Daily Slice: Veggie at Live Fire Pizza, SFO

Slice: San Francisco

Pizza reviews in the San Francisco area.


[Photograph: Maggie Hoffman]

Airport eating tends to fall into two categories: on-the-fly meals that you stuff into your carryon as you race through the terminal—Yes, Chex Mix and Chips Ahoy totally count as a balanced lunch if you're flying—and those airport meals meant to kill a little more time, because you got there too early, or, god forbid, your flight is delayed. The pizzas at Live Fire in the Napa Farms Market at San Francisco International Airport take a few minutes, so they won't work in the first case, but as far as airport pizza goes, you could do much, much worse.

The veggie pie ($10.50) has 8 small slices and could easily be shared between two people. It's topped with sweet and mellow onions, nicely browned button mushrooms, charred red peppers, and slivers of pepperoncini. The "fire roasted tomato sauce" complements the vegetables well, adding an acidic brightness that counteracts the richness of the heavy-handed addition of shredded mozzarella. The heat from the pepperoncini adds another bit of zip, bringing it all into balance. The cheese is creamy and stretchy with a little tang, and it crawls up onto the endcrust a bit and gets nicely golden.

The undercrust needs a few minutes to cool off, and suffers from some tip sag right out of the oven. It's well seasoned, though it lacks puff at the end crust, and has a little gritty powdery texture from an excess of flour when handling. Are there airport pizzas that could win crust awards? I'm not sure. But I was willing to excuse this one since the the toppings worked well together.

Live Fire Pizza

Napa Farms Market, Terminal 2 San Francisco International Airport (map)

About the Author: Maggie Hoffman is the editor of Serious Eats: Drinks. You can follow her on Twitter @maggiejane.