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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pontillos, Chili Ave.

Pontillo's Pizza & Pasta on Urbanspoon
My post the other day about the death of local pizza pioneer Anthony Pontillo prompted a comment from a reader that Pontillo’s pizza varies widely from one location to another. That’s not the first time, or even the second time, I’ve seen people say that. So although it’s never been my intention to review multiple locations of a single chain, when I happened to find myself driving by the Pontillo’s on Chili Avenue, I decided to make an exception.
My $2.50 bought me a slice that was big, but not monstrous in size. It had a dry underside with a mottled, charred appearance. The thin to medium crust was somewhat crisp, but easily foldable.
Taking a bite, the first thing I noticed, even before my teeth sank into it, was a pleasing, toasty aroma from the crust. The good news continued upon taking a bite, as I found that the crust had a bready quality and a chewy texture. The relatively thick edge was particularly crunchy and bready.
The crust and other components were well balanced and blended well. The sauce was applied in enough quantity to be a noticeable presence, but not so much as to make for sloppy eating or to squirt out the sides when I bit into the pizza. There was a moderate amount of cheese, which at least initially was pretty stringy, as this pizza had apparently just come out of the oven when I got my slice.
The pepperoni was laid on fairly generously. It contributed a spicy/salty overlay to the background sweetness of the sauce and the underlying toastiness of the crust.
This Pontillo’s didn’t have any menus handy on my visit, and neither does their website, though I imagine it’s not too much different from the other Pontillo’s. Lunchtime slices were limited to plain cheese or pepperoni, and there were a couple of sandwich specials on the board when I stopped in. The atmosphere is pretty much that of a fast-food joint, but there are plenty of tables and chairs available if you want to dine in.
All in all, I was pretty impressed with this pizza, not that I walked in with any great expectations. The crust was good, the components complemented each other well, and the overall flavor was quite agreeable. So while that doesn’t necessarily mean much in terms of the other Pontillo’s locations, I’m giving this one a B+.
Pontillo’s, 3137 Chili Ave. 889-2120

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