Blue Line is not in San Francisco. But, its mothership spot, Little Star, is, and, “San Francisco” often means the San Francisco Bay Area, as we do all tend to bleed out of the city for one reason or another (mine being work, my family/childhood home, and the Redwood City DMV, God bless it). So we come to know the best spots to eat in the outlier towns around the bay, and to be honest, I’m pretty snobby about it, and I really despise wasting a meal on some crappy place (and there are loads of them in the suburbs), and so anyway, I take this shit seriously.
Burlingame is a small, affluent town about thirty minutes of San Francisco. The San Francisco airport is about ten minutes away, so a lot of business travelers come here, thinking they are about to have some great stay in San Francisco, and they end up in some hotel in Burlingame, which is worse than it sounds, because the hotels are isolated from the main drag of the town, Burlingame Ave. Most of the hotels do have shuttles to the avenue, and for a great meal when you get there, y’all have got about four choices. Blue Line is one of them.
Sometimes Jake and I end up being off on a weekday together, and on the peninsula, so we head for Blue Line’s bar. The TV’s always have local sports on (when available), and during lunch, it is really easy to get a seat there. The bartenders are always warm and welcoming, which may sound like a given to most people, but let me tell you, there is some serious bartender ‘tude in San Francisco. I suppose that hasn’t made its way out of the city yet, thank God.
My last visit was with a group, at dinner time. Dinner is more popular, but the space is really huge so getting a table is never much of an issue. They have a large back patio that is a beautiful place to sit on a nice day, and Burlingame has a lot of those. The temperature is usually a good five to ten degrees warmer there than it is in the city.
One thing about the back patio. It’s lousy with kids. There were probably six or seven of them milling around (one them running, not milling, and yelling, not mumbling to himself as I would have preferred), and most of the parents were good with letting them do just that. I suppose some people think that’s adorable, but I just think it’s annoying. Thankfully, this giant martini showed up and took the edge off of my hangry.
I couldn’t get a good photo of our wings, so we’ll skip that but to say, they are spice rubbed wings, not saucy hot wings. They’re good, you just aren’t going to get a tangy Frank’s taste when you eat them.
I loooooove their garlic bread. Really, it’s just a way to eat more pizza, and it should probably just be called “pizza bread,” or perhaps, “deconstructed pizza.” A plate of it is $5 at happy hour and you can just not go wrong with that.
Their marinara, both in the dipping sauce for the garlic bread and on the pizza, is really robust. They go heavy on the tomato paste, which is a delight to me. I am so into that flavor.
We end up ordering their caesar salad a lot too. The dressing is really light and tangy, the croutons have a good, thick crunch, and with some extra anchovy on top, it’s a flavor explosion.
There were seven of us, and we ate every last bite of those pizzas. Our combos were half and half’s. The first was half my usual (and favorite) order, salami with kalamata olive, with the other side topped by their vegetarian combo.
Pizza two was mushroom and meatball on one side, jalapeno and anchovy on the other.
They use cornmeal in their crust; it’s perfectly thin and crisp without being a cracker, and it actually has some flavor as opposed to tasting like a bleached mess. It’s really delicious and it holds the toppings well. There is no sog, even with water dense mushrooms on top.
So, you came to San Francisco for work and you ended up in a hotel in Burlingame. While you should most definitely be getting your ass on that train, San Francisco bound, at some point, all hope is not lost on the peninsula. There are some gems out there, case in point!
Blue Line Pizza http://bluelinepizza.com/
1108 Burlingame Ave (near California Dr) MAP
Sunday – Thursday 11:30am – 10pm
Friday – Saturday 11:30am – 11pm
Happy Hour: 3pm – 6pm on Monday through Friday