Stuffed on Stuffed Crust at Patxi’s and a Food Gal Giveaway

Patxi's stuffed crust will leave you stuffed for sure.

California pizza of late has been all about the thin.

Crusts that snap, crackle and practically pop with crispness when you sink your teeth into them.

But if you’re more in the mood for heft, for a pie that’s a gut-busting two-inches tall, look no further than Patxi’s, famous for its Chicago-style stuffed crust.

The first Patxi’s (pronounced pah’-cheese) opened in Palo Alto in 2004 by William Freeman and Francisco “Patxi” Azpiroz, who previously worked at the legendary Zachary’s Pizza in Berkeley. The restaurant features four types of pizza (stuffed, pan, thin, and extra-thin), as well as three types of dough (regular, whole-wheat, and a new gluten-free one).

Recently, I was invited to be a guest at the newest Patxi’s, which opened just a couple weeks ago in the Pruneyard in Campbell.

Early on a Sunday evening, the place was already packed when I walked in. The bustling, dimly lit restaurant features big-screen TVs that were broadcasting NFL football games that night.

The pizzas are baked to order, and the stuffed ones can take as long as 40 minutes to finish in the oven. So, settle into your chair and bide your time with an appetizer. Or a nice glass of wine, as Patxi’s has a pretty impressive wine list for a pizza joint. Indeed, you can sip Prosecco or a nice French Rosé from the Languedoc region.

A classic Caesar.

We started with a barely dressed, chilled Caesar salad ($6.95). The dressing could have been a bit more assertive. But the garnish of anchovies added bite. Crisp Parmesan toasts were a nice touch.

Then, it was on to the main attraction: a 12-inch stuffed pizza that has a layer of crust on the bottom and another that covers the fillings. We went with the “Special,” a mix of sausage, mushrooms, onions and green peppers ($25.54).

When it arrives at the table, it’s quite impressive looking — tall, with the loads of deep red housemade tomato sauce covering every inch of the top. If you’re a toppings person as opposed to a crust one, this is the pizza for you. The layers of cheese, sauce, meat, veggies and crust meld into one soft, saucy mouthful. It’s hearty and as filling as it looks.

I dare you to eat more than one slice.

On the advice of an insider, we also tried a 12-inch extra-thin with “cheese to the edge.” Our toppings of choice were prosciutto, mozzarella and tomato sauce ($16.69).

This crust is cracker-thin. It’s not Neapolitan, but something entirely of its own. The “cheese to the edge” trick gives it the flavor and texture of a Parmesan tuille, so that you feel like you’re eating nothing but crisp, baked cheese with cured pork on top.

Extra thin with "cheese to the edge.''

Patxi’s doesn’t really offer dessert. But then again, who’d have room?

Contest: One Food Gal reader will win a Patxi’s gift card good for one 14-inch stuffed crust pizza with two toppings to-go. The gift card (a value of $25) is redeemable at any Bay Area Patxi’s location. Contest is open only to those who can make use of the gift card in the Bay Area. Entries will be accepted through midnight PST Dec. 10. Winner will be announced Dec. 12.

How to win?

It’s no secret that we all love stuff, right? Our homes and offices are probably stuffed with too much stuff. But what’s one thing you could never throw out or do without? Best answer wins.

Here’s my own response to that question:

“A pen and paper. I keep them everywhere — at my desk, by my bed, near the TV, in the kitchen, and in my purse. Oh sure, I know I could easily type notes into my smart phone instead and save a tree. But it’s just not the same. There’s something wonderfully old-school about it. I also think we end up remembering more and even taking more care with our words when we jot down something with a real writing instrument.”

More Pizza to Try: The Fantastic Pizza Crust Recipe From Pizzeria Mozza

And: Delfina’s Pizza Dough Recipe

And: Pizza from Berkeley’s Cheese Board Collective

And: Pork Belly Pizza at Donato Enoteca in Redwood City

And: Sausage and Pea Tendril Pizza at Gather in Berkeley

And: Howie’s Artisan Pizzeria in Palo Alto

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  • now that’s a pizza!! good luck to everyone!!

