Posted by eemilla on May 31, 2009
After two glowing recommendations for Brixx Wood Fired Pizza, we decided to wrap up our three days of take out pizza there. The best part was their buy two get two special for Tuesday. I sat at the bar while deciding which four pies to try, and I was impressed with their beer menu. I believe they had twelve or so beers on tap (although their website lists over twenty). Another shocking thing were the hours: 11a to 1a six days a week (closed at 11p on Sunday); finally South Asheville can eat out after 9pm without driving downtown. In addition to the beer, they have liquor and plenty of wine, and frankly, both wine by the glass and bottle seemed overpriced ($6 for a glass of Redwood Creek, where a trip to Ingles gets you the whole bottle for about the same). Like many local restaurants they have a half priced bottle night on Sunday.
While I was waiting I decided to try the house (or Brixx) salad; the greens were fine, and I was happy with the ratio of goat cheese to greens. This salad also boasts pine nuts which seemed to be the only ingredient on the menu that was served with a heavy hand. However, the croutons were straight from a box, and the balsamic vinaigrette was much too sweet (although not thick or dark like sweet, reduced balsamic vinegar). I did not try the focaccia wedge due to timing, but it seemed odd since the croutons were used. The service was over attentive as they seem to have overstaffed, or maybe the corporate training team is still in town. I mean why else would they have two bartenders after 9:30pm on a rainy Tuesday night?
One of our recommendations had compared Brixx favorably to a much loved pizza place of years gone by, which was characterized by creative couplings and pies stacked high with toppings. When I got the pies home, I was none too impressed with the toppings, especially on the margherita; I should have looked more closely at the menu as it shows an example of the pie with a smattering of basil, but our pie didn’t even get the entire leaf like the photo. The menus promises house made mozzarella, but it tastes about as made from scratch as Subway’s hoagies (they arrive frozen but are baked fresh in the store). The arugula on the wild mushroom was added as an afterthought over the cheese, presumably after the pie had come out of the oven. At the aforementioned pizza place of yore, the arugula would have formed a thick layer on the bottom of the cheese so its spicy bite could have been a nice foil to the mushrooms. The menu states “wood roasted shiitake, portobello, and button mushrooms”, but the entire ten inch pie may have had half of one shiitake. Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t expecting the shiitakes to make of the majority of the mix, but I did expect my pie to have a least one recognizable slice of one. The meat pie (or the rustica) contained prosciutto, which my husband said was okay, but he was dismayed with the “kalamata” olives the menu promised. They looked and tasted like black olives from a can that made me afraid to try other olives as a child, and again they appeared as an afterthought. On first glance, the artichoke pie was the best with its heavier topping load than the other veg pies. However, I had almost finished my first slice before I realized I was eating pesto. All of the pies were made with the standard crust, as I failed to remember to order the whole wheat. The crust is thin as one would expect from a wood fired pizza joint, but I was irked by the saltiness; the crust really doesn’t distinguish itself from any other place (aside from the salt).
The interior design reminded me of the ill fated (thankfully) O’Naturals; the colors are bright, and the booths look too new to be comfortable. The lighting was soft, and I cannot recall anything about the music. The bar isn’t much in the size department, but the chairs and the bar itself are reasonable height. The website and the menu mention a “great patio dining”, and some day in the future it may be nice to dine on the patio. Currently it gives a wonderful view of chain link fenced construction zone a la Pack Square with condos rising above the disorder.
While my first impression doesn’t leave me in a rush to get back, my three strike rule will make me give it another two chances. Plus I like restaurants that offer discounts. In addition to the buy two get two on Tuesday and Sunday half priced bottles of wine, there is a special for every night. Monday has $1.95 domestics, and Wednesday is for the snobier beer drinkers with $2.50 microbrews. Thursday has $5 margaritas and martinis (I assume gin but I’d rather drink cheap vodka than cheap gin). Finally every night has 2 for 1 pizzas and apps after ten.