We finished Emma swimming lessons and normally we’d head out to eat lunch somewhere afterward. Today we needed to go home but I wanted to pick up lunch at a new place that I have been following called Tony’s Coal-Fired Pizza & Slice House in North Beach.
I got there at 11:30am and there was a couple ahead of me. The woman at the front said they would be open in 10 minutes. I asked for a menu to look at while I waited. We had to line up in front of the restaurant and this old guy somehow snuck in front of me. So I was number 3 in line.
I had heard two things about this place: that they had Northern California’s first coal-fired oven and that they had authentic Italian Chicago-style Italian beef sandwiches.
The oven part didn’t mean much to me but assumed it must be a good thing to be able to try a new way of preparing a pizza. They also had a list of other sandwiches that sounded awesome – Chicken Parm. Wedge, Meatball Sub, FraMani Grinder, Reuben and variations on the Italian Beef Sandwich among others.
I decided to order a slice of NY style cheese pizza, one Traditional Italian Beef Sandwich, a Cheef Italian Beef Sandwich and a Rachel (Rye, pastrami, coleslaw, swiss cheese, russian dressing). For the beef sandwiches, I was told it was spicy hot and if I wanted it mild. I went with hot. I was also asked if I wanted them”Dipped”, “Juicy”, or “Soaked”. Since I was taking it home I asked for the au jus on the side. It reminded me of French dip sandwiches at Philippe’s in LA.
While waiting, they called someone to pick up a slice of pizza but there was no one there to pick it up. From the looks on the chef’s face and the cashier it seemed there was a mix up.
After about a 10 minute wait, the sandwiches were ready. I asked about the slice of pizza and was told it was coming up. After waiting some more, the order after me got her slice of cheese pizza. So I asked about mine. The guy (I think it was Tony) asked what I was waiting for and then proceeded to heat up my slice.
They seemed a bit disorganized (although very nice). Since the place only opened on August 18th I guess you can forgive them for this as they work out the kinks.
I wanted to try the pizza hot so had a bite outside the restaurant. I liked it and pretty good deal at $3.50 considering it was a good sized slice.
These pictures don’t do the sandwiches justice but here are few.
The Rachel. The sandwich is a pretty decent size with the meat sliced pretty thick. It was pretty good but out of the three sandwiches this was my least favorite.
Side shot of it.
The Traditional (Italian beef on “au jus” bread and spicy giardiniera). This was my favorite out of the three. It definitely had a spicy hot kick to it as well.
The Cheef (Italian beef with mozzarella, served with spicy giardinera) was good too and also had a bit of heat to it although I found it less so than the Traditional.
Opened up Traditional.
The place is pretty small inside with one communal table. It’s definitely geared towards takeout (no home delivery).
This place is definitely a keeper! I plan to go back and try the other items they have to offer – the other sandwiches, the Sicilian and Romana type pizza (the latter sold by the meter), Calzone, Stromboli, Baked Ziti…the list goes on! You can also order its deli meats so will try that out as well.
Tony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Slice House
1556 Stockton St.
(at Union St)
San Francisco, CA 94133