Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Flatbread Company - North Conway

I've already explained my thoughts about pizza a couple of times, but the Flatbread Company up in scenic North Conway Village has me rethinking things.

I've seen the place many times during visits to the mountains. After all, it's right across the street from one of my favorite drinking holes (Houlihan's) and Sandra's and the kids' shops (The Penguin, Zeb's, Beggar's Pouch).

One of our family's "August Trips" this summer was up to North Conway, and with my iPhone, I was able to prepare for the trip using Yelp, a comprehensive "members review" web site, I got a listing of restaurants in the area to see if there were any hidden gems or new hot spots around.

To my surprise, a very favorably-rated place was the Flatbread Company of North Conway. As I said, I've seen the place a few times, nestled in the parking lot of a hotel, but the word "flat bread" seemed to be analogous to "pizza," which wasn't very impressive to me in the least. However, the favorable reviews got me intrigued, and when I read them, I found some more words, aside from pizza, that got me worried: "organic," "vegetarian," and a warning from one review "Very limited menu. (Basically, just pizza and salad.)." I decided that despite the favorable reviews, the place may not be for me.

However, on that trip, I decided to give everybody a chance to pick out a restaurant that weekend. Harmony borrowed my iPhone, which has the free Yelp application on it, and she also saw the reviews for the Flatbread Company. She, apparently, was unintimidated by those words, and was impressed by the number of favorable reviews. I told her where it was, and she absolutely LOVED to have all those shops in close proximity in addition. So, guess where we were going?

When we got there, I found a Homemade Sausage pizza that Harmony also favored. Meanwhile, Chardonnay and Sandra found another pie of their own. They do slice the pies weirdly; using parallel cuts and another perpendicular half-cut, but aside from that, the pizzas weren't bad. I considered doing a review of the place from that first visit, but that is against my policy--I don't want to review what may or may not be a fluke. I've found that service and/or taste at a restaurant can vary widely if either isn't considered important to the management.

So, this weekend, when Sandra and I went away for a long weekend slightly north of North Conway in Jackson, we knew that the Flatbread Company would be one of our lunch stops. This time, Sandra and I did the Homemade Sausage pizza, but without the mushrooms (Sandra doesn't like them). This second time, the pizza was just as good, and the service was still pretty attentive.

The place has a stone oven that they use to make their pizzas. The smell of burning wood surrounds the place, and it is tempting. The sausages are made by hand and there are signs all around the place touting environmentalist slogans (I guess being organic and using local ingredients makes them "green," which isn't a turn-off for me; if it makes them feel good, more power to them!)

The menu, as the Yelp reviewer pointed out, is basically pizzas and salads. If you want more, you should find another place. They do have a full bar and some good beers as well. (I can at least vouch for the beers!)

Anyway, I give the place a big "thumbs up," and that should mean something coming from a person that isn't particularly impressed by pizza in the first place!