Riding Dirty: Surf Rider Pizza Brings the Heat

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I never would have guessed that San Diego’s best Philly cheesesteak would come from a pizza joint. On a quest to find the best pizza in San Diego, I visited Surf Rider Pizza Co., with four locations in San Diego. Along with their Signature Surf Rider pizza, I ordered up a Philly cheesesteak as well after hearing that they actually ship in bread from Philadelphia. The passion pays off.

The 11-inch Amoroso rolls are from Philadelphia’s most famous bread bakery. Then they stuff them with thinly sliced meat mixed directly with white American cheese. I got the Dirty Steak with some of their signature Dirty sauce. They claim its really the bread that makes these so amazing, but the tender and delicious steak with the gooey dirty sauce is what won my heart.

What is this Dirty Sauce that Surf Rider puts on their pizzas, sandwiches, and pretty much whatever else they can get their hands on? Its jalapeno, cream cheese, and six secret ingredients that Surf Rider founder Hilary Rossi whipped up after tasting a similar sauce his mom created. In addition to the Dirty Steak, it’s on a pizza with bacon, Jalapeno, and tomatoes – The Dirty Dom – along with a Spicy Veg pizza.

Surf Rider Pizza is owned by The Patio Group — Saska’s Steakhouse, Fireside by the Patio, The Patio on Goldfinch, The Patio on Lamont, Harvest by the Patio, and more. Its four locations are Ocean Beach, Crown Point, Mission Beach, and the newest spot, La Mesa. In addition to the Philly cheesesteaks, they serve up East Coast-style pizza available whole or by the slice, salads, Stromboli and desserts.

Michelle Stansbury is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer. Feel free to reach out to her at [email protected] with story ideas!

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