#84 Arinell: Cheese Slice

The Place:

Arinell fits the mold of most pizza places that specialize in takeout.  It’s small, with most of the space actually behind the counter where the ovens and fridges are.  It’s cash only and the signage is hand written or crudely drawn.  The workers are sullen looking, covered in flour and probably ridiculously stoned.  They move with that dragging shuffle that comes from having to deal with drunken people late into the night for little money.  Having said all this, we don’t personally think this is a negative.  This is just what you get when you go get takeout pizza, and really the only thing that matters is the pizza itself.  There is a heavy metal / punk rock theme to the employees (and the music) though, and it adds a little bit of fun atmosphere to the joint.

The Dish:

Though Arinell isn’t the type of place that gives you lofty expectations,  it does have a decent piece of pizza.  We’ve heard that a lot of New York pizza fans enjoy Arinell and feel it’s the closest thing to home in SF.  The crust has a good crunch to it and is almost flakey.  They cook it just right so there’s a little bit of char as well.  The cheese isn’t too thick or too thin, and there’s no threat of it all sliding off in one piece like some gooey blanket.  The tomato sauce has a nice hint of oregano that’s not usually found in take-away pizza shops.  Lastly, though there is grease, this slice isn’t going to require fifteen napkins to eat like some we’ve experienced.

The Verdict:

Hey, not too shabby.  I mean, the slice won’t blow your mind, but it’s cheap, it’s quick and it tastes good.  The staff is surly, but that didn’t really bother us.  They stay open late which is always nice when you’re looking to soak up some alcohol after going out.  It being cash only is one knock against it, but all in all, not a bad deal.

Dig In,

A & K

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