When did we visit? 8 p.m., February 16th, 2010.
Why did we visit? In hope finding some good pizza near Orlando.
What did we visit? Flippers Pizzeria, the one that acclaims “Every pizza is hand-crafted using the finest ingredients available, then cooked to perfection in our brick ovens”. It is what it’s written in their internet main page.
Was it true? Well, at some point, but we will talk about it later.
Flippers is a chain of pizzerias/Italian based food around Florida that seems to be successful over there which is not a hard task
bearing in mind their competition. If you are driving there, the mall has a lot of parking, as well exceptional accessibilities, and public transportation is also available.
The restaurant room has a nice ambient, predominance in dark–brown wood, and soft bright-yellow lightening that confers a smooth, relaxing but live ambiance at the same time – makes you feel welcome there. The chairs aren’t much comfortable, hard-wood, but O.K. for that type of restaurant. The tables are just simple tables, normal regular ones, with no specificities.
When you get into the restaurant room you don’t have a place to wait, like a bar or a greeting area – the room is quite big, so finding a free-table should be easy. In our case, we were seated really fast and as soon as that happened, a sympathetic waiter came, gave us the menus and asked for drinks. We request for some help with the short wine list (about 6 references) and she suggested ‘Chianti’ at $16. We accepted the suggestion and also asked for lemonade.
The menu was quite extended, with a lot of options. The house-specialty are brick-oven pizzas, but the menu contemplate also a few pasta dishes, brick-fired sandwiches, and some
wraps and salads – overall Italian influences. There’s a reference to vegetarian’s options but no celiac ones, beside salads, a miss in a gluten predominant menu. As starters we choose ‘garlic-bread’ (3.99$), and as entrees ‘Mediterranean chicken pizza’ (14.99$), skipping desserts that day.
The garlic bread it’s a simple garlic bread, a frozen-to-oven baguette of bread, cut in half, and covered with garlic butter. It’s O.K., we’re able to feel the flavors of garlic and butter and at the table there are some powdered Parmigianino and dried herbs available to finish it. Large quantity of bread, but for four dollars and in an Italian restaurant we expected something a little bit better.
Moving to the main dish, that comes immediately after we finished the starters, it was a really nice pizza, with a thin and crispy dough, well cooked. The pizza was rich in fresh ingredients like peppers, basil, fresh spinach, chicken breast and a fresh tomato sauce, topped with some mozzarella and cheddar cheese, really well balanced, with the vegetables not overcooked, bringing their freshness and a right amount of cheese, not overpowering the flavors. Good pizza.
The wine was weak-medium bodied, with no structure and lacks some freshness and tannins, and at some point it was too alcoholic and sweet. It’s drinkable but not a good companion to the meal, which asks for a more full-bodied and tannins one, to make sure that goes well with all the fat that we ate. And finally, it’s somewhat expensive for the showed quality.
The lowest point during the meal was the tableware, in a full service restaurant the only glass items that we touch was the wine-glasses, and even those were ridiculous. Too small, too heavy, looks like a cheap flute of champagne for red wines, and if we had asked for white wine, I’m sure that would be the same. When the plates were left on the table they were wet, and we had to dry them ourselves with some napkins. Disastrous.
The restrooms were really small, but clean and wheel-chair accessible.
The service was attentive and really fast, the waiters were always available (the restaurant almost empty, by the way), but they don’t seem to care with the wet plates. The check was above 45$, with tip, expensive for the kind of service presented.
Probably we’ll go back, just for the pizza or to take-away, not for a full dinner. We liked the food and ambiance of the restaurant; after all, the service was O.K. too and probably is a really good-value at lunch, with their prix-fix menu and no alcohol. It’s a successful company growing every day, whose treasure-key it’s oven-brick fire pizzas, which seems a really good option for delivery service, but not so successful as a restaurant based on the empty room during all the night.
With over eighty seats, during our meal just a max of twenty guests ate there, most of all families with their children. And based on the few people on the service, and on the other hand, the crowed cuisine, the core of the business it’s not the on-location restaurant itself, but the take-away and delivery services.
Terminating with the trendy ‘green’ measures for sustainability, the restaurant doesn’t seem to practice them at all – even the tableware it’s some kind of plastic, no recycle napkins or save-energy lumps. If there were any measures applied, we didn’t notice them.
P.s: Esta crítica foi feita pra um fim diferente, não para este blog, daí a sua diferente ‘construção’, mas já que estava feita, porque não! O senão, talvez para alguns (muito poucos imagino, é que está em Inglês.)