The newest URBN is suburban.
In March, the San Diego-based URBN Restaurants opened URBN Coal Fired Pizza in Encinitas, its fifth brick-and-mortar pizzeria concept.
“I’ve always had a soft spot for Encinitas,” said founder Jon Mangini, a Connecticut native who lives in North County with his family. “There’s a great community vibe and a lot of smaller independent businesses that cater to our similar clientele. We’re really excited to bring our vision of great food and beer to the coastal communities up north.”
That vision includes New Haven, Conn.-style pizzas that are characterized by their crusts.
“URBN pizzas are cooked in a coal oven and are served on a tray with waxed paper,” Manager Mike Rutherford explained. “The crust really sets URBN apart, which is made to be extremely thin and charred, and to be served blackened and crispy.”
Because the slices are so thin and cool quickly, it’s easy for patrons to plow through several slices before realizing how many they’ve eaten.
To truly experience the classic East Coast flavor, guests should try the Fresh Clam Pizza. The delicate pie is covered with creamy white sauce, and peppered with clams, Parmesan, garlic and extra-virgin olive oil.
Yet URBN’s signature item is the Mashed Potato Pizza. The name may leave people scratching their heads, but once they get a mouthful of the soft spuds flavored with bacon pieces, Parmesan and mozzarella, they “get” it.
For those who favor more “traditional” toppings, there are nearly a dozen other specialty options. Among them is the Fresh Pesto Chicken, a colorful medley of broccoli, red pepper and basil among chicken, mozzarella and Parmesan. A crowd favorite is the Polpetta Con Provolone with small clouds of ricotta, flavorful meatballs, basil leaves and Parmesan. Yet another is the Peppered Salami, a spicy number with pepperoncini rings, pepperoni and salami slices, and mozzarella.
Guests don’t have to settle on one of the specialties — they can go half-and-half (all- white or all-red pies), or they’re welcome to create their own.
Those who are just seeking a quick slice or two of pizza can stop by URBN from 11 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays. The slices range in price from $3 to $5.
Besides pizza, URBN offers several salads. The house salad is a mixture of field greens, juicy pear slices, gorgonzola crumbles, house-made walnut brittle and a light vinaigrette.
A few new items will be launched this summer, according to Rutherford.
For quintessential URBN, restaurantgoers can order a pint of brew made at the company’s operation in El Cajon. The “core four” are the spicy URBN St. Saison (billed as a “porch beer”), along with URBN St. IPA, URBN St. Brown and the URBN St. XPA. There is a rotation of seasonal offerings, Rutherford noted.
Other beverages include bottled brews from companies such as Stone and Mother Earth; a half-dozen wines; and Foxon Park craft sodas, a popular brand in New Haven.
When planning a visit to URBN, be prepared to wait during peak hours; the restaurant doesn’t take reservations. However, takeout is available.
URBN Coal Fired Pizza Encinitas is at 764 S. Coast Highway 101. It’s open from noon to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and noon to midnight Friday and Saturday.
Visit www.urbnrestaurants.com or call 760-943-8620.