Emilia’s Pizzeria: A Well Oiled Machine

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My coworker has been raving about this tiny restaurant called Emilia’s Pizzeria in Berkeley for over six months. I sort of stopped paying attention when she started spurting out some of the rules of the pizzeria. You have to call in your order between 4pm-5pm. The pizza comes in one size. You can get up to four toppings. Cash only. Open four nights a week.

My friend and I were going to do a bike ride on the Bay Bridge trail and thought it would be great to try Emilia’s afterwards. I preplanned my attempt at Emilia’s. When I say preplanned, I read through the rules and the Q&A on the website the night before. On the day of, I set my alarm for 4:00pm so I could call in when their phone line opened.

I dialed Emilia’s at 4:01pm and got a busy signal. I hit redial and the phone started to ring. I couldn’t believe I was getting through so quickly. I was a bit nervous when my call was answered because I didn’t want to say the wrong thing. I told the guy who answered the phone that I wanted to order a pizza and I wanted to eat it there. He asked how many people and what time. I said two for 6:30pm. He responded that my seating time would be 6:15pm. I told him this sounded great. He asked me what I wanted on the pizza and I named four toppings.

We arrived at the pizzeria at 6:10pm to find two tables, one filled and one empty. We waited to be told the empty table was ours before we sat down. I was surprised to see that this was a one man show. Keith answered the phone, made the pizzas, rang people up, etc. We watched him make a couple of pizzas before ours went into the oven. Our pizza was put together at 6:20pm and came out of the oven and on our table at 6:30pm.

The four toppings on our beautiful 18″ pie was pepperoni, sopressata, mushrooms, and red onion. I would describe the pizza as thin crust that falls somewhere in between the category of Neapolitan style and New York. The bottom was completely crisp, the crust was chewy, the toppings were quality ingredients and wonderfully tasty. I fell in love with this pizza at first bite.
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Some people may call Keith the “Pizza Nazi,” but I call him awesome. I can really appreciate his organizational skills. In order to make things run smoothly and work for him, he has to create these rules. It works for me too because if I’m told I will have a pizza at 6:30pm, I know I’ll get a pizza at 6:30pm. Winner!

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