“This pizza is awesome and I ain’t no sucka!” I exclaimed as my wife questioned my ability to eat more pizza and still consume the ice cream dessert we had planned. I took another piece and started to shove it into my face. I was only half done my Carne Special which was full of awesome toppings including local pork with pineapple jerk sauce, organic green peppers, organic red onions, dried cranberries, mozzarella, parmesan, and herbs. I was hungry as an expectant mutha and I was just getting started.
The decision to visit Flatbread was rather spontaneous. After a busy day, my wife asked if I wanted to go eat and where. With little discussion, we decided on Flatbread. We hadn’t been to the popular Portland waterfront location in a while. When we showed up for an early dinner, the place was all but full with only a few bar seats and a table or two available. After about a five minute wait, we were seated and a waitress showed up to take our drink order. We ordered waters and discussed which alcoholic beverages we might want.
When the waitress returned with a pint glass full of high-quality H2O and lemon slice, we were prepared with our final drink requests. I asked for the Baxter Hayride Autumn Ale, a seasonal out of Lewiston. My wife went with a Sauvignon Blanc – a diversion from her usual Chardonnay. We looked at the menu with a discerning eye, hoping to find the perfect pizza to refuel after what had been a long day of hard work. When the drinks finally came – they took a while – we were more than ready to order.
I saw the Carne Special on the giant four-piece chalk board that overlooked and divided the restaurant down the middle. I knew it had to be mine. I couldn’t even stand the thought of ordering a small…so I didn’t. My wife, taken with the salads at Flatbread, ordered the organic salad and a small Casco Bay Community Flatbread – organic caramelized onions, organic mushrooms, mozz, and parm with tomato sauce, organic garlic oil, and organic herbs. If you can’t tell, Flatbread uses a lot of organic ingredients. This even includes their dough.
The salad didn’t take long to show up. It was made of various types of lettuce, celery, carrots, and topped with sesame seeds, local kelp, and ginger-tamari vinaigrette. I took a few bites of my wife’s salad for research purposes. It was outstanding which seems to be a theme with Portland pizza joints. The dressing had nice combination of sweet and acidic flavors with neither being overly strong. The Maine kelp and sesame seeds were a really nice touch.
Once the salad was done, we waited patiently for our pizzas and sipped our delicious drinks. My mouth watered with anticipation. Before long, I saw someone eyeing our table with pizza in hand. My pizza was delivered with the promise that my wife’s was following shortly behind. Mrs. Portlandeater insisted that I dig in to mine. I grabbed a slice, salivating like Pavlov’s dog. I was just a tad disappointed that the toppings didn’t make it quite to the edge of the pizza. It’s sort of a pet peeve of mine. Why doesn’t the edge of the pizza get any love?
Despite my irritation at the BCOE (Barely Covered Outer Edge), I ate the first slice. I do admit that it was pretty good even though it lacked significant topping coverage. After a couple bites though, I finally hit the jackpot. Wowee-wowa! The salty sweet pork, organic veggies, and sweet little cranberries were like a Jamaican Thanksgiving. I’m not even sure what that means exactly, but it was really good. The pizza was crispy but not dry, and cheesy but not greasy. My wife’s pizza came and she was also pleased. It was as good as she remembered.
I continued to eat to my cold, black heart’s content. My wife stopped when she completed just over half of her small, and I found my stopping point to be with a single slice left on the pan. I could have eaten it, but I stopped at my wife’s insistence. Little did she know, I still had more than enough room for dessert. The bill came to about $56 before tip. It wasn’t bad for a small pie, a large pie, salad, and two beverages. The food was really good so it was worth it in my blog.
Flatbread now has 11 locations, with most located throughout New England, though there is one in Hawaii and one in Canada. That’s really branching out. But Portland was their second and you never forget your second. Isn’t that what they say? So I think it’s fair to surmise that our humble, little food town will always hold a special place in the hearts of Flatbread Company. Ah hell, who cares? They’ve got great pizza. Go grab one and see for yourself.
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