“Cheeseboard is too f**king far,” seems like a common mantra for Southside UC Berkeley students who just want a slice of that amazing vegetarian pizza that makes you forget it’s vegetarian and then have to resort to Fat Slice or something. And I don’t think it’s a matter of laziness here, but seriously, sometimes it’s just not worth going all the way to Downtown Berkeley for pizza when we’re so busy with doing schoolwork, procrastinating, being on the fringes of frat-boy alcoholism and reading the “Interest” sections of our current crushes on Facebook.
So, what’s your reaction when I say that since you won’t lug your butt to Cheeseboard, the essence and glory of Cheeseboard brought itself to you? I’m not even kidding. I think it’s time to welcome and try out a new pizzeria that has already stirred up a growing presence in Berkeley, and that popular baby is Sliver Pizzeria on Center Street.
Sliver is literally as if Cheeseboard popped out a kid, or if it learned it had a long-lost brother, because they are nearly identical in concept and pizza quality. Only one flavor sold per day. Delicious. Vegetarian. Creative mishmash of ingredients. Culinarily orgasmic. And it’s no coincidence. Sliver was founded by three Cheeseboard Collective alumni: Guillermo Willy Perez, Artemio Maldonado and Dwight Ferron. And wow, can we taste the twin factor.
The Clog visited Sliver on a day where the pizza being served had Romanitas tomatoes, red onion, mozzarella cheese, Bulgarian feta, lemon zest, lemon juice, cilantro and garlic olive oil. Now imagine Emma Stone’s face in “Easy A” when the plate of lobster is set before her as she moans, “Yuuuuum!” plus flared nostrils. We had a similar sort of reaction. The thin crust was simultaneously chewy and crispy. The combination of Bulgarian feta and mozzarella cheeses resulted in a rich taste similar to goat cheese — and thus, incredible. And the lemon juice was undeniably a strong presence in the food, even more emphasized when the slice of pizza was generously drizzled with Sliver’s special serrano hot sauce. Just a heads up, this sauce that resembles pesto is 1) divine, 2) necessary for fully experiencing Sliver and 3) not spicy at all but rather zingy and unforgettable. Plus, Sliver promotes local Bay Area artists, so we experienced glorious jazz music over shouting matches with friends for basic communication as we stuffed ourselves.
As for the ambiance — two thumbs up. Its warm and soft interior makes Sliver seem like it has been around Berkeley for years. Live music, we mentioned that. More seating areas — cushy booths and cozy huddles of tables and chairs — in comparison to Cheeseboard. A full-on bar (oh you eager alcoholics you, sit back down). And oh wait, did I mention NO LINE? Well, for now we can appreciate no lines as Sliver basks in its temporary status as the hipster version of its mainstream twin. Speaking of hipster … Sliver is also superbly philanthropic. A percentage of their profits are directed to organizations involved in the battle against human trafficking.
So yeah, if you haven’t gone to Sliver yet or are not convinced that it’s worthwhile going to ASAP, then it is obviously your fault for not reading this post thoroughly. No one can tell us Cloggers, the excessive consumers of excellent food, that heavenly pizza nearly identical to Cheeseboard — but now located right next to campus — is not worth checking out. Trust us, it’s good! One last word of advice: Check out Sliver for your Sunday Superbowl. $5 Bloody Marys, $2 Pabst, and the game blasting on three flat-screen TVs as you inhale a pizza slice for every worthwhile set of yards completed by the 49ers.
Image source: Eunice Choi, The Daily Californian