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About this blog: I grew up in Palo Alto and now live in Mountain View with my husband, daughter and two corgis. After about a decade grappling with the law, first as a law student at UC Berkeley and then as a litigator around the Bay Area, I left ...  (More)

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Blue Line Pizza—yay or nay?

Uploaded: Sep 14, 2013
Blue Line is a train that runs 19.5 miles between O'Hare Airport and downtown Chicago. It is also the name of a great deep-dish pizza place on Castro Street in Mountain View. This is the third location of Blue Line Pizza, which was founded by a cofounder of Little Star, the notable gourmet pizza restaurant in San Francisco.

I've been to Blue Line twice now. Both times, it was for lunch and both times, the interior seating area was surprisingly empty, though there were many groups eating outside on the patio. There are two televisions at the back of the restaurant by the bar area. One long wall is decorated with a mural, the other with geometric wooden sculptures.

The star of the menu is undoubtedly the house special—Blue Line, a deep dish pizza with a crispy cornmeal crust and a filling of blended spinach, ricotta, mushrooms, onions and garlic, topped with intensely flavorful chopped tomatoes. The proportions were perfect. Neither I nor my husband (a Chicagoan) have had deep dish pizza in California we enjoyed more. Our friend noted his preference for Patxi's in Palo Alto.

Unlike nearby Patxi's, Blue Line's pizza isn't as heavy as you might expect from Chicago deep dish style pizza—we didn't walk away from either lunch feeling like lead had settled to the bottom of our stomachs. Where Patxi's has a decadent amount of cheese and a soft squishy bottom crust, Blue Line has a deeper tomato flavor, less cheese and a light crust. The flavors and textures are in great proportion.

If a healthy deep dish pizza exists, it would be either the Blue Line or the Vegetarian deep dish pizza, which we tried on our next visit. The latter is topped with roasted zucchini, onions, red bell peppers, kalamata olives, and mushrooms. Unlike most pizza places where a vegetarian pizza has a single layer of limp veggies, there's real care taken with the Vegetarian deep dish. The pizza appears to be stuffed with fresh vegetables and the end result is delicious.

We also tried the thin crust Greek pizza, notable for its whole roasted garlic cloves, but also topped with spinach, feta, sundried tomatoes and kalamata olives. I couldn't really taste the feta, but like the deep dish, it had excellent proportions, nonetheless. The mixed salad was very flavorful. It was just a touch over-dressed, but otherwise a perfectly put together blend of mixed greens, red bell peppers, red onions, cherry tomatoes, gorgonzola cheese, walnuts.

I'm sad to say that the only dish that was not five-star was the large apple caramel bread pudding. The bread pudding itself was passable—soft chunks of bread and apple that fell away from each other at the touch of a fork—but the vanilla gelato was sticky and hard with freezer burn. Don't let this minor issue with the dessert deter you. The pizza is some of the best I've had in Silicon Valley and deserves greater popularity.

Comments

 +  Like this comment
Posted by member, a resident of another community,
on Sep 14, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Blue Line pizza sounds delicious! I will check it out. Too bad they don't deliver.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Eater, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Sep 14, 2013 at 4:33 pm

So why they yay or nay? That kind of header doesn't do the people who put their back into this type of venture. Why not just praise since you seemed to have enjoyed it?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Mike, a resident of Cuesta Park,
on Sep 14, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Blue Line Pizza is the real deal! Best pizza on the peninsula - waaay better than Patxi's, Amici's and Maldonado's.. Great food and service. The atmosphere is hip and casual but is also good for kids. We tried the curbside pick up and it was so easy and convenient - Saved me from having to find parking! Overall, Blue Line Pizza is 5-stars in my book and I'd highly recommend it!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Anita Felicelli, a resident of Rex Manor,
on Sep 14, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Anita Felicelli is a registered user.

Thanks @Mike- I totally should have mentioned the service-- the wait staff are exceptional and very accommodating of small children.

@Eater - there's a question mark at the end of the headline. A headline is there to get you to click, not necessarily to tell you a topic sentence up front. This headline should alert a reader that the text of the article will answer the question one way or another - pretty obviously once you read the piece, the answer is yay.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Jenny, a resident of Waverly Park,
on Sep 16, 2013 at 5:10 pm

You can get food from Blue Line Pizza delivered by DoorDash, a food delivery service. DoorDash charges a $6 delivery fee. You order through the DoorDash site. Finally, a way to get deep dish pizza delivered in Mountain View!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Anita Felicelli, a resident of Rex Manor,
on Sep 16, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Anita Felicelli is a registered user.

