Sixth Stop: The Works
Date: February 19th, 2012
Location: 20 Grear Millitzer Plaza Loveland, OH 45140
Location does something special for The Works. The restaurant is housed in an old, historic firehouse with high vaulted ceilings and quirky bits of modern art decking the walls, immediately creating a fun and engaging atmosphere for the patron. Underneath dimmed lights and a shellacked surface, each table is decorated with a variety of artistic themes, from a local preschool class’ butterfly art project to a well-laid assortment of beer bottle caps. It’s a warm, welcoming environment. Robyn astutely shared how, as we make these journeys, she has noted how essential the pizza parlor is to the social fabric of our communities. All of the places we have visited so far have had a very “local” vibe (not to be mistaken with the uninviting “exclusionary” or “insular” vibes), with regular neighborhood friends and families comprising most of the dining demographic. We have to say, we’re both a bit jealous of this, having grown up in rural suburbia where, typically, pizza was ordered from a chain, where your options and interactions were drastically limited. Pizza for dinner meant ordering from Snappy Tomato, or feasting on a plastic sealed disc that hailed from the neighborhood grocery freezer.
|Firehouse doors! We forgot our camera and had to rely on our phones for pictures. Though they are not the best, they get the idea across!|
Perusing this menu took some concentration for newcomers like us. The Works has so many pizza creations on the ballot, and ALL of them sound delicious! Right away, we ordered some food to start: a salad for Robyn and fried ravioli for Courtney and Matt (yes, this time we allowed a special guest). The starters were fine, the ravioli was very tasty, actually, but our attention was mostly geared toward the anticipation of the 3 personal size pizzas we ordered to share. At $7.99 apiece, we decided to each request a different personal size pie for maximal pizza sampling experience. We are so smart.
It was a tough decision, but eventually Courtney went with the Pesto Pizza (sausage, mushroom, and tomatoes), because anything with pesto is rarely anything but wonderful. And it was. The great big chunks of tomatoes sitting atop the crust were plump and perfectly juicy. The toppings were piled high and tastefully complemented one another, with the green of the pesto creating a nice visual contrast. Courtney loved this one, and contests that it seriously about melted in her mouth.
Robyn decided on the Mediterranean (artichokes, fresh basil, diced tomatoes, peppers, black olives, spinach, and feta cheese). As expected, their Mediterranean pizza is full of strong flavor, thanks to the super fresh ingredients and crumbles of ripe feta. The combination of these pieces is what makes it great, but the individual components still shine through. This pizza is piled extra high, and was really the only one where a fork was truly necessary (we were warned of this by Cincinnati Magazine, so now we are warning you).
|This picture is a bit blurry, but you can still make out those giant chunks of feta.|
Special Guest Matt, a well known champion of all things breakfast, ordered the Breakfast Pizza. This puppy offered a base of scrambled eggs and American cheese, and allowed you to pick the meat topping of your choice (Matt, of course, went with bacon). If we recall correctly, you are actually welcome to add additional breakfast-y toppings, but Matt was worried that too much would ruin a good thing, and left it at that. He was not disappointed. Courtney was actually pretty impressed with his sharing skills, as he still willingly exchanged two of his slices for a piece each of Robyn’s and Courtney’s.
|Best all around.|
All of the pizzas came to our table quickly, adorned with a charred, bubbly crust that is the signature of a brick oven style dish. All of them were really great, and no one regretted their individual choices. However, by far, the favorite of the night was the Breakfast Pizza. A surprising contender for both a dinner option and a pizza mission in general, this pie was a savory and unique respite from the throngs of marinara and mozzarella concoctions of which we are typically so fond. After learning of the egg/cheese base, Robyn admitted some slight concern that the sauce would be made of “runny-ass eggs”. Thankfully, this was not the case. The blend was warm, buttery, and, well, simply delish. There were hunks of scrambled eggs on top and, though this might look odd on a pizza, that visual confusion did not affect its pleasant taste. Our only concern would be leftovers; this guy probably wouldn’t keep well for the next day’s lunch. We figured we should just finish it off, so as not to have to worry about its refrigeration.
We’re not avid cyclists, but if there were a pizza from The Works awaiting us at the end of our trek, we might be convinced to hop on a banana seat for a relaxing ride more often! Plus, we still need to try that Ballpark pizza, which features hot dog slices as a topping. Yummy?