Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.

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[Photographs: David Kover]

Find yourself craving a slice at five in the afternoon, but terrified of getting something that's been sitting on the pizzeria counter since lunch, then Serrano's may be the place for you. The trick at Serrano's is that every slice gets made fresh—the pizzaiolo takes a fully-stretched round of raw dough, cuts off a wedge, and builds each slice from scratch before tossing it in the gas oven.

Honestly, I wouldn't call what Serrano's serves a "slice," but rather a triangular personal pizza. Toppings are applied so that the crust on one end comes out wider than the rest, but because the edges of the dough are all exposed to the oven's heat, there's a bit of end-crust all the way around. It could have a bit more character, but it's crisp on the exterior, soft inside—and always piping hot.

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On the generously portioned plain slice, the slightly sweet sauce suffers from an overabundance of dried herbs in certain bites, which can sometimes turn it cloying, and the shredded mozzarella doesn't particularly distinguish itself. I've been happier when I ask for some pepperoni or another flavor-forward topping to spruce up the landscape.

So, it's not the best slice in the neighborhood, but Serrano's certainly has its niche. The guy behind the counter told me that a few years back they experimented with keeping a few pies in a warmer for on-the-go slices, but customers would simply ignore this and ask for the fresh slices. There's certainly something to be said for the guarantee that your slice hasn't been decomposing in its own grease for the last few hours.

Serrano's Pizza

3274 21st Street, San Francisco, CA 94112 (map)
415-695-1687; serranospizza.com

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