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Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite

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Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 19, 2010 01:45PM
The last time I went to Yosemite with the family was back in 2004. Coming up from SoCal, I believe we took the shortest way possible. 5N to 99N through Fresno, 41 through Wawona and then 140 into the park. Somewhere just before entering Yosemite (I want to say in Merced, but not sure?) right off the main road was the most fabulous pizza place. We stopped for a bathroom break and late lunch. It was really the best pizza we've had, I figured it had something to do with the mountain water or something.

Has anybody passed such a memorable pizza restaurant on the way to Yosemite? Do you know the name of this place? I have a picture of the pizza somewhere in my archives, if it helps I will find it and post the picture.

Yes, despite being "just pizza" I've had requests from the other family members that we must stop by this place again when we go up in August. But for the life of me, I can't remember what it's called, or where it was at. I'm hoping if someone else ate there and remembered it being good, I'd have a shot at figuring out where it was.

Thanks!
avatar Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 19, 2010 02:05PM
Could it have been in Oakhurst?
avatar Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 19, 2010 02:18PM
At the gas station at the junction of 120 and 395.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 19, 2010 02:24PM
Musty have been:

Le Rounde Tablae

(similar to Loch Tablae)

Chick-on is looking at you!



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 19, 2010 02:26PM
Seriously... I don't know what I'm more confuse about.
Old Dude trying to steer you to the other side of the park or

"41 through Wawona and then 140 into the park"

(isn't Wawona in the park?)



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 19, 2010 02:32PM
I'm going to guess Pizza Factory. There are legion of them in all the little towns in the foothills, one in Oakhurst on the main drag, one in Mariposa on the corner coming into town right after the 49 merges with 140. Has a little cartoon graphic of a chef - see http://pizzafactory.com/main.html

All of them have REALLY good pizza.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/19/2010 02:34PM by AlmostThere.
avatar Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 19, 2010 02:34PM
Quote
AlmostThere
I'm going to guess Pizza Factory. There are legion of them in all the little towns in the foothills, one in Oakhurst on the main drag, one in Mariposa on the corner coming into town right after the 49 merges with 140.

All of them have REALLY good pizza.

Berry Interesting. One opened in Groveland. Anyone been to that one?
And another note... we have sworn off PJ's due to complete poo coming out of
that restaurant. Anyone been in there and have something good to say?



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 19, 2010 02:55PM
Quote
chick-on
Quote
AlmostThere
I'm going to guess Pizza Factory. There are legion of them in all the little towns in the foothills, one in Oakhurst on the main drag, one in Mariposa on the corner coming into town right after the 49 merges with 140.

All of them have REALLY good pizza.

Berry Interesting. One opened in Groveland. Anyone been to that one?
And another note... we have sworn off PJ's due to complete poo coming out of
that restaurant. Anyone been in there and have something good to say?

Do you mean this one?




We didn't stop there. In the past, we've stopped at the Iron Door Saloon in Groveland, where they serve a delicious bowl of garlic soup.

But I had to take a picture for a friend, who likes to quote a certain fake commercial from Saturday Night Live, with the phrase, "Pizza? Now that's what I call a taco!"

When we were driving through Groveland on the way into the park, I saw the sign but couldn't work the camera quickly enough and we didn't think we had time to turn back just for a photo. Posted to said friend with this comment: "Pizza Pasta Salad Sandwich? Now that's what I call a taco!"
Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 19, 2010 02:57PM
I believe that's a list, not a single menu item. It says Sandwiches. smileys with beer
avatar Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 19, 2010 03:00PM
dats da one

Being what eye am... sorta leery of the word "Factory"

Chick-on is looking at you!



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 27, 2010 01:50PM
Quote
AlmostThere
I'm going to guess Pizza Factory. There are legion of them in all the little towns in the foothills, one in Oakhurst on the main drag, one in Mariposa on the corner coming into town right after the 49 merges with 140. Has a little cartoon graphic of a chef - see http://pizzafactory.com/main.html

All of them have REALLY good pizza.

I remember a few years back I was going solo one Sunday, with a snowshoe walk at Badger Pass in the morning followed by a guided walk in the early afternoon in the Valley. After that I was a bit tired, so I went back to Mariposa and thought I'd have a pizza at the Pizza Factory which I would eat at the Best Western while I watched the Oscars. I was still dressed in the same jacket and waterproof pants I was wearing all day for the snowshoe walk and the guided walk (it was snowing fairly well all day). Then someone noticed me an said hi. It was Ranger Bob Roney (aka Yosemite Bob) who led the guided walk just a couple of hours earlier and was in civilian clothes.

