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Apr 29, 2012 10:55 AM

Wood - fired Pizza?

Anybody in SD area doing this? We used to get it in Encinitas I think but forget the restaurant. A friend mentioned a place in La Jolla, and then Josh piqued my interest with his review of La Villa. I forget I want it until I remember that maybe I can't have it.

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  1. Blue Ribbon pizza in Encinitas is amazing.

    1. Pizzeria Bruno Napoletana on Park
      Blue Ribbon in Encinitas
      Caffe Calabria on 30th St.

      In that order. :-)

      13 Replies
      1. re: Josh

        I haven't been to Blue Ribbon. But IMHO Caffe Calabria blows Pizzeria Bruno out of the water! I went there off many positive comments on this board, and maybe they were having an off night, but it nothing to write home about. The crust was burnt and crumbly and the service was non existent. Then, just last week, I went to Caffee Calabria and had the Carbanara ...angels sang, there was a double rainbow and the world felt at piece. This was most likely the best pizza I ever had in my life. The crust was flavorful and baked perfectly and the ingredients were all high quality and in the perfect ratio.

        1. re: sdnosh

          Hmm, crumbly? That doesn't sound right to me, especially given the dough's extremely high hydration and reduced gluten. Neapolitan pizza should have some blackening and blistering of the crust - it's part of the style, due to the extremely high bake temperature.

          I like Calabria, but texturally it's definitely chewier and a bit drier than Bruno. It seems more American to me than Bruno does. I like Calabria, too, but I think Bruno is nailing the style better than the other two places. Our last two visits to Bruno were especially good.

          1. re: Josh

            Maybe crumbly was the wrong term. But when bread/crust is burnt, especially if it has large air holes, it breaks apart when you bite it and does not have good flavor. According to the owner, Calabria bakes at 1000 degrees. I wouldn't describe Calabria's crust as chewy or dry. As for 'nailing the style', I wouldn't know. But, Calabria 'nailed' the flavor!

            1. re: sdnosh

              Understood. Sounds like it may have had more char than usual. I like both pies, but think they're pretty different stylistically. Both remind me of different pizzas I ate in Italy. Bruno's more like what we had in Rome, and Calabria more like what we had in Florence.

              1. re: Josh

                After this discussion, I think I need to give Bruno another try, but more importantly I need a vacation to Italy!

                1. re: sdnosh

                  I'd suggest trying either the Brunoverde, or the Diavolo w/ soppressata subbed for the pepperoni. They also have a nice chili oil which is nice for dipping the crust.

                2. re: Josh

                  What's all this talk about char on pizza? I've heard of sardines, but char? I'll pass...

                  1. re: RB Hound

                    Good one RB, is the prefix for char... artic?

                    1. re: RB Hound

                      Myself, I draw the line at lutefisk.

              2. re: sdnosh

                Yeah, that sounds off. Bruno's crust is charred, but never crumbly. I've had both Caffe Calabria and Bruno's, and I seem to recall Bruno's having more char. That said, they're both good, and it really comes down to personal preference.

                1. re: Josh

                  Funny, we ate at Bruno last night after a long hiatus, during which we ate at a lot of other pizzerias outside SD. It never struck me how large Bruno's pies are until yesterday. Still very good though, nice chewy crust, good char.

                  1. re: shouzen

                    Interesting, I almost decided to go to Bruno last night as well, but ended up at Sea Rocket instead.

                2. oh you guys. thanks! I'd forgotten Bruno (since we left and returned) and didn't know that Calabria had finally installed their oven. Brilliant! After posting this, I felt kind of silly and was afraid you'd all say Sammy's.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: pickypicky

                    I agree with Bruno's but it's bit far drive being here in N county. Urbn in vista is just as good now with the new owner coming in and improving on the crust. They're just not visible their location is not so great because it's hidden behind Vista village Dr so it doesn't get traffic like Blue ribbon.