Friday, March 21, 2008
revisited/pizza: i strongly recommend ALLEYCATS at Zhong Xiao
2, Lane 248, Zhong Xiao E. Road, Sec. 4
hours: 12noon - 10 PM
$ - $$
Kid friendliness: to-go location with only 1 table.
Original visit: 5/3/2006 at Li Shui location. Read review here
Lately I've been craving deep dish pizza. Specifically, the spinach and mushroom stuffed pizza from Zachary's in Berkeley/Oakland. Chunky tomatoes, lots of spinach and mushrooms, crispy crust to hold everything together and CHEESE. It's quite painful to crave something you can't have since it's impossible to find anything like that here- I crave it even when I'm in LA since I haven't found a good deep dish pizza place there either that can compare.
So to fufilll my tomato sauce crust-cheese-fix, I decided to get 2 small pizzas from the new-ish location of Alleycats. They've expanded from their original Li Shui location to four other places, each with their own unique menus. This location in a little alley off of Zhong Xiao is tiny, basically the kitchen with the stone ovens and one patio table to sit down, so most of the customers order their pizzas to go. Sometimes they sell pizza by the slice, but I recommend calling ahead and ordering so you can pick up the pizza and eat it hot at home (or on the way home). You can check out their online menu, but the pricing is slightly different at the Zhong Xiao location for smaller pizzas and they only offer pizzas and calzones. The prices range NT$85 for a small 8" Marghertia pizza to NT$200-$400+ range for 10"-12" pizzas.
I ended up trying the Napoletana (NT$150) which has fresh tomatoes, goat cheese, anchovies, olives and spinach (and successfully requested to have the anchovies swapped for mushrooms) and the Maialona (NT$150) which has Italian sausage, pepperoni, chorizo and salami (I think they are 8 inch). This Alleycats is right across from Chili House and actually not too far from Pizza Hut. They said the pizzas would be ready in 15 minutes to pick up.
It hit the spot.. though it was more CPK (the Neopolitan versions) than Zachary's, it was full of flavor, had the amount right cheese and mix of toppings and the crust balanced everything perfectly. You can also customize your pizza with the number of toppings such as anchovies, artichokes, fresh tomatoes, goat cheese or pineapple, though it might be cheaper to get their pre-set combos since each topping would add up at NT$15-50 each.
My last visit to Alleycats was quite awhile ago, before they expanded and I discovered this location. I'm happy to have this quick and closer location to get my pizza fixes. Much faster than trying to make pizza myself and much closer than to pizza in the states than practically any other pizza place in Taipei. As much as I like the occasional personal pan pizza from the nearby Pizza Hut, Alleycats is much fresher, healthier and, yes, yummier - although you wish they'd deliver!
Where do you guys get your pizza cravings satisfied and does Alleycats serve one of the best pizzas in town?
PS- Right to the right of this Alleycats, there seems to be a new place (competitor for your cheese fixes) called Toasteria serving all sorts of grilled cheese sandwiches, panini style.
Mmm.. will have to go back and try it sometime, although I will probably default to making my own. Anyone tried it yet?
LI SHUI STREET near YONG KANG ST
B1, No. 6, Li Shui Street
Fri-Sat: 5pm to 2am
SONGREN - NEW!
285 SONGREN RD
Mon- Thu 5 pm- 11 PM
Fri/Sat 12 pm- Late
Sun 12 pm - 11 PM
31, Lane 35, Zhongshan N. Rd Sec. 6
near ZhiShan MRT Station
Mo ~ Fr 5pm- 11pm
Sa/Su 12noon ~ late
67-1 Cheng Gong Road, Sec 5
Mon-Fri: 12pm - 2pm, 5pm - 11pm
Weekends: 12pm - 11pm