This evening, I was driving to a gallery opening deep in the Mission when I saw a miraculous sight. On the corner of 20th St and Valencia, next to a dark parking lot, was a table. And a Webber grill. I thought I had seen the near-mythic Pizza Hacker. I immediately slammed on the brakes and tried to find a parking space.
A few moments later, I was standing at the table of Casey's Pizza, not the Pizza Hacker. Casey told me that he was a friend of the Pizza Hacker, but that he was taking a slightly different tact with his pizzas. While I've never had Pizza Hacker (and hence my initial excitement), I was psyched to put Casey to the test.
While my Margherita pizza cooked in his gas-fed Weber grill, Casey told me about his pizza philosophy. He claimed that the PIzza Hacker is trying to recreate Neapolitan pizza, while Casey focuses more on New York-style pizzas with local ingredients. That means that the dough is a little thicker and denser. Casey also uses American flour, unlike Pizza Hacker, who uses Italian.
But, as they say, the proof was in the eating of it. The pizza was absolutely delicious. The sauce was rich and flavorfull, the cheese was generously apportioned, and there was tons of basil. The pizza was $10 each, and he also offers a vegan Margherita as well as a funghi.
Casey didn't say if he had a regular schedule, but he's trying to make it back every Friday night to Valencia and 20th. His business card also lists a Twitter account, @caseyspizza.