@Jenny - awesome, thanks for letting everyone know.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Tony Siress, a resident of Shoreline West,
on Sep 17, 2013 at 1:34 pm

I discovered Blue-Line Pizza a few weeks ago. I found their pizza to be very fresh, amazing crust and the best wings I have ever had. Their deep dish is amazing as is their gluten free crust. Great work on the drive-by pickup. Almost as good as delivery!

Bravo!!!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Samantha, a resident of Willowgate,
on Sep 17, 2013 at 3:19 pm

My hubby and I LOVE Blue Line. Food is great, tasty wine and beer list, and affordable (because you're really buying two meals!).


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Max Hauser, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Sep 18, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Max Hauser is a registered user.

You may recall Zpizza closing at that address (citing high rent) before Blue Line moved in. Blue Line's expenses should be higher (with a full server crew, where Zpizza's much smaller staff worked behind a counter). Joining a local market with 20 or so pizzerias in town (four recently went out of business, counting Zpizza), Blue Line has competition.

My working assumption is that Blue Line cannot rely only on Chicago-expat customers, but must show wide appeal. So far, I've tried four different Blue Line pizzas (the basic deep-dish, and three various thin-crust pizzas). Being no deep-dish connoisseur, I thought that pizza was good; a very different crust experience, as the lower gluten in corn-bearing crusts leaves them crumblier. The thin-crust pizzas, though, I though classy for their type.

All of these pizzas also were priced in the top tier locally: the thin-crust were as pricey as at Napoletana Pizzeria, the Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN) -listed place (one of just four in the Bay Area) making strictly Italian pizzas (flour and toppings included) for its customers, many of whom need to know a little background info first (like, Naples pizzas come unsliced, on plates, for individual consumption; so if you let the pizzeria slice them right after baking, you'll get some juices on the plate). A little off the Blue Line topic, except that people come from afar for the _internationally_ unique VPN pies at Napoletana, and Blue Line charges similar prices for more mainstream pizzas. And now I have to break off, to go make some pizza dough ...


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Anita Felicelli, a resident of Rex Manor,
on Sep 19, 2013 at 7:25 am

Anita Felicelli is a registered user.

@Max Hauser, I agree that Blue Line has to have wide appeal-- but I think that it does. I don't think deep dish generally competes all that much with thin crust pizza or that it only appeals to Chicagoans. Since Blue Line has both, and does an excellent job with both types, arguably it competes with all the pizzerias in the area and comes out ahead of many of them. Certain thin crust pizza places used to be really great, but in the last couple of years they've come out soggy and burnt. I haven't tried Verace Pizza Napoletana—do people really come from far away for its pizza?— but from what you describe, I'm going to have to. Thanks for the recommendation.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by harvardmom, a resident of Monta Loma,
on Sep 19, 2013 at 2:34 pm

My husband and I went the week it opened, and it was a wonderful experience.

I, too, was misled by the title of this article, "nay" gaving it a negative feel, no matter the intent. Siding with "Eater," I agree: Let's support our hardworking, risk-taking local businesses.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Anita Felicelli, a resident of Rex Manor,
on Sep 19, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Anita Felicelli is a registered user.

@harvardmom, thanks for weighing in. I stand by the title of this post- the punctuation should alert you that it's in question form and therefore there's nothing negative about it. Any reviewer should go in to an experience whether it is a product from a local business or not, from the neutral standpoint that a given product could be good or bad. Otherwise, there's simply no point in reviewing- why not just write puff pieces to support the local economy? I don't want to do that and local businesses who care about the community shouldn't want that either.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by DC, a resident of Sylvan Park,
on Sep 19, 2013 at 8:32 pm

With over 30 min cooking time, you will need a creative process to sell the needed amount of product to remain in business. Perhaps there is an app to stream line the process.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by CW, a resident of Jackson Park,
on Dec 9, 2013 at 11:44 am

We had a thin crust pepperoni pizza and a deep dish combo pizza the first time we ordered pizza from the Blue Line a couple weeks ago. Hands down, the pizzas made here are the best pizzas I've ever had!! I'm currently munching on some cold deep dish spinach pizza leftover from my husband's dinner last night, and am reminded that this is a top notch pizzeria. I was sad to see Z Pizza go. But I am not disappointed with the replacement.



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