Stripped-Down Excellence at Long Bridge Pizza in the Dogpatch
Pete Kane The Sausage Pizza at Long Bridge
The Dogpatch is kind of a mystery. It's the city's anti-urban village, largely bereft of conveniences and amenities but increasingly full of great things to eat and drink. And now the explosion of pizza places is no longer limited to Mission's southern tier, with Long Bridge Pizza Company up and running on Third. Sign-less and nondescript from the street, and a little on the drab side overall, it's a commonsense operation that plugs a serious hole on Third Street (nearby Piccino being a somewhat higher-end pizza experience).
Long Bridge has no liquor license and, for now, only four pretty standard pizzas: Margherita, Pepperoni, Sausage and White. It's a stripped-down menu that reflects a keep-it-simple, do-it-well ethos from people who came from A16, Pizza Hacker and Tony's in North Beach. The "Sausage" is so larded up with ingredients that it's really more of an Everything, with both mozzarella and smoked mozzarella, tomato sauce, sausage, red onion, red bell pepper and Parmesan. (I like when pizza reads my mind; just put the damn Parmesan on!). The smoked mozzarella really came through, the crust scorched just so. After only crumbs remained, the counter guy and both pizzaiolos stared out expectantly, and broke into grins when we gave them a thumbs-up.
At $12-$14.50 for a small, $22-$26 for a large, the prices appear steep, but the pies are sizeable. (A small can feed two, comfortably, and perhaps consequently, pizza isn't available by the slice.) And Long Bridge delivers -- literally as well as metaphorically. In a perfect world, stoners and night owls would have 24/7 pizza access, but they shutter at a relatively early 9 p.m. (10 on Saturdays) and aren't open Sundays at all. But since nobody moves to the Dogpatch for the ease of living, everyone should be happy that this incubator of culinary creativity has given us another winner.
Long Bridge Pizza, 2347 Third St., 829-2999