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Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizza Encintias

This is Wade Hagemans new place. It's opening Tuesday. Here is the web site http://blueribbonpizzeria.com/ I'm excited to try it. Menu looks good but somewhat pricey for the area.

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  1. Finally something new and exciting in Encinitas! Thanks for the lead SDG!

    2 Replies
    1. re: cgfan

      No problem I've been watching this place for awhile now. I sent my GF in there today to grab a menu. She said it's nice inside, warm colors very comfortable feel. I hope Chef Hageman can deliver. I loved his food at Blanca and he is obviously very talented. Only time will tell.

      1. re: SDGourmand

        That crust... looks beautiful...

        I can't wait

    2. That's one of the place I am really looking forward to for the last few months.

      1. see, now this bums me out. he crammed all those trendy buzzwords in there - artisan, sustainable, local, organic - but he can't do a gluten-free crust? man, i miss wood-fired pizza...

        i hope you guys will report back with detailed, drool-worthy reviews so i can live vicariously through you!

        1. Looks awesome. Thanks for posting.

          1. Blue ribbon will be opening on June 18th now. Don't know why the change but I'm eagerly waiting.

            1. Thanks SD...looks outfrigging standing!

              goodhealth..send an e-mail to Wade to see if he will feature gluten-free for you and others.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Beach Chick

                thanks BC, i was sort of kidding - GF doesn't do me any good if it's still prepared in the same kitchen space & oven as the other stuff...i learned that the hard way. just be sure to enjoy some for me!

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Then we need to have a fundraiser and get you your own 'wood fire' oven!
                  ; )

                  1. re: Beach Chick

                    might as well take it one step further, cut Blue Ribbon out of the equation, and raise enough $$ for me to FINALLY open my *own* GF restaurant & bakery ;)

                    seriously though, if i was Wade, i wouldn't want to take on the burden of offering GF pizza - it's a challenge for even the most gifted, experienced GF bakers to achieve a decent crust.

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      I hear that they are giving small business loans/grants out and this would kill it if you opened something like this up in the Solana Beach/Del Mar area.

                      Just googled Gluten-Free restaurants in SD and BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse has pizza and beer that is gluten-free along with Lotus Cafe in Encinitas and Zpizza in Carmel Mtn Ranch.

                      1. re: Beach Chick

                        you're so sweet! i know about all the local spots - Lotus is the only one i trust, and even *they* accidentally glutened me (and my also-GF dining companion) last month. the problem is that even the most conscientious, well-intentioned places can screw up occasionally. if you're preparing and serving GF food in a contaminated environment, eventually someone's gonna get sick.

                        i tell ya, the only way to get it done RIGHT is to do it myself :)

              2. I just got back from trying Blue Ribbon. I had the yellowtail crudo and took two pizzas to go. The crudo was excellent. Fresh clean and loved the blood orange and fennel with it. The pizzas need work. I asked them several time to make sure it's well done. I hate floppy, doughy pizza more than anything. The server insisted that it would be crispy, but couldn't guarantee it would by the time I got home. So, I tried it in the car and it was not even close to being well done or crispy. It needed about another 4 minutes in the oven. What they should do and is the trick to Batalis pizzas at mozza is that you have to par bake the crust before putting toppings on it. That way the crust will be crispy and the toppings won't burn when you toss in the wood oven. Also the crudo two pizzas and a bottled water was $51. A little ridiculous for a pizza place. I'll be back again sometime next week to give it another try but I don't know how often I'll be going with those prices.

                6 Replies
                1. re: SDGourmand

                  Reading their site, it sounds like they're using a traditional wood fired oven. Those ovens typically operate at 900 degrees, which cooks a pizza in about 1-3 minutes. Leaving a pizza in an oven like that for 4 additional minutes would probably give you a cinder.

                  Neapolitan-style pizza is soft and floppy, not crispy. It's a function of the style of dough and the cooking temperature. Sounds like you're more well-suited to an American-style pizzeria, not an Italian one.

                  1. re: Josh

                    I know pizza it's my favorite thing to eat. Being a Italian from Boston and having my grandfather who is from Italy I know what Italian pizza is supposed to be like. This was not cooked enough. It was chewy, and tasted more of bread dough from being under cooked. There was no blisters on the crust no color on the bottom. This is not the way pizza is supposed to be. Next time I go in I'll make sure to tell them to cook it more.

                    1. re: SDGourmand

                      Yeah, no blisters is definitely bad. I just know sometimes people expect a harder crust from Neapolitan.

                      1. re: Josh

                        I know that neapolitan is not as crisp but it still has a bite to it. This was just chewy and tasted of dough.

                        1. re: Josh

                          As they say, the holes (i.e. blisters) is the house where the baker live... Hopefully they can prepare better accommodations for their baker before I make my first visit!

                    2. re: SDGourmand

                      If you like the pizza at Mozza (also one of our favorites and we like how the dough changed and improved over the last two years and it is a pizza style on its own) you should try the one at Gjelina (and the rest on the menu is also quite nice).