  • I live in a studio apartment so I have to be smart about throwing things out, and I do a pretty good job about it. But I also have two huge plastic containers behind my bed. What are they filled with? Clothes? Precious memories? Expensive photo equipment?? Nah. I have two huge plastic bins of old magazines. This isn’t every magazine I’ve ever own, these are select favorite magazines, usually with a favorite celebrity on the cover, some dating back 10-12 years. I do, on occasion, flip through the stack and recycle the ones I no longer feel attached to, but generally it just sits there and I regularly add to them because I love slick magazines. They would be collector items, I think, if I keep them another 20 years. But right now it’s just a lot of stuff.

  • The stuffed dog that my hubby got me when we first started dating. His name is Ralph and he needs repair like nobody’s business! Somehow he always ends up on the floor making him far from the white color he used to be. Hubby’s offered to buy me a new one a million times but there’s just something really sentimental about Ralph. I’m pretty sure he’ll be around for a LONG time!

  • It is funny that I came across this post today b/c for the last few days I have been trying to get rid of 10 things a day (I read this about technique somewhere…) anyway – I was getting to my books and I just have a super difficult time parting with my cookbooks, I love the ones I use a lot (with ingredient smudge marks) AND I have quite a collection of signed cookbooks that I treasure, one Julia Child even!)

    I know online recipes are everywhere, but sometimes I just pick up an old cookbook friend and flip through it for ideas.

    Now that I am writing this…I am in charge of Christmas dinner, maybe I will make it an Julia Child themed Christmas – Leg of lamb with roasted garlic sauce sounds delicious!

  • lip balm. i keep it everywhere. in my car, purse, next to my tv chair, on my bedside table, on my desk, in the kitchen. everywhere!

  • Rubber bands from the bundling of vegetables, green onions, or newspaper. When I was younger, we used these rubber bands to make toys like jumping ropes, slings, balls, etc. These homemade toys were such an important part of our childhood so that the kid who had the longer ropes usually became the most popular at the playground. Of course, I don’t play these toys anymore; but my sense of joy and pride swell whenever i look at my growing rubberband collection. Occasionally, I use the rubber bands to make cutie sauce bags; but, I can never throw them out.

  • Dear Carolyn,

    I’ve never tried a pizza that’s has a stuffed crust as I prefer thin crusted pizza. Then again, the “special” thick pizza looks pretty awesome too!

  • Wow those pizzas are awesome but I think a lot of my drooling has to do with the mouth watering descriptions of them! 😉

  • The only stuffed crust pizza I’ve ever had was at Pizza Hut which is a serious shame. This looks awesome!

  • Wow now this is a pizza! I’m sure one slice would be all I could handle. Next time I get to the Bay area I will be sure to pay them a visit.

    Do not include me in the giveaway. I live in the Midwest.

  • On Labor Day this year, I once again had a true Chicago-style pizza for the first time in over a decade. I had gotten so used to thin crust, I had forgotten the decadence of the thick layer of cheese on those pizzas. Great to know the Bay Area has some of this style of pizza too!

  • I’m usually a thin-crust kind of girl, but that deep-dish looks amazing! I wish there was good Chicago-style pizza in my area!

  • I enjoyed my takeout parbaked cheese (Chicago crust…can’t wait to try stuffed crust) very much. Everyone there was so nice.

    I can’t live without my large Franklin Covey planner. It’s not the super big one but I’ve been using it for over 18 years. I’ve tried leaving it and using Palm’s or online version, but I love having the ability to write things down and seeing yesterday or a month from today quickly without needing a web browser.

  • Cookbooks! I could never throw out my cookbooks. They fill my bookshelves, they’re in piles in my kitchen and bedroom. Cookbooks are my friends. They’re fun to read. They introduce me to cuisines of the world, and cuisines closer to home. They give me ideas when I want to make a special dish. Nope, I can’t get along without my cookbooks.

  • I have a hard time throwing anything out (my girlfriend says I’m a bit of a hoarder)….but I have my late Dad’s old tool collection. Most of it is a duplicate to my collection, and some of it is out-dated and some of it even rusty and un-useable. It takes up quite a bit of room on my garage, but I can’t see ever parting with any of it.

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