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A 'Sliver' of happiness

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JANUARY 24, 2013

The other day I ran into my close friend Anya, whom I’m eager to see outside the confines of the Daily Cal office (where we both practically lived last semester). But where to meet up?

Somewhere with food, obviously.

Anya insists on The Cheese Board Collective. But does she know about (wait for it…) Secret Cheese Board?!

I didn’t stutter. Currently in Berkeley, there exists a pizza place operated by three Cheese Board veterans — but with plenty of indoor seating and without the ridiculous line.

You’re freaking out. You’re already pulling out your phone to search for the name and address of this heavenly new restaurant.

It’s called Sliver, and it’s located near Shattuck Avenue and Center Street. You know, over near the Ben and Jerry’s and that Top Dog outpost that most people forget about? Yes, there.

Last week I ordered pizza from Sliver twice in the span of four days.

The first time I was with friends, and we all decided we wanted Cheese Board before someone mentioned this new, mysterious competitor. It too offered one pizza option each day, and it too seemed to specialize in creative, artisan flavors. We looked up the pizza of the day — potato slivers with mozzarella. Simple and yet so freaking delectable. We devoured two pizzas with no regrets.

The concept of this place is simple enough: deliver delicious Cheese Board pizzas to the masses much, much closer to campus. But here’s the catch, and bear with me because this is a radical concept: It’s better than Cheese Board.

Exhibit A: No lines.
Both times I went to Sliver, I did not have to wait in line. I don’t even know if that is a possibility with Cheese Board. Surely even if you go right when they open, there must be people camped out from the night before? But at Sliver, you can walk right up to the register — which is actually just an iPad — and place your order.
Bonus points: Your order will even include those extra smaller slices placed on top of the full pizza, just like at the other place. And don’t worry, Sliver still has that green sort-of hot sauce. So far, so similar.

Exhibit B: Ambiance.
Sliver has atmosphere on lock. The first time I ventured there, the place had booked a three-piece band to play oldies generally reserved for Nora Ephron rom-coms.

There’s also a bar in the corner, toward which the nice and eager-to-please employees practically pushed us during happy hour. The decor is pretty standard for a new restaurant (read: trendy, modern, a red-and-dark-brown color scheme), but it’s much roomier than Cheese Board. It’s almost like Sliver is trying to establish itself as the cool younger sibling to the stalwart establishment that is Cheese Board.

Plus, Sliver isn’t just good— it’s also doing good for the community. The owners plan to donate a portion of the profits to organizations that fight human trafficking.

Exhibit C: Sometimes Sliver puts avocado on its pizzas.

The second time I went to Sliver, I was once again hit by a smorgasbord of flavor. Sliver really is essentially like Cheese Board in that respect. The pizzas don’t have sauce, and the ingredients are so varied as to create pizzas with deep flavors and textures. However, what really sold this joint’s superiority for me was the fact that this pizza had avocado. Who doesn’t love avocado? It’s like nature’s butter.

I know I’ve done something simultaneously philanthropic and awful by informing the general public of this new development. After all, who am I to keep this secret to myself? Something this wonderful should be shared.

But I’ll be damned if I’m reluctant to give up the fact that I’ve never had to wait in line. A place this good won’t stay underground for long.

Contact Annie Gerlach at [email protected].

JANUARY 25, 2013

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