Inside a pizza oven, a classic Margherita crisps upon a cooking surface made of compressed ash from Mount Vesuvius. It’s an Italian staple.
But, you’re not in Italy, you’re in Garibaldi.
Bill Thomas and Theresa Seifer opened Crab Rock Pizza on Biak Avenue in November, serving up Napolitana-style pizza.
Their presence is a welcome addition to the community. On opening night, there was standing room only in the dining room, an hour-long wait and nothing but empty plates in front of patrons.
“We both knew we wanted to live on the coast and we both fell in love with Garibaldi,” Theresa said. “We wanted to open a business together. We saw that there was no pizza, so we decided to do pizza.”
The couple acquired their building at the Port of Garibaldi in 2020 and spent nearly two years getting the space permitted and renovated to their specifications.
“We were told we are the poster children of perseverance,” Bill said, laughing. “What was supposed to take two months, took over a year.”
While they waited for approval to open, the couple perfected their craft. In their home kitchen, they began experimenting with dough and sauce recipes.
“Theresa is a creative genius,” Bill said. “She has an amazing knack in the kitchen.”
As a licensed RN, Theresa works to keep the food on their menu free of artificial stabilizers and preservatives.
“It’s traditional, real food. Everything is done by-hand and in-house,” she said. “There’s no food coloring in anything that we make. That is our commitment. If it’s on the plate, it’s either the highest quality or we make it.”
Each pizza pie starts with dough that is fermented at least three days. This gives the dough flavor and structure, while also easing digestion and lowering the glycemic impact; no more brick gut feeling.
“I’m bringing my nursing background and my love for nutrition and food to the restaurant,” Theresa said. “Food is supposed to nourish us. We want to bring that to our community at Crab Rock and nourish our people.”
Napolitana-style pizza is known for its “cornicione:” thin, puffy, crunchy and chewy crust. When placed in the oven, the dough develops “leopard spots” and becomes charred. Toppings are minimal and best enjoyed fresh.
Popular menu items at Crab Rock include their all-meat pizza the “Surfman 514” and the “Riptide” combo pizza.
“All the names of our pizzas are from the area and tied into the community,” Bill said.
Crab Rock’s pizzas are 14 inches and serve 2-3 people.
In addition to the regular items, seasonal seafood-topped pizzas rotate on the menu. The popular Dungeness crab pizza will soon be replaced by a clam pizza, with fresh clams harvested from Tillamook Bay by a scuba diver.
“We [also] work with Fishpeople Seafood; they crack the crab right in front of us,” Bill said. “The local fisherman comes in at midnight and we get [product] first thing in the morning.”
And pizza is just the start.
House-made gelato tops off the menu. Sweet cream, hazelnut, and chocolate are just a few flavors on offer and several sorbetto (dairy-free) flavors can also be found on the menu.
“Gelato is smoother with more intense flavor than ice cream,” Theresa said. “That’s because it’s kept at a slightly warmer temperature than ice cream. Try the hazelnut; see how true and strong the flavor is.”
Beer, wine, cider, soda, espresso, and lattes are also available for purchase.
“If you love pizza, we’re definitely the place to land,” Theresa said. “If you appreciate real, traditionally made food, we’re the place to go. If you appreciate a good view, we’re the place to be.”
Crab Rock Pizza is located at 604 Biak Avenue, Garibaldi. For updates on spring and summer operational hours, visit Crabrockpizza.com or follow Crab Rock Pizza on Facebook.
To-go charges apply.
Crab Rock Pizza is a member of the North Coast Food Trail.
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