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Apr 10, 2008 01:10 AM

Zackary's Pizza: how is the Stuffed Deep Dish?

I'm in a conundrum- I REALLY want Chicago style Stuffed Deep Dish pizza but I don't want any fake flavors or taste.

How is the Stuffed Deep Dish at Zackary's in the east bay? I'm considering going here or actually ordering a mail-order pizza from Chicago.


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  1. I don't like Zachary's. It in no way resembles any pizza I ate when I lived in Chicago. And I was young and poor so I ate A LOT of pizza.

    1. Do a search - you'll find many opinions of Zachary's.

      1. Give it a try. A small will cost you only $15-20. To my taste, the pies have a tendency to be undercooked and gooey. The spinach and mushroom doesn't have the ridiculous amount of tomato sauce the others do.

        I much prefer Little Star in SF, but it's regular deep dish, not stuffed.

        Zachary's Chicago Pizza
        1853 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA 94707

        Zachary's Chicago Pizza
        5801 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

        4 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Also, there's one in San Ramon if you're looking for that area.

          Zachary's Chicago Pizza
          3110 Crow Canyon Place, San Ramon, CA

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            One partial solution to it being undercooked is to get a partial-baked and finish it at home to your preferrence. Although I have to admit, I'm not a fan, either.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              Or just ask for it well done, like I do when I order french fries from anywhere!

              1. re: chemchef

                This sounds like a more viable option than mail ordering one from chicago.

                Thanks guys!

          2. I really like the Good Health special (chicken and spinach, whole wheat crust), but there is a complete divergence of opinions on this issue. So as Robert says, try it - and if you don't like it, there are usually homeless guys sitting outside the Berkeley and Oakland branches who would be very pleased, I'm sure.

            10 Replies
            1. re: Nina

              I agree. I love the thin crust pizzas there, but not the stuffed. The smell, when I walk by the Rockridge branch, is intoxicating! Its worth it go by for the smell alone!

              1. re: chemchef

                Then keep going and have a pastrami sandwich at Wood Tavern.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  I would've last Sunday when I was there, but they were closed. What's up with that?

                  1. re: chemchef

                    They don't open on Sundays until dinner time.

                      1. re: chemchef

                        Then why did you ask the question?

                        1. re: JasmineG

                          It was sarcasm, which I realize doesn't come through well in type, but I figured it would be obvious since I said that I was there and they were closed (in other words, I saw the sign with the hours on the door, but was wondering why such a popular place would be closed in the middle of the afternoon on a weekend day??? ie. "what's up with that?").

                          Sorry for the confusion.

                          1. re: chemchef

                            I actually asked the owner about that, because I have been dying for them to be open for Sunday brunch, and she said that they decided early on that they wouldn't do that, and that it's just too much work and too hard on their staff to be open all day Saturday, late Saturday night for dinner, and then start up again early Sunday and be open through dinner. They were originally open Sundays from something like 11am to 5 pm, but I guess decided that dinner was better for them on Sundays than mid-afternoon.

                            1. re: JasmineG

                              Bummer. It sounded like a perfect Sunday brunch place to me.

                2. re: chemchef

                  Yeah I'm pretty sure the smell is even better than the pizza. I used to live nearby, and that smell basically sums up Rockridge for me:))

              2. >Thoughts?
                the pizza is ok but i think they are slightly customer unfriendly:
                --dont take reservations
                --dont take credit cards
                --dont have pitcher of soda
                [assume none of this has changed]

                i do think it is kinda overrated ... when it comes in first place in
                "reader polls" type situations.

                3 Replies
                1. re: psb

                  I've had terrible service at the one on Solano Ave on more than one occasion, however, I've had excellent service at the Rockridge location. I've never needed a reservation here, but then I typically eat a little earlier than everyone else (5-6pm).
                  From the website, "If the restaurant is full, you may order your pizzas while you wait for your table." This is a nice perk since they make all the pizzas fresh to order, so it can take a little while to get it, but trust me when you do, it'll be fresh and HOT!

                  Also, I don't think its that unusual for a pizza parlor-type place not to take reservations. Also, I'm about 99% sure that they do take credit cards (my husband paid the last time we were there, and he never has cash on him).

                  Yes, a pitcher of soda would be nice, however they do have Thomas Kemper root beer, or something like it, on tap, which is nice with pizza.

                  1. re: psb

                    They take cards now, I believe - I know San Ramon does.

                    As a lifelong Chicagoan, I like Zachary's - it was never on the level of a top-tier stuffed pizza in Chicago, but solidly middle tier IMO. When they went co-op I felt the quality might have dropped a bit, but it seems to have rebounded. I like it, and I think it's fairly authentic.

                    There are options. Little Star, as mentioned, is very good in the deep-dish style (not stuffed). Paxti's (started by an ex-Zachary's owner) has Palo Alto and SF locations, and I think their stuffed may be slightly superior to the current Zachary's. And in a pinch, but Gino's East and Uno are available frozen at most supers. Sacrilege, I know, but they aren't terrible.

                    1. re: psb

                      They do take credit cards now for sure in both Solano and Rockridge locations. I've never been to Chicago, so I'm not familiar with what "real" Chicago deep dish should be, but I've found Zachary's to be satisfying, reasonably valued with friendly service. Usually there's no line at lunch or afternoon either...