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San Mateo’s Windy City Pizza: Go for the Pizza, Run from the BBQ!

katya | Jun 7, 200509:46 PM

I ate at Windy City Pizza Friday *and* Saturday night this past weekend. That was only punctuated by a Saturday lunch at Pizz’a Chicago, so I think I’ve seen every piece of Chicago memorabilia (particularly Chicago-style pizza memorabilia) in San Mateo. Most involved pithy sayings on pizza shovels, comic strips about pizza, and O magazine covers (now! with Oprah!).

On Friday night we found to no surprise that the pizza at Windy City was once again very good. We ordered the deep dish pizza as last time, and we announced that it kicked the stuffed pizza’s ass. There are three different types of crust you can order, and we still haven’t tried the thin crust. But who goes to a Chicago-style pizza joint and orders thin?

Instead of ordering one of the combos as in the past, we chose a couple of toppings – red/yellow bell peppers and tomatoes. ($11.10 for a two topping small pizza) This was the best pizza we’ve had there ever. The leftover bits of cheese strings melding with tomato sauce left at the edge of my plate were yum squared.

We returned Saturday night not for pizza but for barbeque. Half of their menu is devoted to q, so we went cheap - skipping the platters and heading for the sandwiches, which at $6.95 are the cheapest things on the menu. The BBQ chicken breast sandwich was decent – though definitely not very smokehouse-y - but also nothing special. However, it was overpowered by a sugar bomb of barbeque sauce.

The 18 hour Texas smoked brisket was a big disappointment. The beef had an odd – not good - smoked taste, and we had to pick around the pieces of beef on the sandwich because half of them had big chunks of fat attached. Again, the too sweet sauce dominated. If it was good meat it could have stood on its own. Unfortunately, with bad meat and bad sauce all was lost.

The sandwiches each came with a side, which continued the BBQ not-safe-for-diabetics theme. The sweet potatoes were one-note sugary, slightly watery concoctions. The cinnamon apples were even worse. The apples looked and tasted like they came from a can (are apples sold in cans at the grocery store?), and they were submerged in a watery liquid. No cinnamon, nor nicely thickened cinnamon sauce. We also ordered a couple of corn muffins (75 cents each) which were bland, and tasted like they had just been reheated.

One thing that bugs me about the place – it’s friggin’ cold! My boyfriend and I had to wear our jackets while we ate pizza and BBQ, which is a disaster in the making. I’m sure if we had gotten ribs they would have been ruined. Incidentally, we had the same problem with Great American BBQ where the thermostat is set even cooler!

Katya’s Bay Area BBQ Ratings:

1) Austin BBQ – Mountain View (best by far)
2) Memphis Minnie’s – SF
3) Armadillo Willy’s – South Bay chain
4) Great American BBQ – Alameda
5) Everett & Jones – Berkeley/Oakland
6) Windy City Pizza – San Mateo

Windy City Pizza
35 Bovet Rd. (near El Camino and Hwy 92)
San Mateo, CA 94402
Wine and beer (there’s an attached bar)

Mon.–Sat.: 11 a.m. – 10 pm.
Sun.: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.


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