However - for decent pizza near home - I like light crust, light sauce, and a light sprinkling of cheese. I appreciate a good New York style thin-crust that isn't overly salted or sweetened. If you're ever in Berkeley or San Francisco, check out Arinell's Pizza. It's cheap and possibly the closest thing to a true New York style pizza you'll find on the West Coast.
avatar Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 27, 2010 03:55PM
Quote
y_p_w
I appreciate a good New York style thin-crust

Cheese on a cracker and you call that pizza?

Cool Tux
avatar Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 27, 2010 07:36PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
y_p_w
I appreciate a good New York style thin-crust

Cheese on a cracker and you call that pizza?

Cool Tux

Well. Yeah. I've talked to Italians who swear this is about as close as it gets to what they expect from a pizza back home. The typical pizza served in the US has too thick a crust. This is a very good slice of pizza at a very good price.

Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 29, 2010 08:00PM
Unfortunately the best pizza within a hundred miles (as the crow flies) of Yosemite is Shaver Pizza. Not on the way to anywhere but Kaiser Pass, or Courtright Lake. Alas.
Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
August 09, 2010 12:39PM
Arinell's!!! yesyesyesyesyes get a slice and walk down to Casanova and get yerself a beer!!!
avatar Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
August 18, 2010 03:43PM
Quote
y_p_w
I appreciate a good New York style thin-crust that isn't overly salted or sweetened. ... and possibly the closest thing to a true New York style pizza you'll find on the West Coast.


Going off on a bit of a tangent, there is a mini-mall restaurant near a company where I do consulting in City of Industry (L.A. area) that advertises
New York Style Mongolian BBQ.
(I have absolutely no idea what that means and am probably better off not knowing. Possibly those cows that Chick-on found on his last trip, plucked whole from the field, stuffed with Twinkies, and made nice and crispy using a flame-thrower?)
avatar Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
August 18, 2010 07:34PM
It's obvious that those in the City of Industry have no culinary acuity.



Old Dude
Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 19, 2010 03:35PM
Holy smokes you guys ROCK! I believe it IS the Pizza Factory in Oakhurst. Just looked at it on Google Maps and remembered that there was a McDonald's out in front of it, plus the outside patio on the right. I'm going to double check to make sure, I'll upload the picture of our pizza later. I also saw a menu online, and remembered that we had ordered the garlic cheese bread, which was like pizza crust cut up into sticks with garlicky cheese on top. Everybody's gonna think I'm a hero when we go back to Pizza Factory, thanks again.

kk5
Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 19, 2010 03:40PM
If it's across from McDonald's in Oakhurst, it's Pizza Factory. We stop there on the way back from dayhikes in Yosemite most times. The other times, we stop at Todd's BBQ - take your friends/family there too, you will be twice the hero. Excellent pulled pork.
Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 19, 2010 03:53PM
Quote
AlmostThere
If it's across from McDonald's in Oakhurst, it's Pizza Factory. We stop there on the way back from dayhikes in Yosemite most times. The other times, we stop at Todd's BBQ - take your friends/family there too, you will be twice the hero. Excellent pulled pork.

Thanks for the suggestion on Todd's. I'll look that one up. Can't wait for our trip at the end of August now. Believe it or not, my brother-in-laws who went on the trip still talk about this pizza, it was one of those things where we'd been driving for 5 or so hours straight, and had to wait 20 minutes for the pizza to cook but when it came out and we ate it, wow, just wow.

We have never eaten at Curry camp, although I hear that there is pizza there too. Is that pizza any good? Otherwise, since we are staying at housekeeping camp we plan to pick up steaks and burgers and dogs at the supermarket in the village, or the camp store at HKC, to cook over the campfire. My wife is also bringing the rice cooker. I'm bringing beer!

But now I hear that 5 to 99 to 41 to 140 may not be the best way to get into Yosemite. Although 100 miles longer (for us), is the 395 up the backside and around the 120 faster? How can it be faster if it's 100 miles further? Plus, we'll miss Pizza Factory, so I guess we're sticking with the 41.
avatar Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 19, 2010 04:08PM
Quote
kingkong5
But now I hear that 5 to 99 to 41 to 140 may not be the best way to get into Yosemite. Although 100 miles longer (for us), is the 395 up the backside and around the 120 faster? How can it be faster if it's 100 miles further? Plus, we'll miss Pizza Factory, so I guess we're sticking with the 41.



US395 is not faster if you are heading to the valley. Much faster if you are going to the high country.

