Sweet and spicy Zante’s Indian pizza

    I can eat rice for every meal every day without getting tired of it (with perhaps an occasional craving for noodle soups or a burger). Why? Because rice is a solid starch base upon which you can mount anything and they’d go together just like that. Meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits, other starchy stuff. The closest thing to rice that wheat can do is the pizza. I wouldn’t eat pizza everyday because it always makes me cry for water like a beached whale. But everything goes on pizzas, too. Even curry. Spot on, Zante.

    I don’t know how Mudpie knew of this cozy kitchen on Mission Street, but we went there right after I got off the plane from Puerto Vallarta. The combination of “Indian” and “pizza” sounds like comfort on a drizzling January night. Besides, I have a thing for old brick buildings, and the number 86.

    Though the printed menu is much easier to flip and read than the online menu, we still took a while looking for something new and appealing from the maze of flat breads and meaty dishes (and vegetarian dishes, but I won’t go there), mainly because we were looking for non-spicy food. The kabulinan (roti with raisins and nuts) was a sure bet, sweet, chewy, crusty at the edge, and filled with coconut shreds in and out. The chicken makanwala, though good, didn’t deliver much news. I couldn’t sense any difference between this thick orange sauce and the chicken tikka masala‘s thick orange sauce at Biryani House.

    We also got the special pie of course. Tandoori chicken and cilantro make up a mosaic of red and green dots; though the prawns are included in the menu listing, I can’t see any curled up in the pictures here. Well who really sits down and checks every ingredient on a slice anyway. Point is, spinach curry sauce finds its rightful place on a bed of baked dough, and the Indian pizza at Zante is at least as good as any artistic assortment from the Cheese Board that Berkeleyans always chirp about. If you ask me, I think Zante‘s are better, cuz they got meat and no hype.

    Address: Zante Pizza
    3489 Mission Street
    San Francisco, CA 94110-5438
    (415) 821-3949

    Money matter: $32.55 a dinner for two.

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