In our Berkeley days (pre-2004) had we wanted pizza we would head to Zachery's in Rockridge or on Solano.. or order delivery from North Beach Pizza. If we were on campus we'd hit up Blondie's once in a while. Here in Emeryville, our local options include Lanesplitter, Arizmendi's, Rotten City (which we've not been to yet!) and more recently, Hot Italian...
Our local Lanesplitter is where Adeline, San Pablo and W MacArthur Blvd meet. Pretty ideal location for a place called 'lanesplitter', right? Turns out that Lanesplitter is a local chain and are named for that fun motorcycle habit of "splitting lanes" when they ride through traffic giving people like me a heart attack as they zoom up on the yellow line, cutting through traffic. Then again, it could be for bowling.. either way.. there's a random pin sitting above near the bar and a dust covered motorcycle perched high above just to give you pause to consider over your drink..
The drinks are posted on the chalkboard behind the bar as well on the menu.. they have a few beers on tap... and a cider.
Two Rivers Pomegranite Cider
As for the food, you can pretty much hit the place at almost any time and there's some sort of special going on.. The first time we came here they had a "Happy Hour" special of $5 off a large pizza. This makes it only $2 more than their medium, so it's worth it.
One of the more popular pizza choices is the "HeartStopper" (bacon, gorgonzola, roasted garlic, spinach)
It's really large! (that's my pint glass being held up to compare)
Other than the size,(which you can get in small, medium and large) not sure why it's called a heart stopper. I imagine like any pizza, if you eat too much, you'll have the same clogged arteries you'd get if you ate too much of anything not healthy. I'm over-thinking it here, though.. so moving on..
Here's a slice.. Notice how the topping just sort of stop about an inch before the crust? (and in some cases sooner) Call me picky but I like my toppings to completely cover the pizza. You're paying for the toppings right? Otherwise it's just a cheese pizza.
The crust itself was nice and chewy though.
We came back last weekend (since one of us were craving pizza and the other was happy to go along with me... er.. ahem..) While the pizza wasn't amazing (honestly I'm not a NY style pizza fan but I DO like pizza a LOT) but the service the first time was pretty good.
Sean ordered the Vegetable Lasagne:
It was pretty large and could easily have been shared if so inclined.
I ordered the 2 slice w/ drink combo:
the combo is a large one-topping pizza. I chose spinach.
As you can see this time around the toppings go all way to the crust.. This pizza was actually better than the other pizza. It seemed crispier, and the edge was just as chewy as the other pizza we'd tried.
I got the 2 slicer so Sean could have one. He in turn, let me have about half of his lasagne. I ate about half of my half and handed it back. It was good, cheesy, robust (is there another way to say 'meaty' when talking about the denseness of vegetables?), and filling. The lasagne had a nice garlic flavor to it as well. I would totally order this alone to split between the two of us.
The lasagne came with a side salad.. I had ordered one as well off the 'sides' menu:
I can't say how much dressing they actually put on the salad, but I hope it's not this much. As it was I used very little of mine and had plenty left for Sean to use so he wouldn't need to touch his dressing. The "breadstick" is that same chewy crust-like bread. Good stuff.
I think we were better off doing the combos than ordering a huge pizza. One doesn't have to stuff yourself full of pizza to leave this place full and satisfied.
I wish I could say the same about the service. It's very hit or miss.. First time (on a Tuesday) was amazing.. Manager or someone greeted us at the door, explained the menu since we'd said we'd never been here before. Our server was was a very efficient lady whose name I wish I could recall. The experience made us happy enough to come back when the mood was upon us.
This last time, goddess server was working but not in our section. Being a Saturday evening, it wasn't too crowded and they seemed to have plenty of help, but our server was distracted or just not giving a crap. It seemed like the server from the other section was picking up the slack, cleaning tables and seating people. She attempted to serve us our food but it was for the couple next to us. The busser ended up serving our food in the end.
One family had to physically get up and get our server's attention to explain they were ready to order. The couple seated next to us had to ask for their check. When he came around with it (finally) he didn't look at us or ask us if we needed anything or were ready for our check.. Sean waved the guy down finally to ask for OUR check and we were able to pay up and head out.
The pizza was definitely good enough to go back. It could be a Friday night thing, or a service anomaly (these things happen). It's one for two however you look at it.. and like Sean said, worse case, we can always order 'to go' next time. =) It's so close though, why not try it again?
3645 San Pablo Ave
Emeryville, CA 94608