AL PACINO CAFE 542 E. Belvedere Ave., in the Belvedere Market. Hours: 11 a.m. 11 p.m. every day. Call 323-7060 If you've had it with extra cheese and pepperoni, you might want to make Al Pacino's Cafe your next stop for pizza. The combinations number at least 30; many of them are exotic -- by most carryouts' standards -- with names to match.
Al Pacino's Cafe has three locations, but the newest is just off York Road in Belvedere Square. The cafe is small and friendly, a good place to stop with the kids. The pizzas, sandwiches and platters are available for carryout, but the pastas you have to eat in.
Al Pacino's features "Egyptian Pizza," made with very thin crust in a wood-burning brick oven. The thinness of the crust lets the toppings stand out. And what toppings they are: smoked salmon, clams, squid, shrimp, pine nuts and pineapple, among them.
One size -- 10-inch -- fits all appetites here. We had three pizzas for four people. The youngsters chose the Margherita ($5.95), the simplest of the lot with Italian tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh basil. It disappeared quickly. The Monzese ($6.95), too, was fairly traditional with a good, homemade sausage and an exceptional pepperoni on top, along with the tomatoes and a little cheese. It, however, lacked seasoning.
The Four Seasons ($6.95) was a spectacular combination of fresh vegetables atop the cheese: Spinach, artichoke hearts, broccoli and mushrooms each filled a quarter of the pizza. The crunchy vegetables meshed with the mozzarella beautifully.