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While searching for a birthday celebration location, I was pointed in the direction of Tribute Pizza in North Park. This pizza spot can tempt taste buds with its popular house made dough and inspired toppings, baked in a hefty wood fired oven. The website points out free customer parking one block away but we found all five marked spots already occupied by 5:30pm on a Saturday evening! The restaurant was busy so I made sure to greet my guests at the entrance before we ordered food.
Dirty Dancin' Pizza ($17) - crushed tomatoes, mozz, shaved red onion, jalapenos, fresh pineapple, harissa ranch
"Tribute to Roberta's, Brooklyn, NY and Ben Adler, the Washington Post" was written on the menu between the pizza name and the ingredients. Surprisingly, I only remember seeing ingredients during our visit and just now realized the association to the restaurant name... Tribute Pizza. Wow, foodie brain distractions of toppings and talking to friends, yet I remember seeing the funny descriptions at Kafe Sobaka!
Patatas Bravas ($8) - heirloom fingerling potatoes, smashed & fried, w/lemon basil aioli
A few friends opted to share the sweet and spicy delight of the Dirty Dancin' pizza as well as these patatas bravas.They don't look like much but I didn't hear any complaints about it either!
Molto Autentico ($17) - tribute to greezy cardboard pizza nostalgia - crushed tomatoes, fresh mozz, garlicky mushrooms, calabrian chile and fennel sausage, house smokedd chedda'
Thin crust pizzas could be seen flying into the air as staff prepared them for toppings and the wood fired ovens. For our friend's pizza, the crust was a little too charred, which gave the pizza a bit of a burnt taste. The pizza was quickly remade, and actually came out before our order arrived! I guess customer satisfaction made it a top priority. The flavor of the fennel sausage just popped amazingly! This meaty, rich flavored pizza turned out to be my favorite pizza of the night. I'll just call it the birthday foodie perk that allowed me to sample all pizzas.
Super Vegan IV: return to Krypton - tribute to all of our vegan barista friends - heirloom Japanese purple sweet potatoe puree, kabocha squash, leks, crispy hazelnuts
The next pizza grabbed our attention with the eye-catching purple hue! This vegan pizza had plenty of potato mash as well as some nuttiness from the squash. Overall it didn't have any strong flavors and I found it satisfactory. For Dennis, it was on the drier end and seemed to be missing a little something. I'd say that something was meat or cheese haha! Some of our friends enjoyed this more than others so it really depends on your taste preference.
Biancoverde - tribute to Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix, AZ - mozzarella, ricotta, fresh garlic, crushed red chile flake, arugula
Our food blogger friend Mary ordered this one with prosciutto and ricotta. It was simple in ingredients though a little oily so I wasn't blown away by this sample.
We didn't know about this option until our friends got this half and half pizza! It wasn't mentioned on the menu or if it was, we totally missed it! So jealous! This was a combination of our pizza choice and the first pineapple one.
Sea Salt Focaccia w/ Burrata ($8)
Tribute Pizza offers several toppings to go with their house made award winning focaccia. We chose the burrata, which appeared with an olive oil / balsamic vinegar dip. I happily topped the thick crusty bread with soft and silky burrata dipped into the fabulous balsamic mix. The beautifully fluffy bread soaked it all up! We'd definitely recommend this item with whatever toppings you prefer.
The Weekly Tribute: Mademoiselle Chanterelle ($30) - a tribute to the finer things in life, and to PizzaHacker - garlic butter sauteed chanterelle mushrooms, wood roasted king trumpet mushrooms, 150 day cage aged gruyere, homegrown crispy white sage, toasted pine nuts, fresh meyer lemon zest, 18 year white balsamic, alderwood smoked salt crust
Our pizza choice that day was sans meat. This packed rich mushroom flavors and a great cheesiness into one small package. The crusts on these pizzas were thinner style and not too crunchy. Each pizza was approximately 13" inches in diameter and sliced into 8 pieces. Pizza and an appetizer easily satisfied two people's appetites.
Later in the evening, the server brought out a free birthday dessert... tiramisu! This bad boy had an alcoholic appeal to it, due to its concentration of "liquor" in the layers. Is it possible to get drunk on dessert? On the sides were coffee beans that gave extra crunch. We passed this dessert around the table because we're friendly like that.
Mary also picked up this super amazing looking desserts. Since ice cream is one of my favorite desserts, I would love to try it next time!
Tribute Pizza has an open kitchen so you can really see what's going on behind the scenes. They also have 16 beers on tap as well as some wines so you can have a pleasant meal with food and drink. I'm thankful to be able to enjoy a night out with friends and hope to stop by again for more items, if not just more of that dreamy focaccia!
3077 North Park Way
San Diego CA 92104