When I heard that San Francisco was getting a place that specializes in Egyptian pizza, I knew I had to check it out. In a life full of pizzas, there aren't that many true novelties left, and this promised to be one of them.
Crave City's Egyptian pizza is known in Egypt as feteer. A thin dough is wrapped around peppers, black olives, tomatoes, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese and a choice of meat. I went with the ground beef on the recommendation of the guy behind the counter, but you can get a variety of things in there, from sausage to corned beef or pastrami to—wait for it—hot dog. It looks like a giant meat pie, about an inch-and-a-half thick and ten inches across at the widest point.
But I had a hard time reconciling this dish with my conception of pizza. Unlike the stuffed pizza from South Philly that recently appeared on Slice, the feteer wrapper did little to remind me of pizza crust—it was more like the crust of a knish. Inside, the meat and the black olives played the dominant roles, with the mozzarella fading to the background. And it's a sauceless affair.
Definitions aside, I wasn't wildly enthusiastic about the flavors. The black olives seemed to be from a can, and the tomatoes were out-of-season bland. The ground beef was tasty enough, sauteed with onion, salt and pepper, but I wouldn't have minded if they'd kicked it up a notch with some other spices.
2015 Chestnut Street, San Francisco, CA 94123 (map)
415-409-2009; closed Sundays.