We at the Clog recently stopped in at BUILD Pizzeria for their newest offering: lunch! The 18-month-old pizzeria on the corner of Shattuck Avenue and Bancroft Way is now serving a $7.95 lunch pizza special. After queries from the general business community, David Shapiro and Lisa Holt, BUILD’s owners, decided to open the “Building Department” for an informal self-serve lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. This new atmosphere contrasts with the fancier, full-menu dinner that BUILD serves from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Lunches include 10-inch personal pizzas with unlimited toppings for $7.95 and $1 fountain drinks as opposed to the $9 11-inch base for dinner with $1 to $2 toppings.
Co-owner Holt claims that, depending on the toppings, a customer could have his or her personal pizza completed within 10 minutes. Holt recommends choosing three to four toppings for the best result. “That’s the perfect mix, where you get the best flavor combinations,” Holt said. “When you start to put six to seven toppings on the pizza, you don’t taste anything anymore. … The simplest pizzas are the best.”
According to Holt, Americans have the reputation of being “menu busters”: They want the salad but don’t like lettuce or want the wonton soup without the wontons. BUILD flips this trend on its head by offering individuals the opportunity to create their own personal pizzas. And if you don’t like pizza, there are four healthy green salads and a build-your-own-pasta option. There are also gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian menu choices as well.
We sampled the top-three BUILD lunch pizzas to get a better sense of the menu.
1. Classic Margherita Pizza with wood-fired mushrooms
This “simple but perfect” pizza, as Holt describes it, starts out with classic Roman pizza dough and Italian red sauce. This brilliant sauce was made with San Marzano tomatoes, a little olive oil and salt. It is then paired with hand-pulled mozzarella, four leaves of basil and oil. They add wood-fired mushrooms, adding an earthy and nutty flavor to the pizza. Lastly, it is topped with Calabrian oregano, which adds a little “brightness” to the bite.
2. Classic American Pizza
Similar to the Classic Margherita, the red sauce on the Classic American Pizza is topped with shredded mozzarella. This pizza is topped with nitrate-free pepperoni, which is imported from Oakland and specifically made for BUILD. The spice of the pepperoni is paired with the earthiness of the wood-fired mushrooms and the “sparkle” and touch of vinegar of the brined black olives. About 20 of these pies are ordered every day.
3. BBQ Chicken Pizza with Pineapple
This “crowd pleaser’s” dough is topped with the in-house BBQ sauce that includes Calabrian chili pepper oil. It is also topped with “juicy and tender” poached sous-vide chicken. You can ask for shredded mozzarella and some paper-thin slices of red onion. It is usually then garnished with fresh cilantro.
Besides the lunch special, BUILD is also introducing a holiday happy hour in December and has hosted various sorority events as well as the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business’ MBA Halloween party. They also hold Instagram contests in which they will name a pizza after you!
To learn about more fun events, check out their Facebook page.
Contact Daniella Wenger at [email protected].