For a few weeks before we left on our trip, the Missus was really into pizza. She's kind of over Bruno for now and wanted to try other places. Of the several we tried; two became Her favorites and warranted, in some cases multiple visits. One of these was a place recommended by my good friend Candice......Tribute Pizza.
Located in the renewed and revitalized old Post Office on the corner of Grim and North Park Way, in what is now called the "North Park Post Office Lofts", and catty corner to one of my favorites, Lucky's Golden Phenix. We both liked the wide open industrial, but comfortable space, and the seats were in themselves fine. There's an interesting gastropub meets pizzeria vibe here. A big plus; the staff is very nice as well, with an ok beer list.
As you can tell in the photo on the right.....I guess some folks really want to take a photo of the place!
In addition to pizzas there's the now required cheese and charcuterie plates, which looked quite large and a couple of salads; like the "put on a egg on it brussels salad" ($11).
The Missus loves Her brussel sprouts and these were nicely shaved and topped with a lovely egg yolk. So you'd think She'd be just all over this. Strangely, She didn't care too much for this, as the dressing was a bit too sour and the egg yolk and pecorino romano really didn't add that mild savoriness and sweetness that brings out the best in brussel sprouts. In talking to our wonderful Server about this salad; we found out that we might...depending on how busy the kitchen is, get lardons and Balsamic on this salad as well....which would definitely make it a winna'. So perhaps in the future.....
Hands down, our favorite item here is the wonderful; yeasty, warm, slight crusty Sea Salt Focaccia paired with the spicy, spreadable salumi known as 'Nduja ($9).
The 'Nduja here has a nice bite to it and reminds us of a good porky spread tinged with Harissa.
When it comes to first trying out a new pizza place, the Missus prefers simple, and it doesn't get more basic than a Margherita ($13).
First off; the crust, like the focaccia, had a wonderful flavor and texture. For some reason, the rest fell rather flat. We didn't care for the tomato sauce, which we found watery and bland.......I look for that tangy-mild sweetness, that I call the "flavor of sunshine" and this didn't really have that. While I love the fork and knife style, slightly "wet", Neopolitan style pizza, the middle was way too soggy for us. The mozzarella was good, light milky-saltiness, but strangely, we found the basil tasteless. A mixed bag overall.
But the service had been great and we decided to return mainly for this.
And damn if this wasn't even better this time around; being a bit thicker and heartier.
If you've read enough posts, you know the Missus loves Her meatballs (yes, I know, there's a joke in there just waiting to come out), so we had to order it ($13).
We both loved the roasted peppers and onions; adding a bit of sweetness and pungency to a rather heavy version of meatballs. Ditto with the parmigiano reggiano, layering a bit of milky-saltiness. I actually enjoyed the very "meaty", yet moist and tender meatballs more than the Missus. She said these were a bit too heavy for Her, but still enjoyed them. The sauce was very hearty and thick, almost spreadable, a root vegetable marinara, that was very tasty.
Of course we had to try another pizza. And the theme of "Tribute", are well, tributes to other famous pizzas.....so we decided on the tribute to Chris Bianco's Pizzeria Bianco. If you're interested, Ed from Yuma has done posts on both Pane Bianco and Tratto. Anyway, we ordered the Biancoverde with Prosciutto de Parma ($18).
The crisp, slightly bitter arugula, savory-salty prosciutto, and garlic was such a nice match for the yeasty-bready crust. Chili flake kept your attention and the ricotta some creaminess and milky flavors along with the mozzarella. This was a nice pizza and one we'll have again.
For us, it seems that the star of the show at Tribute is the dough.....that focaccia and pizza crust is quite nice. We've really liked the friendly and helpful service as well. Interesting thing about ordering; when you walk in, you head up to the counter and can place your drink and/or food order there, before heading off to a table.
So, I guess the Missus is finally totally over Her "no-bread" phase in life....it makes for much better eating for us! And thanks as always for the recommendation Candice!
3077 N Park Way
San Diego, CA 92104
Tues - Thurs 5pm - 10pm
Fri 4pm - 11pm
Sat 11am - 11pm
Sun 11pm - 9pm