Most of us have had enough pizza in our lifetimes to recognize what we like and what we don't. On the most basic level, there are cheese people, pepperoni people, Hawaiian people. They see pizza in terms of toppings. On the intermediate level, there are people who involve themselves in the two big turf wars: New York vs. Chicago. But somewhere higher you start to see even more regionally specific pizzas that usurp their Northeast cohorts.
The best pizza I've ever had is the San Francisco deep dish from Blue Line Pizza in Campbell, California. San Francisco deep dish is a hybrid of classic Chicago style mixed with gourmet toppings and the upper echelon of crusts: cornmeal dusted.
I'm not sure how Blue Line Pizza does it, but each time I've dined there, the crust is amazingly crispy without venturing to burnt; that rarely happens with Chicago deep dish. It's a feat of culinary physics, I'm sure. After a few visits and several variations, I settled on a preferred way to top my pizza. I add ricotta cheese and roasted chicken. That's it.
The cheese adds a little creaminess to the acidly sweet tomato sauce. Roasted chicken provides an excellent choice of protein to a meal that lures you into hibernation about 30 minutes after you've left the table.
Blue Line also has a thin crust pizza, which I have tried and also recommend. For first timers, however, deep dish is the way to go. For appetizers, the garlic bread and spicy meatballs were standouts. Recently, I tried the half Caesar salad and was impressed by the ratio of salad to crouton to dressing mix.
There's one thing I've never had the pleasure of ordering at Blue Line, even though it tempts me every single time. Located on the last line of the menu is the open-face gelato cookie sandwich. One day it will be mine. Until then, it's a sweet, sweet fantasy.