Picked up a pizza last night at the vaunted House of Pizza in San Jose. This place looks like Chuck-e-Cheese as envisioned by the Hell's Angels. A full bar sits side by side the kiddie games that cost a buck each and there are stern signs warning that for the stated price $2.98 for a small and $3.98 for a large plate, you can have only ONE helping at the 4 item "salad bar".
Take out is at your own risk as they pack up these giants on a piece of cardboard that
can barely hold the pizza'a weight and wrap it with grocery store quality brown paper, stapling the open end. I put the thing drooping the middle but intact on my car floor and drove home. The car filled up with a most unusual smell, that of feshly baked cake. How weird--where were the usual tomato and sausage smells that hang like lead, stinking up your car for days?
I got home and saw the front of the paper wrapper had become translucent with grease. A good sign.
I ripped open the paper and underneath was a sight to behold: A living canvas of whites, blood reds, browns and blacks belching out puffs of cake fragrent steam. It looked like a snapshot of a primeval lava flow.
The pizza is overloaded with cheese and sausage, some of which had slow flowed towards the middle of the pie during transport leaving a couple of slices naked. The mushrooms are canned and hold their consistency and flavor better on a pizza than fresh. The crust is thin and pastry dough sweet explaining the odd but pleasant smell. This may be off putting to some but I really liked the flavor combos.
Bottom line: House of Pizza should be considered one of the great pie houses in the Bay Area. Compromise and surrender to chain mentality have never entered their vocabulary.
House of Pizza,
527 Almaden Ave.