There are Pizza Factory locations in both Lone Pine and Bishop. We prefer the one in Lone Pine as the Bishop one tends to be a zoo. However, they keep good quality control throughout all the franchise locations and every one that I have ever stopped at was excellent. The Oakhurst location was the original restaurant.

Addendum: There is also one in Three Rivers (outside the S entrance to SEKI).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/19/2010 04:21PM by szalkowski.
Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 19, 2010 06:07PM
I was about to say "where do you plug in a rice cooker" - but not everyone dislikes RVing. grinning smiley

I have not eaten at Curry, we always eat on the way home instead. The patio is always swamped when I've walked by.

395 is not quicker. It may be more scenic, and it may give you lots of scenery as compared to driving through the valley up 99, but you are wanting to be in the valley, not on Tioga or over in Mammoth. But do not look for a 140 turnoff in Oakhurst - you will either continue on 41 through the south gate and Wawona, or turn left at the light (right if you backtrack the fifty feet or so from Pizza Factory winking smiley ) and drive to Mariposa on 49.
Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 19, 2010 06:54PM
Quote
kingkong5
Quote
AlmostThere
If it's across from McDonald's in Oakhurst, it's Pizza Factory. We stop there on the way back from dayhikes in Yosemite most times. The other times, we stop at Todd's BBQ - take your friends/family there too, you will be twice the hero. Excellent pulled pork.

Thanks for the suggestion on Todd's. I'll look that one up. Can't wait for our trip at the end of August now. Believe it or not, my brother-in-laws who went on the trip still talk about this pizza, it was one of those things where we'd been driving for 5 or so hours straight, and had to wait 20 minutes for the pizza to cook but when it came out and we ate it, wow, just wow.

We have never eaten at Curry camp, although I hear that there is pizza there too. Is that pizza any good? Otherwise, since we are staying at housekeeping camp we plan to pick up steaks and burgers and dogs at the supermarket in the village, or the camp store at HKC, to cook over the campfire. My wife is also bringing the rice cooker. I'm bringing beer!

But now I hear that 5 to 99 to 41 to 140 may not be the best way to get into Yosemite. Although 100 miles longer (for us), is the 395 up the backside and around the 120 faster? How can it be faster if it's 100 miles further? Plus, we'll miss Pizza Factory, so I guess we're sticking with the 41.

As someone else said, 395 is not faster to the valley. As far as pizza in Yosemite. Go to the Loft in the Village. Great pizza with a really nice, gourmet style crust. Nice ambiance too, but it can get pretty crowded. Good beers on tap.
Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 20, 2010 07:47AM
The 41 has road construction this year within the park, between Wawona and Glacier Point Road. There are traffic delays (except on weekends as no construction work is being done on the weekends). Sections of the road are currently unpaved, making the drive slower than normal. Someone on another site reported it took them 2 hours to get from Yosemite Valley to Wawona. So you may want to avoid the 41 this year. You could continue on the 99 and enter the park on Highway 140 (and there is a Pizza Factory in Mariposa), or you could drive all the way up the 395 and enter the park on Highway 120 (and there is a Pizza Factory in Lone Pine).
avatar Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 19, 2010 07:04PM
Cretins,
The gourmet pizza restaurant that is on the way to, or from actually, Yosemite is at the junction of 395 and 120 at the Tioga Gas Mart which is in reality just a few hundred feet west of the actual 120/395 junction.
The others referenced are franchise pizzas. I will say no more.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 19, 2010 09:57PM
Quote
mrcondron
Cretins,
The gourmet pizza restaurant that is on the way to, or from actually, Yosemite is at the junction of 395 and 120 at the Tioga Gas Mart which is in reality just a few hundred feet west of the actual 120/395 junction.
The others referenced are franchise pizzas. I will say no more.

This one baffles me... on account I've known you... what 15+ years??...
and the first I hear of this incredible Pizza Palace is a week ago.

Cretin-ly-confused Chick-on is looking at you!

(on a more pizza note... Two Guys Pizza is very good... PJs Pizza was good...
3 pizza joints in Groveland now... wow... )
(Old Priest Station Cafe ... been in there I think 4 times now... every time... top notch food)



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 20, 2010 07:34AM
Quote
chick-on

This one baffles me... on account I've known you... what 15+ years??...
and the first I hear of this incredible Pizza Palace is a week ago.

OD doesn't tell you everything. I didn't know you shot in the seventies until Billy Bob came home sobbing after a round with you.



