We have said before that we think that Little Star Pizza in the Mission makes the best Chicago-style deep dish pizzas. Although Capo’s version is pretty darn good too, we avoid conflict by sticking with Capo’s excellent stuffed double-decker behemoth pies. We were ecstatic when Little Star co-founder Brian Sadigursky partnered with Angela Pace to open the original Blue Line Pizza in Campbell, named after the train that travels between downtown Chicago and the O’Hare airport. We were even more psyched that they finally opened a third outpost in Mountain View, close to our workplaces. Unlike it’s original big sister, this one does not have a full bar, but pizza-friendly beer and wine are readily available.
It’s become a favorite spot for lunches, dinner and occasional happy hour, which features discounted beers and half-off appetizers. Centered around pizza, available in deep dish and thin crust versions, the menu is identical between the three branches (the third is up the peninsula in Burlingame).
Garlic Bread is made with house-made puffed dough with a perfect mix of butter, garlic and melted mozzarella cheese. It is a great snack, and is a deal during Happy Hour at only $2.50 per order. It’s almost like having a full pizza without tomato sauce and toppings:
They have several beers available by the bottle plus four on tap, including a Goose Island Ale and the Firestone Pivo Hoppy Pils:
Another great appetizer to pair with beers is the Roasted Peppers, featuring not too spicy shishitos roasted to crinkly tenderness in the oven. The side of goat cheese chèvre dip isn’t really necessary but adds a tangy dairy flavor to the peppers:
Blue Line offers four different salads, including a mixed green, Caprese and Caesar; however, we always gravitate to the Bacon and Blue Salad. Maybe if they offered Little Star’s Green Goddess salad, we might deviate, but this salad of crunchy romaine lettuce topped with bacon, cherry tomatoes, caramelized red onion, gorgonzola cheese and coated with house-made blue cheese dressing is decadent and a tiny bit healthy at the same time:
The menu lists pre-made pie combinations available as deep dish or thin crust, and custom pies with various topping options can be ordered. Inside tip: they will make any of the pizzas on the menu with either crust type.
We had to try their oven roasted wings, which have the same peppery spiciness as the versions found at the other locations. Orders come only by the full pound, which sometimes is just not enough for two people:
Once again, we ordered our usual Blue Line/Little Star large size deep dish pizza: an Italian Combo from the thin crust section, but made deep-dish style with mushrooms replacing the green bell peppers (other toppings are pepperoni, salami, onions, black olives, and spicy pepperoncini):
The great news is that this exact same pizza can be ordered as an individual size portion at lunch. It does have a larger ratio of bread to toppings in the smaller format; however, they line their deep dish pans with so much butter that the crust is super-tasty and crisp that none of it gets left behind:
Unlike Little Star, Blue Line offers panini sandwiches, and the Roast Beef, Bacon and Havarti version is a nice alternative to pizza during lunch. The ciabatta sandwich is stuffed with thinly sliced roasted Angus Choice top round beef, bacon, havarti cheese and roasted red peppers. A horseradish cream spread adds a little bit of kick and spice to the very hearty sandwich, which is accompanied by potato chips:
Blue Line may have taken over the casual Z Pizza location; but, they redecorated the entire restaurant, including a custom painted mural depicting what looks like a a blue flame:
Orders can be placed on-line, and they also offer catering for office lunches or parties. In addition, with difficult parking during prime dining hours, they offer convenient curbside pickup at the back of the restaurant. It’s been a very convenient opening knowing we can have a little bit of San Francisco where we work on the Peninsula. Considering the caloric intake of our average visit, the only problem is that it’s a little too convenient.
Pizza and Wings at Little Star (Aug. 22, 2013)
Blue Line Pizza is a Southern Little Star (Jan. 15, 2013)
Chicago Style Pizza and Portions at Capo’s (Jan. 24, 2013)