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By Anita Felicelli

Blue Line Pizza?yay or nay?

Uploaded: Sep 14, 2013

Blue Line is a train that runs 19.5 miles between O'Hare Airport and downtown Chicago. It is also the name of a great deep-dish pizza place on Castro Street in Mountain View. This is the third location of Blue Line Pizza, which was founded by a cofounder of Little Star, the notable gourmet pizza restaurant in San Francisco.

I've been to Blue Line twice now. Both times, it was for lunch and both times, the interior seating area was surprisingly empty, though there were many groups eating outside on the patio. There are two televisions at the back of the restaurant by the bar area. One long wall is decorated with a mural, the other with geometric wooden sculptures.

The star of the menu is undoubtedly the house special?Blue Line, a deep dish pizza with a crispy cornmeal crust and a filling of blended spinach, ricotta, mushrooms, onions and garlic, topped with intensely flavorful chopped tomatoes. The proportions were perfect. Neither I nor my husband (a Chicagoan) have had deep dish pizza in California we enjoyed more. Our friend noted his preference for Patxi's in Palo Alto.

Unlike nearby Patxi's, Blue Line's pizza isn't as heavy as you might expect from Chicago deep dish style pizza?we didn't walk away from either lunch feeling like lead had settled to the bottom of our stomachs. Where Patxi's has a decadent amount of cheese and a soft squishy bottom crust, Blue Line has a deeper tomato flavor, less cheese and a light crust. The flavors and textures are in great proportion.

If a healthy deep dish pizza exists, it would be either the Blue Line or the Vegetarian deep dish pizza, which we tried on our next visit. The latter is topped with roasted zucchini, onions, red bell peppers, kalamata olives, and mushrooms. Unlike most pizza places where a vegetarian pizza has a single layer of limp veggies, there's real care taken with the Vegetarian deep dish. The pizza appears to be stuffed with fresh vegetables and the end result is delicious.

We also tried the thin crust Greek pizza, notable for its whole roasted garlic cloves, but also topped with spinach, feta, sundried tomatoes and kalamata olives. I couldn't really taste the feta, but like the deep dish, it had excellent proportions, nonetheless. The mixed salad was very flavorful. It was just a touch over-dressed, but otherwise a perfectly put together blend of mixed greens, red bell peppers, red onions, cherry tomatoes, gorgonzola cheese, walnuts.

I'm sad to say that the only dish that was not five-star was the large apple caramel bread pudding. The bread pudding itself was passable?soft chunks of bread and apple that fell away from each other at the touch of a fork?but the vanilla gelato was sticky and hard with freezer burn. Don't let this minor issue with the dessert deter you. The pizza is some of the best I've had in Silicon Valley and deserves greater popularity.