Old Dude
Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 20, 2010 08:20AM
Quote
mrcondron
Quote
chick-on

This one baffles me... on account I've known you... what 15+ years??...
and the first I hear of this incredible Pizza Palace is a week ago.

OD doesn't tell you everything. I didn't know you shot in the seventies until Billy Bob came home sobbing after a round with you.

I play golf in the seventies too. If it gets much colder than that, I just stay at home! smiling smiley
avatar Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 20, 2010 08:30AM
Kong,
You are now a valued member of this board!!



Old Dude
Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 19, 2010 10:28PM
avatar Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 26, 2010 07:28AM
We stopped in Groveland... Pizza Factory.

It was just OK.

Two Guys Pizza Place in Groveland will get our business for Pizza.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 19, 2010 09:39PM
My friends in Groveland say that the best pizza in town is at Two Guys Pizza. It's on Ferretti Road a short distance
from 120.

Another good place to eat is Priest Station Cafe. Excellent burgers! Just tried it a week ago. Owned and operated
by a local family who restored the place.
Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 20, 2010 06:27AM
BEST is so relative. Personally, I don't think the pizza at the Tioga Mart is anything special. I am not a "gourmet" pizza kinda guy, I guess. Give me a good crust, good sauce and pepperoni and sausage, that's all I need. What makes some pizzas better for me are things like spicy, but not too spicy, sauce and thicker than typical crust that's soft, yet firm. A pizza with a bunch of odd stuff like white sauce, chicken, bbq sauce, hamburger, etc it just not a pizza IMO!

I do like the Pizza Factory. Their slogan is "We toss 'em, they're awesome!"
Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 26, 2010 08:49PM
We enjoy our Pizza Factory in Bishop! Yum...totally awesome. My first taste of the Pizza Factory delights were in Oakhurst (the original?) The best, in my mind, was 2008 in Lone Pine after 28 days on the John Muir Trail...heavenly. But we can always count on our Bishop PF and we can also count on the counter person wrinkling their nose when we order anchovies.

Curry isn't great, but it HAS improved from it's Chuckie Cheese cardboard crust from years past. (I remember the days when you could order a pitcher of beer in Yosemite...sigh.)

Try the fish tacos at the Mobil Mart (Tioga Toomey's) in Lee Vining.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/26/2010 08:51PM by hikerchick395.
avatar Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 26, 2010 09:25PM
Oh yes, the fish tacos. Never found any quite as tasty as the ones from Whoa Nellie. I always look forward to the spring opening of Tioga Road because it means access to the fish tacos again. Got my first fix of the season last weekend.


Also, thanks for the pointers about Priest Station. Looking forward to trying it on our next trip through.
Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 27, 2010 07:32AM
Quote
hikerchick395
(I remember the days when you could order a pitcher of beer in Yosemite...sigh.)

.
I only drink by the glass, but I am pretty sure you can get a pitcher at the Loft in the Village. They have better pizza than Curry also.
avatar Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 27, 2010 12:52PM
+1 vote for the pizza at the loft

nice environment also with the windows and the fireplace ( even if it's not lit )
Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 27, 2010 05:17PM
Pizza at Degnan's loft is good enough for me. Especially after a long day hiking.
avatar Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 29, 2010 09:29PM
You can order food at the bar near the Lodge as well. When we were Glamping back in Feb, we ate there almost every night. Many of the entrees are prepared at the fancy smancy restaurant next door, and delivered hot and delicious. But even the smaller pub grub plates were quite delicious.
Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
July 31, 2010 07:49PM
Wow. I had a fortuitous meal at Pizza Factory too. I thought it might have been the fact that I had been hiking for three days. Shoe leather would have tasted good at that point. But I see that others liked it too. The place doesn't look like much from the road so I was pleasantly surprised.
Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
August 09, 2010 07:52PM
We stopped at Pizza Factory in Groveland on the way back from Yosemite. I am in trouble now. I've been successfully trying to stay away from pizza but this one wrecked my efforts. Another option would be not to go to Yosemite again...no, stop, enough! can't do that and I don't think I'll be able to say no to that pizza either. Maybe longer hikes will solve the bulge problem.
Re: Best pizza ever, on the way to Yosemite
August 18, 2010 06:08PM
Holy cow...seriously, had the best pizza ever! Maybe someone complained about scrimping on toppings, but at the Pizza Factory in Bishop Sunday the 8th, we seemed to have double the amount of toppings! Had lunch, then packed up 6 pieces for our first night's backpacking dinner in Sabrina Basin the next night (we were considering a samich from Subway.) One of our best backcountry dinners! Yum. Anchovies, mushrooms and garlic.
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