Sunday, March 10, 2013

Reaching Altitudes of Meh at Flying Pizza

Twenty- Sixth Stop: The Flying Pizza
Date: February 23rd, 2012
Location: 9563 Fields Ertel Road Mason, OH
Ranking:  23

In gathering the basics to start off this post, we were surprised to find that The Flying Pizza was ranked #23.  After all the pizzas we've had across the last year, it just doesn't seem to be better than half of the entire list. 

Perhaps it was us; perhaps we just didn't order well.  When you enter Flying Pizza, you step in front of a large counter where you are meant to place your order, and behind which the staff prepares dough and bakes the pies.  As usual, we had no idea what we wanted to order.  We started to peruse the menu but, honestly, both of us felt a little rushed with the pizza attendant waiting in front of us with a pen and order pad in hand.  He was very nice, though, and told us about the two types of pizza that the pizzeria offers:  Neapolitan and Sicilian, the former meaning "New York Style" and the latter being thicker-crusted and generally cut into square pieces.  Both were appealing, but after our adventurous turn at Ferrari's (Thai and Mediterranean, remember!), we were both in the mood for some standard NY, wedge-shaped slices of pizza. 

Then, we noticed the lunch combo menu posted on the back wall of the counter area.  There were 4-5 options, each featuring different components (pizza, salad), toppings (sausage, pepperoni, sausage & pepperoni, cheese), and styles (the aforementioned NY style and Sicilian).  Pinched for time and growing oh-so-hungry, we both thought this was our best bet.  Robyn went with the 2-slices of pepperoni and mushroom, NY Style, plus a drink.  Courtney copycatted the format, but opted for sausage and pepperoni as her toppers.  Both meals were $6.95 plus tax.  Not bad.  Oh, and did we mention that the NY style slices were HUMONGOUS?  The Flying Pizza definitely doesn't skimp.  For good measure, though, we tacked on an order of breadsticks.  As dippers, we were offered pizza sauce and/or nacho cheese.  We quickly confessed our mutual, unbending love for nacho cheese and politely accepted the proposal of both sauces.  

We grabbed a little booth while we awaited our lunch order, which the server had promised to bring to our table.  This place has a pretty New York-y vibe, and definitely exhibits an atmosphere of a traditional pizzeria.  It is clean and casual, with the long counter between dining area and kitchen space, and white tiled floors.  Black and white photos of New York and baseball scenes are mounted on all the walls, conjuring up a feeling for times past.

The view from our seats, looking toward the entrance

Our pizza came, and the giant slices were spilling off the sides of their paper plate beds.  Additionally, 6-7 breadsticks were piled on a separate plate, dotted green with herbs and drizzled with (I assume olive?) oil.  From the overall looks of things, we were ready to dig in. 

With nacho cheese as yellow as Courtney's phone!
Immediately, Robyn felt an overwhelming sense of disappointment as she looked at her order.  Everything looked fine…except for the mushrooms.  While neither of us is sure precisely how the pizza was made, it appeared that the mushrooms were removed from the can, drained, and then plopped onto an already cooked pepperoni pizza.  Maybe this is just a personal preference, but Robyn likes her mushrooms to show a little evidence of having been cooked.  The flavor and texture are pretty appalling to her otherwise, which is why she decided to dump most of them onto the plate instead of into her mouth.  Other than that particular aspect, Robyn thought the rest of her pizza was okay.  The thin crust had a good chew with a crisp bottom.  The pepperoni was sliced thick, and added a welcome flavor to the slices.  The breadsticks were also a highlight for her, after the letdown of the mushrooms.  While dunking our breadsticks, both of us enjoyed the unconventional, processed, gooey sludge known as “nacho cheese” more than either of us would like to admit.  Also, when this is one of the highlights of your meal, you know there must be some room for improvement.   


Perhaps it wasn't the best thing ever, but Courtney enjoyed her pizza.  The slices were huge, thin, and allowed her to fold it before taking a bite.  This helped to contain the pieces of sausage, which were piled atop each slice, and constantly spilling when she picked one up.  The crust is good - thin and just sturdy enough while still being bendable.  The cheese is nice and greasy, and the flavor beckons you to take another bite.  Going back to the sausage, though:  similar experience as with Robyn's mushrooms.  It really seemed to be school cafeteria or frozen pizza sausage.  Maybe it wasn't, but the look and taste certainly recalled those less-worthy varieties. 

On your way out, you or your inner child may want to snag one of the Blue Bunny frozen deserts from the case in front of the counter.  We opted out, with little room for anything other than the pizza in our bellies.  Also on the way out, you need to be careful with your leftovers— the “to-go” packaging is prepared at the counter by sliding your greasy paper plate (the one you ate from!!) into a paper bag and rolling the ends of the bag shut, creating an awkward, floppy triangular prism.  And on a non-related pizza note, Robyn would like to add that she was very impressed with the size and cleanliness of the women’s bathroom.  It was probably one of the cleanest restaurant bathrooms anyone has ever set foot in!       
Weird, right?


So, again, perhaps we just didn't order well.  We are having the delayed realization that pizza-by-the-slice and combo deals might not be the way to go at some places (though Goodfellas in MainStrasse sure does it well).  Flying Pizza has a pretty lengthy menu that provides a substantial list of the standard pizza ingredients, plus some less common ones (like Ricotta cheese and sliced meatballs).  If you go, go for dinner, and order a whole specialty pie or develop your own concoction of different toppings.  Trust us that the Neapolitan crust is a good choice, or try the Sicilian which, based on photos, looks pretty tasty itself.  Though the pizza we had on our visit wasn't particularly our favorite, we'd give it another shot.

Flying Pizza on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 4, 2013

Pizza Madness!

We've got a new post for you coming soon from our most recent visit to Flying Pizza, but until then, we figured we'd let you know about a little bracket-style throw-down between tri-state pizzerias, brought to you by Cincinnati Magazine.  Vote for your favorites in the spirit of March Madness, and check back soon right here for a new post!