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Extreme Pizza melds an unlikely pair: BBQ and pizza

When Kevin Smith opened Hogg’s Beach BBQ a while ago, he infused a small La Jolla cottage on Kline Street with a little bit of Texas. These days, the eatery has expanded its horizons. Instead of just offering barbecued meats, baked beans and slaw, Smith became part of the Extreme Pizza franchise, and the menu now abounds with pizzas, calzones, subs, and salads. All that and barbecue too!

It might seem like a strange marriage, but the pizza and barbeque theme offers diners a nice choice. In addition, the restaurant delivers your orders to locations as far away as University City and Pacific Beach.

Extreme pizzas are available in several sizes and with many different toppings. You can select an eight-inch pie designed for one ($5.45 for cheese) or opt for pizzas large enough to feed four to six hungry eaters. These huge 18-inch pizzas start at $16.95. There are three other sizes as well, and they’re all freshly baked. You can also take them home to bake yourself.

The array of signature pizzas offered at Extreme Pizza is amazing, and the names of these pies can be downright entertaining. The Holy Cow features fontina, Swiss, gorgonzola, mozzarella, roasted walnuts and freshly cut sage. You won’t find interesting toppings like these in too many pizza places. Like all the signature pies, they start at $6.95 and range in price up to $25.95 for a super-sized pizza.

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Green with Envy has more than just a clever name. This pizza is made with home-made pesto sauce, sliced tomatoes, feta cheese, fresh basil, oregano and mozzarella. The Screaming Tomato comes with fresh tomatoes, two types of cheese, fresh basil and garlic. You can top that one off with tomato sauce at no extra cost if you can’t get enough of that tomato flavor.

Who could resist Peace in the Middle East, a mixture of home-made hummus, tomatoes, olives, onions, feta, fresh basil, pepperoncinis and mozzarella. And if you choose the Adrenaline Rush, your pie will be topped with smoked bacon, sliced tomatoes and fresh lettuce tossed in ranch dressing.

There is nothing ho-hum about these pizzas, and they taste as good as they sound. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg at Extreme Pizza. We counted 19 pizza choices on the menu, including the most popular of all: Yard Sale. This pie features everything but the kitchen sink, starting with Italian sausage, pepperoni, salami, fresh mushrooms, black olives, green peppers, red onions, tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh tomato sauce.

Even with so many different pizza combos on the menu, diners are still invited to go “freestyle” with the toppings. If you can dream it up, Extreme Pizza can create it for you.

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Calzones have names like The Pipe, Endless Summer and Big Wednesday, with exciting ingredients such as ricotta cheese, marinated artichoke hearts, Italian sausage and home-made tomato sauce. But even here, you’re challenged to create your own concoction. Calzones start at $6.95 for a small and range up to $12.95 for a large.

The menu lists at least a dozen Monster Subs, priced as low as $5.95 each. Included in this section are chicken parmesan, meatball parmesan, spicy ham, salami, capicola and provolone, sliced turkey with cheese, and shredded barbequed pork with red onions and cheddar cheese.

For lighter appetites, you can order a fresh salad. There are plenty of choices among the salads, including a few standards such as Caesar, spinach and Greek, not to mention some unique mixtures such as Thai chicken salad with mandarin oranges, fried noodles and a spicy ginger peanut sauce, and grilled chicken, smoked bacon, chopped lettuce, sliced tomatoes and gorgonzola cheese.

The informal restaurant also serves New York cheese cake ($4.99), big chocolate chip cookies ($1.75 each) and twisted sticks of baked dough made with two kinds of cheese, garlic and herbs ($3.85).

There’s nothing fancy about the decor. You order at the counter and have a seat at one of the tables to wait for your food, just as you did before the eatery went Extreme. And don’t forget about the old barbecue menu, which features pulled beef brisket ($7.50), whole chicken ($15.99), half baby back ribs (seven for $14.99) and other finger-lickin'-good items. The choice of sides includes baked beans, cornbread, fries, cole slaw and potato salad.

Check the board for lunch specials such as the pizza, salad and drink special ($6.49) or the sub, chips and drink deal ($7.49).

Extreme Pizza is at 834 Kline St. Call (858) 729-1910.