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Sunday was National Pizza Day and I marked the occasion by visiting Pizza Squared in the Design District for a slice. Three slices, actually.
A large variety of both Detroit and Sicilian style squares are at the ready in the display case. The Detroit style features caramelized cheddar cheese baked around the edges. The crust on the Sicilian style seems not quite as thick.
Slices are $5 apiece. Besides pizza, the menu includes composed salads and Straus soft serve ice cream.
For my first taste, the most popular slice, Detroit style pepperoni, heated for me and eaten at the two-seat counter. Never thought I'd say this, but it was topped with too much pepperoni. I did enjoy the crispy browned pepperoni with the wisps of red onion, but this was far too salty. The caramelized cheese is itself quite salty, and putting the two together made this hard to eat after three bites. While I did like the crunchy cheese, a corner piece bordered with cheese on two sides was too much to handle. The lavishly applied tomato sauce has a high proportion of jammy Full Red tomato paste. Satisfyingly chewy, the thick crust could barely stand up to the salt burden and the over-the-top flavor load.
Later at home, I reheated the garlicky Detroit style clam and bacon slice for dinner. Another flavor bomb, and enjoyable for the first few bites until the salt became too painful even from an interior piece with less caramelized cheese. But at home at least, I could break to come back to it later and also wash it down with a quart of water.
Then for breakfast the next day, a warmed up slice of Sicilian topped with mozzarella, tomato vodka sauce, smoked mozzarella and basil. This was much more my speed with a lighter, more puffy crust enriched with olive oil, and a brighter red sauce from diNapoli tomatoes. Still a lot of cheese, but not that salty cheese crusting of the Detroit.
Pizza Squared makes boldly flavored slices that are big enough for a meal and a bargain at $5. The crunchy caramelized cheese on the Detroit style turned out to be way too salty for me even when choosing a piece with less. Yet, I'd try a Detroit slice again here but be more careful to stay away from salt-cured toppings. The Sicilian pie was my favorite of the three in a less is more way. I want to come back for a non-vege Sicilian slice baked in duck fat next time.
885 Brannan St
San Francisco, CA
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