                    3. Well it figures all the posts from last night are gone. I just want to say that I am in no way dismissing BR after my one visit. Posting my review early was to give everyone a heads up that the pizzas aren't quite there yet. All this talk of what style pizza it is, is irrelevant because the server said to me they are served crispy with good color on the crust. Mine was not like that. I never said it was inedible and just needed another minute or two and would have been how it was described. Like we can all agree the oven is going to take some practice but the ingredients are there. Has anyone else been so we can get another opinion on here?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: SDGourmand

                        my friend and i tried blue ribbon last friday. the homemade burrata app was excellent, although pricey (nearly as much as a pizza). we then shared a californian pizza, which was just okay, fairly bland and innocuous (and i love white pies). we were also taken aback at the size of the pizzas - fairly small - basically a personal size. for $14 - $16 each, we weren't expecting to have to order our own. i didn't however, have the crust issue sdgourmand described. ours had nice color and blistering. to be fair, we love pizzeria bruno, and perhaps selfishly i was dreaming of a bruno 'north' so we wouldn't have to trek to north park to get our fix. i'd give blue ribbon another shake, but i'm certainly not in a hurry to get there.

                      2. We ate at BR on Friday night, their opening night. The mixed green salad was excellent, very fresh, variety of greens, good dressing. I had the BR Pizza which is like a margherita, and my partner had the one with fennel sausage. I agree about the crust, it was undercooked. There was a bit of blistering but it generally was bready. We both felt the pizzas tasted bland. There were also whole, raw basil leaves on my pizza, which I found sort of odd and difficult to eat. My baseline for the best Pizza Marg is at Pizzaiolo in Oakland. I would go back, this was their first night and clearly were still working out details (their liquor license hadn't arrived yet)...service was excellent.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: hulagrrrl

                          $15 for a pizza that size is not good value even for an upscale place like that. At that price they should give you a decent size for 2-3 ppl. Bruno's in san marcos on the other hand is the opposite they give you a small pizza $23 with 3 toppings at least 26". Now that is value and top notch quality over bronx and lefty's.

                          1. re: zoey67

                            It depends on the quality of the ingredients if $15 for a pizza is a good value or not. For example Pizzeria Mozza or Gjelina are using top quality ingredients (house-made chacuterie etc) and nobody is complaining about $15-17 for a pizza (large enough for one person). If customers in general want top quality ingredients (for pizza or any kind of cuisine) they should be more realistic about the prices.

                            1. re: honkman

                              Has anyone had a chance to try Bruno's Napolatina in Normal Heights? Im curious to see how BR compare since they're both making very similar pies in wood fire ovens. I was there at bruno's for happy hour they have a 7" pizza for $5 with one topping with 50cents for addl topping, Now that is value and it was amazing, the house fennel sausage is very good.

                              Btw raw basil is how you want it, not when it's charred to death. If you didn't already know that then you with the papa john's and pizza hut crowd. LOL you go to any top pizza in NY like Lombardo's or Grimaldi's and their magherita basil is freshly topped never burned.

                              1. re: zoey67

                                I know it's supposed to be raw, but these were whole pieces and were very limp, so when you took a bite you got a whole piece in your mouth. My experience has been the basil is either ribboned or cut in pieces and when put on the hot pie becomes a little crisp.

                                1. re: hulagrrrl

                                  hey hulagrrl didn't mean to be too rough with ya but I love basil and can't enough of it on my pizza. Gotake a look on "any" NY renowed naples pizza places like Totono's or JOhn's and you will see big fat green raw pieces of basil about the same size of the big chunk of mozzarella because they put them on after the pizza comes out.

                        2. Article from the north county times. Has anyone been recently?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: SDGourmand

                            We went last night for an anniversary dinner--got there right at 5:30 and glad we did because the place was full by 5:50. The corn soup with chili oil was tremendous, green salad was good. We split a basic Blue Ribbon pizza, which is just tomato, basil, and cheese--the pie was divided into six smallish pieces, but with both of us having appetizers, it was more than enough for us. We liked the crust and the tomato sauce was terrific--very light and zesty, not a gloppy, heavy sauce. Simple, but the quality ingredients shone through. Definite thumbs up. We also splurged on the one dessert available, butterscotch pudding with salted caramel sauce. It comes in a mini mason jar (we split one, althought it was very tempting to order another one!) and was very rich. If you'e had the pudding at Claire's on Cedros in Solana Beach, I'd say this is more dense--the sauce is thicker, and the pudding has a little more depth, but we had no complaints--it was still good, just a different texture than Claire's. The cost was $50ish with the apps, dessert and pizza, plus a vanilla creme soda and a glass of wine. We would go back but probably to take advantage of the lunch special--a choice of appetizer (including that great soup) and a sandwich (there are two to choose from if I am remembering correctly, one of them being a caprese-style sandwich on foccacia) for $9. I think it's a great addition to the neighborhood, and do hope the patio comes through soon--seriously, if you don't get there right when it opens, at least on a Saturday night, you're in for a wait.