Pizza can be a Hatfields vs. McCoys kind of food, with aficionados of the deep-dish and thin-crust versions squaring off in heated arguments over which is better.

For that reason, pizza parlors often pick one version or the other and specialize. Blue Line Pizza, with outposts in Campbell and Burlingame, successfully plays both sides, offering deep-dish and thin-crust pizza on its menu.

Both versions start with the same crust. It crisps up nicely on the outside, has distinct grains of corn meal in it and a sharp crunch when you bite into it. The soft, chewy interior is especially noticeable in the deep-dish version.

Deep dish pizza is a highpoint of the menu at Blue Line Pizza in Campbell and BurlingamePhoto: Jason Bennert
Deep dish pizza is a highpoint of the menu at Blue Line Pizza in Campbell and Burlingame Photo: Jason Bennert

The thin-crust pepperoni pizza ($18.25 for an eight-slice large) had a mild tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese that stretched just enough without pulling off the slice, and a strong Parmesan cheese flavor that worked well with the spicy pepperoni. It came out at just the right temperature -- hot, but not so hot that the first bite burned the roof of your mouth.

The deep-dish meatball pizza ($18.75 for a six-slice small) started with the crust, then a layer of mozzarella, which kept the crust from getting soggy, then spinach, mushrooms, red bell peppers, meatball pieces, the same tomato sauce and dollops of ricotta cheese on top. One small disappointment was the absence of whole meatballs.


Advertisement

If I order a deep-dish meatball pizza, I want to see whole meatballs (in an ideal world, they'd be as big as my head). With Blue Line's version, I had to hunt around for pieces of meatball. Because of the lack of whole meatballs, as well as the prominent spinach and ricotta flavors, I ended up thinking of it as more of an open-faced lasagna on a pizza crust.

The meatball appetizer ($7) was a different story. Here were six spicy meatballs smothered in red sauce and chunks of Roma tomato, then covered in mozzarella cheese with fresh basil sprinkled on top. The flavor of the meatballs was outstanding, with the basil adding just the right accent.

The Caesar salad was another strong item. It had homemade croutons and shaved Parmesan cheese, and each bite-sized piece of lettuce was coated with the perfect amount of garlicky dressing.

At lunch, Blue Line serves personal-sized pizzas and paninis. The very tasty turkey, pesto, bacon and Swiss panini ($7.95) tasted strongly of bacon, pesto and Swiss cheese. The bread was perfectly toasted, giving every bite a satisfying crunch.

Blue Line offers two dessert choices: chocolate decadence brownie wedges and an open-faced gelato sandwich ($5.95 each). I tried the gelato sandwich; while the vanilla bean gelato was very good, the fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie was hard and crumbly. Part of it ended up on the floor when I tried to cut it with my fork.

If you haven't filled up on pizza at Blue Line and are craving something sweet, I would recommend walking down Campbell Avenue for either frozen custard or cupcakes.

Blue Line has a light, airy atmosphere with walls of glass. It attracts a lively crowd at night, but one that's definitely more mature than the early and mid-20s crowd you find at other downtown Campbell establishments. You are much more likely to see a stroller at Blue Line than a sorority sweatshirt.

So if you find yourself in a mixed crowd or relationship, where some of you are thin crusters and others forever deep dish, Blue Line Pizza is a place where you can both go and be satisfied.

Blue Line Pizza

415 E. Campbell Ave.,
Campbell
408-378-2800
1108 Burlingame Ave.,
Burlingame
650-375-1700

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Types of food: Pizzas and paninis
Average meal price: $23
to $25 for a large pizza
Good choices: Pepperoni thin crust pizza, turkey panini, Caesar salad
Not recommended: The open-faced gelato sandwich for dessert
Attitude: Lively and noisy
Amenities: Full bar, a couple of big-screen TVs
Vegetarian options: Vegetarian, vegan and
gluten-free options
Drinks: Pepsi products, plus an extensive selection of beers, both bottled and on tap
Eat in car: Thin crust? Sure. Deep dish? Not so much.
Next-day edibility: Good
Who goes there: Families, plus a slightly older downtown Campbell crowd
Credit cards: All major ones
Parking: A small lot, 10 spaces or so, plus street parking

Restaurant reviews are conducted anonymously. The Mercury News pays for all meals.