Last Friday I found myself at Kapp’s Pizza Bar and Grill, located convenient in downtown Mountain View, California, just down the street from Hotel Avante where I was staying with my dad while in town for my interview at Google. Now, of late I have grown weary of pizza places that mention anything about having either a bar or a grill or contain anything resembling the former within the facility. Kapp’s fails to earn an acception, but the amusing waiter antics made it somewhat memorable, at least. Exhausted from a day full of interviewing — yes it lasted the day over — I had not enough strength to object to anything with the word pizza in it.
I entered the building to find, yes, a bar to my left with quite a few people drinking and watching sports on the television. After a moment an attendant noticed we had established a presence at the front and directed us to a table on the second floor of Kapp’s. On the way we passed by an entrance to a short flight of stairs leading to what seemed to be subfloor seating area, too.
After being seated, we waited several moments for a server to appear. Eventually I became bored and stood up outside the camouflage of the booth to enhance my visibility. Cut into a rectangular notch in the wall, there was room enough for a table and a booth sofa on opposing sides of the table. Finally, someone arrived to take our drink orders. I ordered the usual, a Dr. Pepper. My father had his usual “Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi”, which produces a Pepsi when such an inquiry is made at Kapp’s, being a Pepsi shop.
While waiting, I evaluated the menu. The proclaimed New York style pizza seemed like a winner and I decided on a large cheese, of course. Our waiter delivered our drinks, but was confused as to who asked for what. I found the soda to be moderately acceptable. I’d had worse. Then, we ordered.
After a time, our order was ready. Our waiter, I could see from where I sat looking over my left shoulder, skillfully marched up the stairs to our floor and wandered off to a completely different table with our order before backtracking to our booth. Nice. The pizza was hot, fresh, and was placed on a pizza stand in the middle of the rectangular table. A traditional pie cutter was available for disassembly.
Time to sample. Much to my surprise, the pizza cheese was quite stringy and clingy. It was challenging to separate any individual piece without making a complete mess. Frequently the cheese had a preference to fall off entirely instead of remain as I plucked slices from the pie. How unfortunate. The pizza itself had a very doughy taste. The bread was quite thick for thin crust, New York style pizza. The taste wasn’t especially impressive. The cheese provided the pizza with it’s distinctive flavor, when it remained on the slice. Once the pizza cooled, plucking pieces off the metal tray become quite a chore as the cheese stuck quite insistently to the tray.
After a while, our waiter managed to arrive with our cheque. During the evening he seemed to have gotten lost at least once more while refilling drinks. I am uncertain as to whether he was actually awake. Towards the end of the meal, the large white wall several booths in front of and to the left of me was being used to project a sporting event. The upstairs was rather small, so I am unsure who the intended audience was.
At any rate, it was time to leave. Our waiter returned more rapidly with the completed credit card transaction and we departed, to return to Hotel Avante, where I was to find my father had negotiated a room switch to one that had twin beds, my favorite hotel pillow being available only for king size beds…
Were Kapp’s the only pizza place on Castro street, I might give it a begrudging nod as being acceptable. Unfortunately for Kapp’s, Amici’s is on the same street, but nearer West El Camino Real, and offers a far superior, true New York style pie. I’ll plug Amici’s in the coming days.