December 22, 2004
Together with brother Sean, Barry opened Premier Pizza in 1990 at the River Oaks Parkway Plaza in San Jose, with a second branch at Santa Clara’s Rivermark Plaza opening last year. Because much of Premier’s business is delivered to its corporate clientele, the dining rooms are snug. Bench tables lend a picnic ambience.
If you enter one of Premier’s two eateries unsure if you’re in the mood for pizza, the strong smells of roasted garlic and tomatoes practically grab you by the chops and force you into a chair. Sauces are made fresh each morning. Premier selection of toppings is more gourmet than your average pizza joint, with artichoke hearts, pesto sauce, and applewood-smoked bacon. Vegetables are fresh, and cheese is 100% Wisconsin. But the genius lies in the crust. Hand-tossed, then baked in a rotating convection oven for more even browning, Premier’s crust is thick without being doughy and crisp without being crunchy. Ten minutes from placing your order, you’ll have yourself a Frisbee that you’ll want to hoard, not toss.
I’m a big fan of DIY, but if you’re at Premier, trust their tried-and-true Pizza Combinations. There are 16 to choose from, the most popular being the Creamy Garlic Chicken. This house special features sweet bell peppers, mesquite-grilled chicken, and roasted garlic, all covered with a creamy garlic sauce and a layer of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. My favorite is The Cowboy, rounding up mesquite grilled chicken, sweet barbecue sauce, red onions, and bell peppers. If you don’t like tomato sauce, several pizzas have pesto groundwork instead, like the Doc O’, which sports olives, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese.
The Classic is European-style with its thin crust and Roma tomatoes. Premier also offers a Cheeseless Pizza that is so crowded with veggies (mushrooms, green bell peppers, sweet onions, black olives, zucchini, marinated artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and roasted garlic) that you won’t even notice who stole your cheese. Toppings here are well-proportioned and ample, meaning you’ll rarely get a bite of just crust. But even if you do, that’s okay, as the crust is the raison d’être here anyhow.
From journal Restaurants in Silicon Valley