I'm sad to say that my old office was located in a bit of a culinary wasteland up in the north bay. You pretty much had to at least drive to Central San Rafael to get to anything of interest. Luckily, there is a Farmers' Market at the San Rafael Civic Center every Thursday. I pretty much went every week because it was a more interesting lunch option than most things in the immediate area. There are maybe 10 or so food vendors there - nothing big compared to the Ferry Building markets, but still not bad at all.
Most frequently, I would hit up Pizza Politana, Joel Baecker's mobile pizza operation. It so happens I have some photos from lunch there exactly a year ago - August 27, 2009. Pizza Politana is basically a wood-fired oven on wheels, and they churn out beautiful little 1-person pizzas. They show up at many Bay Area farmers' markets, so you've probably seen their little trailer around before. They started going to Marin first before they expanded, and Joel himself would be there every week making pies. They're now at the Ferry Building Thursday market as well, so I guess he's got a lot more running around to do.
The pepperoni pizza is always available, and it's a great rendition of the classic pie. The sauce is subtle and never overwhelming, and the crust has a nice chew, which I prefer to the cracker-like crispy pizzas out there.
They also have a constantly-changing Market pizza, with a variety of toppings based on the season. On this day it was this pizza with tasty black olives and some nice fresh veggies. The Market pizza varies a lot, and I've had everything from clam pies and white pizzas to classics like Italian sausage.
Simple pizza in the gleaming Marin sun - what could be better? Pizza Politana is quick, consistent, and always delicious. If you're at Marin Civic Center on a Thursday, don't hesitate to try them out. Alternatively, if you're at the Ferry Building, and there are literally 493 people lining up at Roli Roti for a porchetta sandwich, I promise one of these pies will leave you very happy.
(Don't get me wrong though... those porchetta sandwiches are bomb.)