
But not so much tonight. I think they must have been without their regular cooks.
We ordered a small pizza bianca, with no sauce, which was okay. Not very thin, but only a little too much cheese.
We also ordered their standard chicken rustica, which has their rotisserie chicken in shreds on a simple tomato sauce with mozzarella atop. Ordinarily, this is good. Tonight, there was so much cheese and so much sauce that the chicken was lost, the charcoal of the crust was lost, and my affection was on its way out.
I also ordered a small seafood pizza, which is supposed to come with bits of this and that from the sea plus cheese and no sauce, according to the menu. Instead, we got bad squid chowder on a soggy crust, with too much cheese and a lot of tomato sauce. This pizza was so cheese-and-red-sauce ridden, that after I had removed three slices, the goop just oozed into the empty space in the pizza box.
I don't know what happened. In Pronto's defense, all of the ingredients seemed pretty good, and the wood-oven crust is still tasty. But I hope that next time we are the victims of the competent staff, rather than whoever made our pizze tonight.
Glad you mentioned this place, have always wondered about it. It has an attractive facade, but I never had the nerve to wander in. I just checked the site (thanks for the link and the comments.) It sounds and looks good. Did you notice that they have a coupon page? Worth printing.