Tennyson Rd in Hayward is another one of those Bay Area streets with a seemingly endless variety of interesting (and mostly very modest) little restaurants. The strip mall which houses the subject of this post is a good case in point, with a Mexican bakery/deli, a pizzeria and a Szechuan-Chinese restaurant all in a row.
As I have acknowledged previously, being from New Jersey, I have an admittedly narrow and dogmatic view of what “real” pizza is and how it should taste. Consequently (leaving aside Chicago-style pizza restaurants) I’m pretty damn fussy and just don’t do a lot of pizza.
Now, it happened that I was assigned a bank-owned listing in a little neighborhood off Tennyson several years back. The occupants, not content to have stiffed the bank on some hundreds of thousand of dollars borrowed in various re-fi’s, were hanging tough in the property, declining (albeit very politely) all offers of “cash for keys” and refusing to move following the foreclosure. They managed to drag things out for over a year before the eviction finally took place. During that time I had to drive by the property at least once every week to confirm that they were still really there. That was a lot of trips down Tennyson Rd.
During that time I got to sample many of the street’s lunch offerings, since I always tried to go mid-day to avoid the almost inevitable late afternoon and morning traffic jams on 880. It was on one of these outings that I discovered New York Pizza.
The inside of the restaurant is cavernous and it seems like the kitchen area must be quite small, since the dining area doubles as a storeroom. (I guess that the place must mainly do take-out business, since there are never too many people there when I stop in.)
The furnishings are pretty ugly, as is the carpet, and the New York photo murals are showing their age – but the chandeliers do give the place an elegant look.
The important thing, though, is that the pizza’s actually good. The crust is very thin but avoids the crackery consistency you often have to settle for here in CA when you want to avoid the bland bready-ness from which so many West Coast pizzas suffer.
Equally importantly, the pie actually has some real taste to it. The sauce is especially flavorful and reminds me of home (NJ, that is).
The slice (shown here cut in half) has plenty of sausage, which also has a nice flavor.
If there’s a knock on the place. it’s that they sometimes leave your slice in the oven a little too long.
Still, the piece is huge and at $1.99 for cheese or $2.49 for the sausage, you really can’t beat it. One of these slices plus a can of soda and you still are out the door with an excellent lunch under your belt for less than 4 bucks.
Note: There are lots of “New York Pizzas” in the Bay Area, many of them unrelated. The Hayward New York Pizza is part of a small, mainly local chain, with several stores over on the Peninsula. (There’s even a phone number for a Laguna Hills location, but no address.) I have not tried any of them, but, by the look of the web site, (and not surprisingly) the Palo Alto, San Carlos and San Mateo stores might be a little fancier than the Hayward location. They also seem to charge more for the slices – since the on-line menu shows them at $3.99-$4.99.
665 W Tennyson Rd,
Hayward, CA 94544