Walking into The Forge, the newly opened pizza-joint-cum-fire-pit-destination in Oakland's Jack London Square, my first thought is, "I could really hang out in this place." The bright, reclaimed warehouse space is filled with early evening light; friends are gathered around tables with beers in hand. The setting sun even glints off the cluster of sailboats tethered just a stone's throw from the restaurant's outdoor patio.
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Newly re-developed Jack London Square will be home to a wood-fired pizzeria called The Forge come 2013, and they're bringing The PizzaHacker on board for pizza R&D.
Though pop-up food vendors have become the norm around San Francisco, watching The PizzaHacker (aka Jeff Krupman) cook up street-corner pizzas in the wood-fired oven he fashioned from a Weber grill is something else entirely. On a typical PizzaHacker outing, Krupman has the oven burning between 800 and 900 degrees and turns out pies in under two minutes.
He appears in the evenings on the streets of San Francisco, mostly in the city's Mission District, with a heavily modified Weber kettle grill in tow. Into his "FrankenWeber" goes wood, though, not charcoal. And instead of burgers or hot dogs, the dish that Pizza Hacker cooks is, obviously, pizza. And while this scene sounds like it could veer toward "gimmick," it is anything but. Pizzahacker is the real deal, as this Q&A with him reveals. Get to know him and his craft!
I've been sleeping on this story for a while, and for that I must apologize to you, dear reader, and to the Pizza Hacker, a pizza street vendor who I've known about for a couple months but haven't yet blogged about. The Pizza Hacker, based in San Francisco, uses a modified 22.5-inch Weber kettle grill that he's fitted with fire bricks. To mimic a traditional pizza oven, whose shape is ideal for cooking a pizza, he used the original lid to mold an oven dome from refractory cement and perlite. Pizza Hacker shows up at various locations throughout SF...