Bowzer’s Pizza

Note: As of 6/11/2010, Bowzer’s Pizza appears to be closed, to be replaced by a Papa John’s.

2222 Shattuck Ave (Berkeley)


Bowzer's Pizza slice

The super cheesy Bowzer's slice

In Berkeley, even the homeless have canine companions.  If there were ever a list of best places to open a dog-themed pizzeria, Berkeley would surely rank among the top.

Bowzer’s pizza – an easily-missed aside on Shattuck Ave. – fills just that niche.   The inside has the feel of a lower-grade Italian restaurant, not the hole-in-the-wall pizza joint that its exterior and pit bull logo implies.  Actually, the dog-related flair is restricted to one wall, where you’ll find a ‘Dog of Fame’ with pictures of famous canines from Lassi to Family Guy’s Bryan.

On to the pizza.  It’s not very good.

The crust itself is not bad – an interesting medium ground between crispy and foldable.  It’s nothing to write home about, but the dough has a pleasant sweetness to it.

The sauce is meek, overpowered by the cheese and dough.  This is largely because there isn’t enough of it, but I suspect it also doesn’t have much flavor.

The cheese is like when you were a kid making homemade pizza and mom looked away and you decided that this was going to be the cheesiest pizza ever.  Viewed in profile, the cheese on a Bowzer’s slice easily consumes 2/3 of its thickness.  Worse – it’s not particularly good cheese.  It tastes like the stuff they put in frozen pizza.  And because it dominates the slice, it’s basically all you taste.

The atmosphere in the place is not bad – the guy behind the counter was friendly, and the mood is warm.  That is, if you can ignore the stern signs prohibiting refills, free water, loitering, and using the restroom by non-customers.  Finally, the price point is very reasonable – when I stopped in 2 slices and a soda were $5.50.

Overall: Despite a pleasant crust, the overabundance of bad cheese and the lack of a robust sauce to balance it out makes this a slice you can miss.

Verdict: Skip it.

Published in: on June 7, 2010 at 10:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

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