ALBANY, Calif. -- Extensive research went into the prepared food offerings at the remodeled San Francisco unit of Andronico's Park
"It took seven months of trial and error to make a prebaked crust that makes a great pizza," said Dan Strongin, corporate chef and director of deli operations for the five-unit independent based here. "If it works here, we'll put it in our other stores. It's doing well so far," he said of the retailer's first pizza program.
The store, which had its grand opening last month after a year of construction, offers five varieties of pizza, including a Southwestern pizza made with turkey sausage from New Mexico. Customers can purchase hot pizza whole for $6.99 to $9.99, depending on the variety, or by the slice for $1.75 to $2.29. Pizzas can also be purchased ready to cook at home. The pasta bar features cold fresh pasta cut to order or six different hot pasta dishes -- like angel hair pasta with anchovies and pine nuts or fettuccine carbonara -- ranging from $3.99 to $5.99 per serving.
While one other Andronico's unit has a Chinese kitchen, the remodeled store has an expanded menu of hot Chinese food. Up to 20 items are offered at any given time, including 10 different stir-fries prepared in a large wok behind glass and in full view of customers. Stir-fries are $2.99 a half pint, $5.99 a pint or $10.99 a quart.
Nine feet of cases are devoted to chicken prepared in the store's rotisserie. Varieties include a western barbecued chicken with Andronico's own sauce made with coffee, spit-roasted jerk chicken and a signature spit-roasted chicken made with lemon, garlic, oregano and extra-virgin olive oil.
Customers can take their purchases from the prepared foods counters or delicatessen and eat them in the store's cafe. They must purchase them, however, through the regular checkstands -- not at the counter. "It is our standard not to have service personnel handle money because of sanitation," Strongin said.