Monday, February 13, 2012

Indifference: It’s Contagious!

Third Stop: Newtown Village Tavern and Pizza
Date:  February 1, 2012
Location: 6778 Main Street Newtown, OH 45244
Ranking: 15

We thought it was time to move up a bit on the top 50 list and have a taste of something within the top 20.  Courtney was also feeling lazy and decided that Robyn could meet her on her side of town and then make the short trek together to Newtown Village Tavern & Pizza. We initially drove right by this little tavern (are you shocked?).  When we turned around and found ourselves in the parking lot, we were greeted with some quirky little glass bottle trees outside.  At first, we debated where to enter – there is a pizza parlor-like looking entrance in the back, but we knew that the entrance to the bar itself was positioned at the corner of the street.  We opted, apparently correctly, for the front.  We sat ourselves in the “tavern” area and the bartender was with us right away. 

After perusing the menu for a bit, we thought we’d ask our server some questions. However, our questions about which pizza(s) were the best at Newtown Tavern were repeatedly met with the same simplistic answer: “All of them.”  Even after some pressing, this server, AKA Captain Indifference, declined to pick a favorite, proclaiming that they were all really good.  Sure, this could be true considering the fact that he has probably tried all of them during his stint as a pizza and beer salesman.  It became clear, though, that this decision was going to be made all on our own.  Uh-oh.  

When we asked about the ranch pizza, our server taught us all about the layering process involved in its creation, including repetitious circular hand gestures:  “The sauce is made up of a thin layer of pizza sauce and a thin layer of ranch dressing, followed by a thin layer of onion, a thin layer of bacon, chicken, and cheese.” Alrighty, we get it.  Pizza is a layered art. 

Our server, nesting in a cloud of indifference.
Despite the oddity (and again, indifference) of his explanation, we were both intrigued by this pizza.  Never had either of us eaten any kind of ranch pizza; this one sounded ideal. We were both worried about missing out on tomato sauce altogether, but learned that this pizza involved the best of both worlds:  pizza sauce + ranch.    

To our chagrin, our server informed us that we could request a pie to be split half and half.  We were super excited to hear that this meant we could try out the ranch pizza on one half and cover the rest in some of our usual favorites.  For our toppings on the “normal” half of this 14-incher, we chose red onions, mushrooms, black olives, and pepperoni (AKA Ol’ Trusty; everything gets a nickname in this post ). 
Split down the middle, with Ranch on the left.
We started out with some fried dill pickle spears and some exceptionally delicious fountain Cokes.  Don’t concern yourself too much with the fried pickles – they were good, but not phenomenal; we’ve had better elsewhere.  Conversely, the ranch pizza was excellent!  There was a slightly cool, tangy flavor that the ranch added to the standard tomato sauce, which was plentiful on both sides.  Our mouths are actually watering just thinking about it right now. 

Ranch auditioned for us first.
I want more of this RIGHT NOW. 
 The other side, sadly, was not so memorable.  It was good, but didn’t stand out.  We can give you more details, but they will just be pretty flat:  thin crust, decent layer of cheese on top with nice brown broiled spots, average toppings.  The cheese blanketed the toppings, allowing only a few sneak peaks at the goodies underneath.  Maybe this was part of the problem – we like those toppings out and in the open.  When underneath, sometimes they just don’t seem as fresh.  Also, when cooked this way, the pepperoni doesn’t get nice and crispy. 

Speaking to the crust, in Robyn’s opinion, it was reminiscent of that polarizing Cincinnati favorite: LaRosa’s.  However, the sauce was spread to the very edge of that crust, and was not boring and flavorless, like others can sometimes be.  For Courtney, though, this was not her favorite sauce.  It was a bit too tangy for her liking, and spicier than most.  But, the wonder of the Ranch pizza is that it cuts the bold flavor of the sauce with the dressing, which when teamed up together deliver a tasty treat to your mouth.  We would recommend that Ranch pizza any day, but that other half just didn’t live up to its pizza list placing. 

Yup, we liked the Ranch side better.
Final thoughts on this pizza:  it’s good, but we both found ourselves questioning whether it was truly worthy of that #15 spot on the list.  Judging from its positive cyber-reviews, the locals and regulars would probably argue that it definitely deserves to be high up there.  Yet, we were honestly kind of surprised by its ranking.  Maybe a few more visits to Newtown would solidify our feelings on this pizza’s status, but for now, it stays filed under the category of average.  Perhaps this is where our lack of trained food criticism shows; maybe we simply aren’t appreciating the right things about this pizza.  But for now, frankly, we’d rather take the drive up 75 to Roc-a-fella’s than that short trip down 32.

Newtown Village Tavern on Urbanspoon

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