I’ve heard a lot of lip service paid to “transforming Bayview,” but Kristin Houk and Matt Trahan aren’t empty talkers.
To reach their goal – giving the neighborhood an eating option that’s both healthful and affordable – the couple cleared out more than 11,000 pounds of trash from a blighted vacant lot. They got their hands dirty.
All Good Pizza is the product of their toil, a little white trailer bounded by a jungle of succulent plants. You sit at customer-decorated picnic tables on an outdoor patio. Jars of chalk and Hot Wheels cars beckon to your inner child.
Without taking itself too seriously, All Good makes a classy counterpoint to the KFC/Taco Bell across the street. Ingredients are fresh and locally sourced, flavor combos are simple but well-conceived, and – unlike fellow newcomers Radio Africa & Kitchen – All Good’s prices are relatively neighborhood-friendly ($7.50 per 10-inch pizza).
Neapolitan-style pizzas are fired up in the couple’s gas-fired brick oven, made with skills Houk gained from an extended stay in Italy. She lived for months with a Tuscan restaurant-owning family, and the clan’s matriarch revealed all her culinary lore. First and foremost: pizza crust.
All Good’s dough is made from finely milled flour, good olive oil and kosher salt. Houk stays largely faithful to her mentor’s lessons (though she sometimes uses alder-smoked salt for a flavor boost). Her crust is thin and crackery, lightly charred on the bottom, with just a bit of bend. Even if you find it too crisp, it’s hard to resist the deep flavor.
For All Good’s red sauce, Houk hand-mashes organic tomatoes with olive oil and homegrown basil. This chunky sauce is used sparingly, a whisper of sweet Italy to punctuate the Cal-fresh toppings.
All Good’s intense hot link pizza was my favorite, pairing fiery sausage coins from Bayview old-timers Evergood Sausage with cherry and banana peppers. You can also order the hot link on a toasted roll, with pickled onions, peppers, and aioli.
The flavor-rich mushroom pizza combined sautéed portabellas and creminis with garlic, truffle salt, and thyme. And the harvest pizza – purple kale, green garlic, and spring onions, dusted with grana padano – was vibrant and crisp (if a bit dry).
All Good uses lots of local, organic produce; I shared the generous kale and radicchio salad on two visits. Dressed simply with lemon and oil, topped with layers of parmesan reggiano confetti, it was an ideal meal starter.
I thought I was over paninis – too many boring cubicle lunches – but All Good’s pressed sandwiches, made on chewy, fresh-baked rolls from nearby Crepe and Brioche, won me back.
The New Orleans muffuletta was a traditional combo of smoked ham, salami and provolone; salty, finely chopped olive salad; and a creamy fior di latte mozzarella oozing over the mix. And the “Cuban” (no roasted pork) combined ham and Swiss with the vinegary crunch of pickled onions and a sweet, house-made Meyer aioli.
At meal’s end, I craved some Straus ice cream. Sadly, All Good’s soft-serve machine was broken, forcing me to visit Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous for my fix (first-world woes).
All Good Pizza recently started opening on Sundays, using a smoker borrowed from Evergood Sausage to stage old-fashioned southern barbecues for the community. The owners have lived in Bayview for 10 years; their neighborhood love is unmistakable. What better gift than good food?
All Good Pizza
Location: 1605 Jerrold Ave. (at Newhall Street), S.F.
Contact: (415) 846-6960, www.allgoodpizza.com
Hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays through Fridays
Price range: $6 to $7.50
Recommended dishes: Louisiana hot link pizza ($7.50), mushroom pizza ($7.50), muffuletta panini ($7), Cuban panini ($7), kale salad ($7)
Credit cards: Cash, all major credit cards
Reservations: Not accepted