2590 Durant Ave., Berkeley
Phone: (510) 705-1266
As of this weekend, the first West Coast location of megapopular NYC pizza chain Artichoke Basille's has arrived in Berkeley—and thanks to the Cal-USC game, the spot had an auspicious beginning, selling out of slices in a mere four hours. Jim Trevor, who helped founders/cousins Sal Basille and Francis Garcia expand their original East Village slice shop to locations in Chelsea and on MacDougal Street, is behind the bicoastal expansion; a native of San Mateo, he thought Berkeley's swath of hungry collegiates would make for the perfect clientele. Given that the NYC locations draw crazy lines and count David Chang and Keith Richards among their fans, this probably won't be the last we'll see of the chain.
With no seating, just a walk-up window, Artichoke is an extremely simple affair—diners can choose from five quirky (and massive) slices, including the signature Artichoke slice that's essentially artichoke dip on a crust (artichoke hearts, spinach, cream sauce, mozzarella) and the crab slice (with crab sauce, mozzarella, and a surimi stuffing). Meatball, margherita, and Sicilian slices round out the selection, along with some canned sodas. It's not fine dining, but it's supreme drunk/hangover/pig-out fare. Trevor says that if this location performs well, he also has his eye on opening branches in SF and at his alma mater, UC Davis; additionally, "Southern California is definitely on the horizon for us." Hours are 11 am-2 am daily.
· Artichoke Basille's Coming to Berkeley [~ ESF ~]
· Cooking Channel to Premiere Artichoke Guys' Pizza Cuz [~ ENY ~]
· New York's 10 Worst Lines [~ ENY ~]