Bites Nearby: Santee's Pizza Is Now Open

Gourmet N.Y. pizza at a decent price.

Last month Santee , but now the city has gained a namesake New York pizzeria. opened its doors to customers for the first time on Friday.

The pies are cooked to the traditional New York standard in a brick oven with recipes straight from Big Apple. The owner, Larry, said he managed to get the secrets to the perfect pie from his friend who owns a pizza shop in Brooklyn.

I decided to try a slice of pepperoni and jalapeño and a slice of ricotta, pesto and tomato, and they threw in a drink for $5.50.

The pizza is downright delicious, with crispy crust on the outside and warm soft dough on the inside, a tricky textural combination for thin crust! There is just enough tomato sauce, that has a slight spicy bite, no need for red pepper.

The pizza is cooked just right so that the pepperoni isn't too crispy and the jalapeños are still juicy. I especially enjoyed the ricotta slice, the pesto doesn't replace the red sauce, but is dolloped on like any other topping. Even the tomato slice toppings, which at many pizzerias turn out to be some overlooked hot house tomatoes with no taste, are worth writing about.

Since the shop is so new, the ambiance and decor is still settling in, but it has definitely found a niche. Customers were already coming in and out at a good pace when I ate there just past the lunch rush.

Having tried just up the way on Carlton Hills (not to be confused with even farther up Carlton Hills), the only other N.Y. style pizza in town, I have to say I prefer Santee's Pizza, but will have to do a proper comparison of the two in another "Bites Nearby."

Kelli April 08, 2011 at 11:45 PM
The owners name is Larry
Peter Anderson April 09, 2011 at 07:47 AM
They're going to have to deliver if they are going to make it. That's the only way they have a shot. I think that's why Jimano's didn't make it. Delivery won't guarantee success though either. We didn't have a Domino's for 3 years and Fox's Pizza Den is the 4th or 5th place we've had in that spot in the 12 years I've lived in Santee. I hope Fox's stays longer than the others.
JT April 09, 2011 at 10:22 PM
Just went there today (Saturday) and thought it was great! My wife and I have been going to Bronx Pizza in Mission Hills for the last six years, and there is finally some great NY-style pizza in Santee! Best of luck to Santee's Pizza, and you now have a regular customer!
Boriqua April 10, 2011 at 02:38 AM
JT--ditto!! We are also frequent diners of Bronx Pizza, but tried Santee for the first time tonight and it was awesome!! I actually have a child who doesn't like pizza, but we ordered the pie (NY lingo) with light sauce and he went back for seconds!! We will definitely be back.
Jay April 11, 2011 at 02:38 AM
Colleen April 11, 2011 at 03:22 PM
We went on Friday night and I was disappointed. It looked like they opened before they were ready. They only accept cash (who carries cash anymore??) and my husband and I wanted to try a couple of slices. There were only 4 pizzas sitting up there for slices and they all looked overcooked, old and well, kinda sad. It was 7pm on a Friday night. It did not feel like they were ready for business. We stood in there behind a family and it looked like it was going to be a long while before they even got them done ordering and settled. We will try it at some point I guess, but we will wait until it looks like they are ready for business.
RH April 12, 2011 at 12:52 AM
I think that the people who carry cash probably have low debt to income ratio. They are ready for business. Perhaps people are too much in a hurry and are used to the 'instant' Home Town Buffet style eating but if you bought a new pizza instead of grabbing the ones already cooked, the experience might have been different. Keep that open mind going, though.
Amy April 12, 2011 at 02:26 AM
Super Yummy! I would recommend to EVERYONE! You will not be disappointed! Check it out...
Patty Mason April 12, 2011 at 07:57 PM
Just had lunch there today. We plan on being regular customers. The pizza was great!
Gabriel J. Pina April 14, 2011 at 04:42 AM
Finally able to get over there and to try it out for myself. Called in my order while I was getting off the 125 and got there as he was getting it out of the oven. Very good pizza, 2 silces filled me up. Will be back again.
Tiffany Parker April 14, 2011 at 03:08 PM
The pizza was very good!!! I hope that we all can support our local businesses. The owner is super nice and I will for sure be back to eat there again!!! Good luck Santee Pizza!!
Genny April 15, 2011 at 09:15 PM
Where is it located? Address please.
Steven Bartholow (Editor) April 15, 2011 at 09:41 PM
Click the link in the restaurant name to get to the business directory with all sorts of info, including address, or scroll over the map icon and an address pops up. Thanks for reading!
Tammy April 16, 2011 at 05:21 AM
It is next to the library on Carlton Hills
ira levine May 06, 2011 at 09:29 PM
What's this place? http://www.dinersnation.com/restaurant-4434/Hungry_Howie_s_Pizza/Santee/CA Same address
Alexander May 21, 2011 at 04:07 PM
My girlfriend and I are also tremendous fans of Bronx Pizza. We will be making our first trip over to Santee Pizza this afternoon and really looking forward to it....stay tuned for my follow up!.....
Alexander May 25, 2011 at 06:05 PM
First off I have to say the Owner's, Larry and Kathy are very nice people. We ordered a Pepperoni & Garlic Pie (Which we order from Bronx) to make an realistic comparison, we were not dissappointed whatsoever. I highly recommend this new Pizza joint! We're looking forward to trying some of their Pizza Specials. They DO NOT need to offer Delivery to be successful, the quality of pizza they offer should be enough to assure success. C'mon Santee, get off your backsides, step away from your computers and take a short drive over there and taste the evidence yourself. It doesn't have to be made by Papa John's Pizza Hut, covered in Dominos, served on a Round Table and delivered by Little Ceasar to be enjoyable! Santee's Pizza is Fantastic!


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