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Zachary's Crust [Berkeley] --Tough, boring

Had a think crust slice at Zachary's on Solano the other day and was kind of shocked at how bad the crust was. It tasted like the crust you get on a bad frozen pizza--hard, thick, no chewyness, really boring. The cheese and tomatoes on top were great (I ordered a marghrita), but I couldn't get past the crust. Little Star, which opened at the other end of Solano last year, is way better, as are any number of other pizza options around the Bay Area.

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

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  1. I think people who are a fan of that style of pizza don't give much thought to the crust. In the same vein, I had a pizza from Paxti's for the first time the other day and had much the same reaction to the crust.

    1. This was the thin crust? It is kind of cracker-like, similar to the odd Cheese Board / Arizmendi crust only more so. I think maybe they use the same dough as they do for the deep-dish, in which context it's usually soggy and doughy.

      1. I haven't had Zach's in at least 6 years, but I always loved the deep dish crust. It's a great combination of pastery and pizza, with maybe too much salt and butter. I don't know what thick crust is there, get a deep dish, it's the only thing worth eating. yes, there are naysayers.

        1. I had a similar experience with my last Little Star deep dish. The crust was really hard like an over-baked cookie. It broke / cracked when trying to chew through it or cut it with a knife.

          1. I had a similar experience with Zachary's on College last week. The center of the deep dish crust was dry and reminded me of the raw center of half cooked pasta. I wound up saving myself some calories by just eating the toppings.

            1. I agree. I've never much liked Zachary's, and the crust is a big reason. The "stuffed" aspect is also unappealing, because I always find the upper crust layer to be doughy and gummy (though "hyperbowler" found it too dry). I much prefer a true deep dish (non-stuffed crust) like so-called "Chicago" style. I also find their sauce rather bland. So thumbs down for me for Zachary's.

              2 Replies
              1. re: MagicMarkR

                Oh, in my description, I was forgetting that that they do stuffed crust and not deep dish. I meant that the cross section of the dough that touches the pan was dry. The thin layer underneath the sauce didn't differ from usual.

                I'm fond of the stuffed crust pizzas I've had in Chicago, and didn't start disliking Zachary's until I returned from an Illinois trip. That said, I think Zachary's does a better job than one well regarded place in Illinois (forgot the name...), but doesn't come close to Giordano's or the even better Art of Pizza in Chicago.

                I'm quite fond of Little Star, and actually prefer their pizza to the one deep dish I had from Lou Malnati's in Chicago.

                1. re: MagicMarkR

                  They're both Chicago-style. The original deep dish that Little Star's is patterned after was invented at Uno's in the 40s. The "stuffed" variation they make at Zachary's and Paxti's was developed in the early 70s at Nancy's. In the late 70s Edwardo's introduced the spinach filling.

                  I think with the stuffed version it's essential that the sauce not be put on top until the top crust is cooked.

                2. now that little star is in the east bay, i really so no reason to go to zachary's (except for maybe the one out in san ramon)

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: vulber

                    On our case, we just wanted slices, and I don't believe Little Star offers slices.

                    1. re: TopoTail

                      they do slices at lunch. i think it's only one type of pie per day.

                      1. re: TopoTail

                        So you're talking about the thin crust, right? If Zachary's is selling slices of deep-dish that's new.

                        The Albany Little Star has slices of deep-dish starting at noon. I'm not sure what time they stop.