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Feb 18, 2010 07:23 PM

Emeryville: Rotten City Pizza - Sicilian pizza on Thursdays ... sort of

Rotten City Pizza Is making Sicilian pizza on Thursdays ... I thiink. The day shift said they were. The night shift seemed less certain.

Today it was meatball and plum tomato. I love their meatball subs. It is my favorite thing there. So this was sort of that on a thicker square pizza slice. The uncovered crust, right out of the oven had the same crackly crunch as the sub roll.

There is a thick layer of toppings with lots of that excellent oozey mozzarella.The crust under the topping was a bit soft though and didn't stand up well to the toppings. Like all RCP, this is best hot of the oven or reheated. Not something as tasty cold ($3.95)

Given the same ingredients, I'd rather get the sub. That is just killer hot out of the oven, full of the tastiest meatball meat, topped with a layer of sauce, the top sealed with wonderful melted mozzarella and provolone ... all lovingly held in a toasty, crunchy roll.

I think I may prefer the regular slices, but I like the more substantial Sicilian topping. Of all those slices, the one I like the best so far is the Bianco Verde which another poster detested.

I wasn't too hungry the day I bought a slice and given the um, rotten, report I figured I'd just give it a try to work my way down the list. I liked the sweet layer of ricotta covered with melty mozzarella parmigiano and touches of chili flakes. The pesto was ok, but I don't think it added much beside color.

They seem to have a four cheese that isn't on the online menu. This was good, but I miss the sauce.

Sausage is my next favorite with mushroom at the bottom of the list. The mushroom got over-hyped on both Chowhound and Yelp. So it didn't meet my expectation as the ultimate mushroom pizza.

Rotten City Pizza
6613 Hollis St, Emeryville, CA 94608

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  1. The salumi slices are also great. I love the mushroom, but I think they're a little bit inconsistent with it -- the last time I ordered it, I don't think it had any of the toasted garlic, which is a key component, and the whole thing didn't seem as "mushroomy" as in the past.

    Haven't tried the meatball sub yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

    3 Replies
    1. re: abstractpoet

      The only thing some might complain about is the price of the sub in relation to the size. For me, the great quality was more than worth the price.

      1. re: rworange

        I finally made it out to Rotten City on Tuesday of this week. I tried a mushroom slice and the meatball sub. Mushroom slice (which I ate there) was a bit bland to my tastes. I think it did have toasted garlic on it, but even so there was not much flavor going on.

        The meatball sub (eaten back at the office) was pretty darn good. Meatballs were fairly light and tasty, bun was perfect and the provolone nice and gooey and flavorful. The sauce was a bit bland or there wasn't quite enough of it. But all told a pretty good sandwich. I thought the price was appropriate for the amount of food and the quality.

        1. re: 10foot5

          My one nit would be not enough sauce, but it is hard to complain about that because it is loaded with meatball meat. Most places it is the other way around, too much sauce and not enough meatball. Next time I'll ask for extra sauce.

    2. "Substantial" is exactly right for the Sicilian slices, just the right amount for lunch.

      In the category of hero sandwiches (the proper name, imho), they occasionally have eggplant parmesian. It's a classic NY style, slices of breaded eggplant with their excellent tomato sauce and mozzerella/provolone melted on top. While the cheese wasn't completely melted on the one I had recently, it still transported me back to the old country.

      5 Replies
      1. re: ernie in berkeley

        oooh, an eggplant parm hero, that will get my derriere down there in a ny minute!

        1. re: heidipie

          I walked in last Friday afternoon just as they were pulling out their "standard" Pepperoni pie.

          So I had a slice of Pep and a 4 Cheese slice.

          As the cheese slice re-heated I ate the Pepperoni.

          This was the best thin cracker crust pepperoni pizza that I have ever eaten! Ever!

          Compared to:

          4-5 NY Pizza joints, which never impressed.

          This was superior at every level.

          Perfectly cooked
          Perfect crust
          Quality ingredients
          Fantastic flavor

          9.9 on a ten scale.

          I would give it a ten if it was a little cheaper per slice.

          I think it was $7.50 or $8? for two slices that are not really that substantial.

          But that Pepperoni fresh from the oven was truly fantastic!


          I ate the cheese slice later after it had cooled down and it was nothing special.

          As others have noted their Pizza's may not travel well.

          1. re: Mission

            A tip I got on Chowhound is to reheat pizza slices in a skillet. Rotten City takes to this really well. The crust crisps up and the topping heats perfectly

          2. re: heidipie

            Uncle Dougie's New York Style Italian Heroes just opened downtown Oakland 362 17th St. Open M-Fri 11AM-3PM
            This Brooklyn native only makes four sandwiches - Eggplant Parmesan, Chicken Parmesan, Sausage & Peppers and Italian Meatloaf. My sons liked the sausage while I favored the eggplant. Sauce is delicious and the sandwiches are huge -$7.50 tax included comes with a bag of chips. This former fish and chips shop is now decorated with a wall of subway graffiti, a NYC night skyline, and some old subway tokens, etc.
            Since I'm not a NYC native can't vouch for authenticity. Friendly guy Uncle Dougie.

            1. re: bunnysitter

              I will definitely be checking this place out. Thanks for the tip.

        2. The anchovy pizza is only made on Friday ... at least by the slice. It being Lent and all, that worked out for me today

          ACCIUGHE - $23/$3.5

          Each slice has one whole anchovy on it. I was thinking that wasn't much, but they must mix some in the sauce because every bite was super anychovy fishy. A very strong flavor ... only for anchovy lovers ... which I am

          I had the pepperoni a few days ago. I've been eating at home a lot these days and I never use salt, so this came off very salty to me ...which most restaurant food does taste that way after going without salt a while

          I also had a piece of the Neopolitan and it is hands down my absolute favorite to date ... a classic with just the riight mix of sauce, and a nice blend of mozzarella, provolone, and parmigiano

          I asked about the eggplant parm sub and he said they make that very infrequently when they come across some nice eggplant.

          What can I say. I like this place a lot.