wynola pizza & bistro / julian, ca
A couple of weeks ago, Jake and I were on a quest to find some snow for his youngest son who really, really, really wanted to play in the snow and make snow angels. This was that weekend we had the warmer Santa Ana-like weather. Our hopes weren’t very high, but we did manage to find a few patches here and there… but sadly, not enough to make snow angels.
Just barely enough snow to toss a couple of snowballs at Dad (can you see if flying)!
Before we got into town though, we had to make the pilgrimage to Dudley’s for bread and we stopped for lunch at Wynola Pizza & Bistro. It’s on that little stretch up the mountain from Dudley’s, just a couple of miles from town. This is the big red barn looking place.
Pizza seemed like a good idea and after deciding on some menu items between myself, Jake and Laura, we placed our order and went in search for some seating.
You can see their wood fired oven right up at the front counter, with the piles of wood burning brightly off to the left.
[caramelized pizza crust salad – $15.95]
We were originally going to get two pizzas and a small salad, but when I saw a waitress bringing this out we had to ask what it was – and that sealed the deal right there. Since it was so large, we cut back to one pizza as well.
This is sort of like a “salad pizza” – you’ve got a thin crust on the bottom and some beautiful greens on top. It’s a mixture of greens, onions, cabbage, bright tomatoes, paramesan reggiano cheese and a mustardy-balsamic vinaigrette on top.
[one serving of the salad pizza on the tiniest plate ever]
I loved the salad itself – it was so fresh and bright and the vinaigrette was perfect on top. The tomatoes were very good and the whole salad was just delicious. I ate mine as a salad first and once I ate enough of the greens, I then ate the rest of it like a slice of pizza.
Jake and Laura decided to just eat it like a pizza from the get-go, which seemed to result in a lot of toppings falling off. S., being a boy with a picky palate, wasn’t very thrilled with our pizza salad choice and just kind of stabbed at it and whined that he had eaten salad yesterday. Ah well, you can’t win them all.
I’m not sure what was “caramelized” about the pizza crust since it just seemed like plain, cooked dough to me. Makes it sound fancier though, I’ll give them that.
For some reason they only had tiny paper plates. Why? Why do you make me eat food on such a tiny plate?
We got a half and half “Build Your Own” pizza – half with pepperoni and olives for the kiddo and the other half with sausage and basil for the adults.
They charged us full price for each topping… which irked me. But whatevers.
Jake had a piece while I was still munching on my tasty salad pizza and he looked at me and said, “I already know you’re not going to like this.”
This made me start to avoid the pizza but then I was still a little hungry after two slices of salad pizza and figured it was time to give it a go.
And… Jake knows me well, since I didn’t like it at all.
The edges were burnt and the crust overall was really soft and almost doughy in the middle. On the sausage side, the sausage was spread onto the pizza like it was a sausage paste, making the sausage overwhelming. The pizza sauce was bland and tasted like it came right out of a can.
[foccacia roll – $2.75]
Since I love bread, I also wanted to get the foccacia roll. I had expected this to come out with the salad pizza, but instead we got it at the end after all of our other items had already come out.
This is literally just one of their unrolled doughs stuck into the oven with a little cheese and thyme sprinkled on top.
It didn’t taste like it had been freshly baked and was just a bit too doughy for my liking. There was a little oomph of flavor on top, but the rest of this roll didn’t taste like much of anything.
The pizza and roll were disappointing to say the least, but at least the pizza crust salad did not let me down and so it wasn’t a total bust.
Plus, we headed into Julian and got to eat pie right after this!
[caramel apple pie slice from Julian Pie Co.]
The caramel sauce is so not necessary.
[dutch apple pie from Julian Pie Co.]
But unadorned with just that lovely crumble stuff is good enough for me.
[maple cider donuts from Julian Pie Co.]
And cider donuts with maple frosting can make a whole trip worthwhile.
Oh, Julian. I love you so much.
There was a friendly, tame chicken roaming around Julian Pie Co. Jake and S. spend a little time holding and petting the friendly chicken.
While Jake was holding it, the chicken decided “Screw this! I want to eat whatever’s on that plate right there.”
And proceeded to try and get all of the apple goo it could.
So, we took a picture with the chicken.
Wynola Pizza & Bistro
4355 Highway 78
PO Box 1449
Julian, CA 92036