My Pizzaiolo Inspiration

My Food Companion (FC) and I had a late weeknight dinner at Pizzaiolo in the Temescal area of Oakland earlier this week.  Pizzaiolo is known for their wood fire oven pizza.  I’ve always had good food here.  It is delish and in my opinion the best neopolitan style pizza in Oakland.  They recently opened up a sister restaurant in the Lakeshore area called Boot and Shoe Service.  This is also a very solid restaurant serving similar menu items.  Matter of fact, these are two of the hottest restaurants in Oakland.   It is not a surprise that the owner Charlie worked in the kitchen of Chez Panisse for eight years. 

Since it was pretty late, we decided to share a pizza, a salad, and an appetizer.  The salad was made up of green beans, almonds, and pecorino cheese.  This was fresh and tasty.  My FC is a vegetarian, so we decided to go with the margherita pizza.  The pizza had the perfect balance of tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and basil. The appetizer we ordered was fried green tomatoes with aioli.  This was the highlight of the evening for me.  It was the best fried green tomatoes I have ever had.  It came out piping hot, crisp and light. I think they used panko to bread the tomatoes instead of bread crumbs.  For days I couldn’t stop thinking about the delicious fried green tomatoes.  I did a search and found a recipe by the Neely’s of the Food Network that also used panko.  The users reviewed it and gave the recipe 5 out of 5 stars.  That’s it…I was going to attempt to make the fried green tomatoes.  I was naïve in thinking I could just walk into a store to buy green tomatoes.  The farmers market, Berkeley Bowl, and Farmer Joes did not carry it.  Green tomatoes are unripe tomatoes and I couldn’t find it sold anywhere.  The produce guy at Berkeley Bowl told me I had to grow it myself.  I guess I wasn’t going to recreate this dish anytime soon.  If it has to go on the bucket list of things to make, it will.  Let’s say this blog is to be continued…