Babbo Palo Alto, CA
We were in Palo Alto this weekend for a Bar Mitzvah and ended up in our old neighborhood in Palo Alto. Babbo's is a Mediterranean Bistro in the "Farmer's Market" area of the big shopping center, next to Oakville Grocery. If you don't know Silicon Valley, this is upscale.
The oven itself was older, and they said it was site-built about 20 years ago (clearly by an Italian American builder). The oven was nice, but it goes down hill from there. It would take quite a while to outline everything they did wrong.
In nutshell, the oven was very cool, and there was not a good fire burning. They were cooking 5-7+ minute pizzas, and because the floor and dome were out of sync, the bottom of the pizzas were all burned (really burned). We had four and they were all the same. The pizza crew as fun to watch (in a sad way). They had hired basic minimum wage guys, who were trying hard, but didn't have a clue what they were supposed to be doing. They even dropped a couple of pizzas on the floor while we were watching -- and laughed. It was "three stooges meets Pizza Napoletana." When this much goes wrong, it's hard to even think about how well they handled to dough.
Jay, if you are reading this, it's the how not to do it lesson. :o I am always telling people that they can make better pizza at home than the best restaurant in town -- and this confirms it.
On the upside, they did a nice baked chevre in the oven that they put on a green salad. It looked great, though I didn't have it. They also put a nice dish of summer squash in an aluminum pan in the oven, and moved it to the plate when it was done.
I guess this is my "life's too short for bad pizza" experience.
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