Overall Experience - 7.1
Summary : I love the eco-ethos, mission and vibe of this pizzeria, but the pizza didn't quite live up to my expectations. Regardless, locals line up down the block for these pies. See for yourself what the hype is all about.
One of the more talked about pizza places in the Bay Area is called Cheese Board Pizza (1512 Shattuck Ave) in Berkeley. What’s so special about this place? Well, for starters — they only make one pie a day. When I told this to a friend recently… her response: how big is this pie? What I should have said was one type of pie each day. You can visit their website or Twitter page to see what pie their upcoming schedule. All the pies are vegetarian and use local ingredients.
Berkeley locals have taken a liking to this concept, judging by the long lines outside. Everything moves quickly at Cheese Board because it’s efficient to produce one type of pie. Grab a slice or two and follow the crowd to the median on Shattuck Avenue, where customers dine al fresco.
Given all the type, I wasn’t particularly impressed with my slices. With so many ingredients, it was difficult to pinpoint distinct flavors. In fact, in a blind taste test, I’m not sure I could tell you that there were mushrooms and onions on the slice. A sauce-less pie needs to have flavorful cheeses, and the asiago — the most prominent flavor on the pie — didn’t do the trick. Slices are $2.50 each — reasonable — but you don’t get a price break since pies will run you $20. You can also order a half pie for $10, but again… you can just order four slices and it’ll come out to be the same price.
In order to stay in business — and have lines down the block — you need to be doing something right. Cheese Board is a cool concept: get your pie today because we won’t be carrying it tomorrow! Since there is no meat on the pies, it’s a good spot for vegetarians (a point not to be overlooked in the heart of Berkley). And the topping combinations are creative (another recent creation featured: Fresh corn, Chile pasilla, Onions, French feta cheese, Mozzarella, Mexican key limes, Cilantro, and Garlic olive oil). But it was the execution itself that fell behind in my mind.
There’s nothing I’d recommend Cheese Board do differently. The pie I had simply didn’t meet my expectations. But given the crowds the flock there, I’m in the minority on this one.