Chad Deal 6:58 p.m., May 21
From outside, Urbn Coal Fired Pizza/Bar, at 3085 University Avenue, looks like the latest entry on the list of "huge warehouses turned into trendy bar/pizza places".
It has a big fan, lots of different seating options, and some clever touches, like the toolbox/bus station.
Don't expect any ladies night "martini menu" though. I suspect that if I had ordered a martini here, they would have made me one without first asking "Will that be gin or vodka?" Which would have delighted me.
Anyway, they take their libations here seriously enough to have a "drink program". I'm not sure what that is, but I do appreciate a well-made classic cocktail. And, judging from the number of infusion-filled squirt bottles in the fridge, I'm not alone.
Today I'm here for pizza, though, and really prefer beer with it. We get a couple and order an eggplant parmesan pizza ($16 for a small).
Dogfish Head Chicory Stout ($6), Ballast Point Sculpin American IPA ($7)
I've seen the trend of serving food on aluminum quarter-sheet pans elsewhere, but this baby's on a half-sheet pan. It's pretty doggone big.
It's got a bubbly, crispy-brown crust, not a bit doughy or bready. On top is a flavorful, homemade red sauce and lots of freshly fried, crunchy, herb-breaded slices of eggplant. Some have been topped with fresh mozzarella, others have been left naked to further brown and crunchify in the oven. Large, fresh basil leaves have a shower of grated parmesan over them. The heat from the pizza warms them just enough to release their aroma. On the side, there's small bowls of more parmesan, oregano, red pepper flakes, black pepper and coarse salt. It's so enjoyable that the two of us eat the whole pie.
Urbn Coal Fired Pizza/Bar also has a location in Vista.
3085 University Avenue
San Diego, CA 92104
Sunday: noon to midnight
Monday to Tuesday: 4:00 p.m. to midnight
Wednesday: noon to midnight
Thursday to Saturday: noon to 2:00 a.m.