This pizza place and pub on San Pablo in Berkeley is a cute spot for a good slice of authentic New York pizza (or so they tell me) and a fancy glass of beer. It’s neat because you can actually order just a slice of pizza for yourself, and it doesn’t have to be one of the ones sitting out already made. You can order any slice you want and they’ll make it fresh!
They have a few combos (which don’t seem to be listed on their relatively limited website), one of which is a salad and slice combo. One slice of one topping pizza and a side salad was around $8 and was pretty good. You have to like NY Style pizza, which I have mixed feelings about*, but I think it was good for what it was.
The salad was pretty standard, but they do offer home-made dressing which gets bonus points. I’m not actually sure why every restaurant doesn’t do this; it seems so easy and is so much better than pre-made dressings. I digress. I had a slice of their “herbivore” pizza: mushrooms, spinach, olives, and onions. It was pretty good but didn’t really have a “wow” factor. I’d have it again though. And with the salad, I didn’t feel all “ugh” afterward which can happen with some pizza meals.
Friend #1 had Gorgonzola on her pizza and I found myself having major pizza envy. Friend #2 had one slice of a meaty pizza and one slice of a cheesy pizza–both of which looked pretty good. We also ordered the breadsticks which I thought were sub-par save the excellent blue cheese dressing they came with to dip in. My friends thoroughly enjoy the wide selection and relatively cheap price of the beer there, so that’s a draw for lots of folks as well, though it’s not something I’m particularly interested in.
Additionally, the restaurant features art from local artists on the long walls of the main space. The bartender lady who apparently is also part-owner or something asked me if I have a photography exhibit I’d like to display after she saw me taking pictures. Actually, she asked me if I was a photographer, to which I was reluctant to answer affirmatively…I was thinking, “sure, if you don’t need any good photos”. Regardless, she was nice and took my and my friend’s email address (he actually is an artist) and said they’d be looking for new exhibits for next year starting in the fall. Neat!
Overall, I thought Lanesplitter was pretty average, but I liked the atmosphere, the food was pretty good, the bartender was nice, and the company was good. I would return with no hesitation.
*NY pizza seems to be the thin kind that isn’t piled extremely densely with toppings. While I do like thin crust, I do like way too much cheese, as discussed previously on many occasions. So, while I like NY style pizza, I often wish they had covered it more thoroughly with the toppings of my choice.