Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Flatbread Restaurant - Canton, CT

Flatbread Restaurant (not to be confused with American Flatbread Burlington Hearth) is a chain of flatbread pizza restaurants that cook using fire pits similar to this:

A branch opened in the (relatively) new Shoppes right off Route 44 in my hometown of Canton, CT. It's located in the back, right past Barnes & Noble and near Old Navy and Dick's. Over the past 2 years or so it's become my favorite place to go eat pizza.

The atmosphere is very "crunchy" for lack of a better word. All the ingredients are organic, they cook in an open flame fire oven, the decorations are earthy including some tibetan prayer flags, the furniture is wooden and functional, and on Thursdays there's live music usually consisting of a guy playing acoustic guitar and singing folk songs. Personally I love the atmosphere and prefer something along these lines to modern or fancy. Also, just remember it is Canton, CT (a fairly wealthy suburb) so while the restaurant itself is fairly crunchy, much of the clientele just got home from their white collar job in Hartford.

The menu is extremely basic with two choices: salad and/or pizza. The salad is very good made with organic ingredients with an optional topping of local (actually, MA) blue cheese crumbles. The pizza is also made with all organic ingredients. You can start with a simple red pizza (I think it's called "Jay's Heart") or one with no red sauce and add your own toppings, or pick from one of the many specialty pizzas. You really can't go wrong, everything's fantastic. My favorite topping is the maple sausage, so sweet with a nice kick at the end...perfect with a lighter IPA.

Since this is a beer blog I guess I should get to the good stuff. While the selection won't blow beer geeks away, it is surprisingly good for Canton. None of the big 3 are available on tap or otherwise. They continue with their local and organic theme by keeping the selection from New England breweries and often having an organic choice. The draft list on Saturday included:

Wolaver's Oatmeal Stout
Farmington River IPA
Farmington River Brown
BBC Lost Sailor IPA
BBC Cabin Fever Ale (this was a surprise, usually it's Gold Spike)
Opa Opa Red Rock

I know they had a few more than this but I'm drawing a blank. They usually have a Long Trail seasonal, but it had just kicked. In short, it's not Eli's but it's a heck of a lot better than any other pizza restaurant in the area. There's never anything wrong with a Wolaver's Oatmeal Stout or a fresh Lost Sailor. My only complaint about their beer is that they keep it on a fixed menu including a "guest tap." They change their rotation enough that the list is never accurate and their "guest tap" becomes meaningless because there are 3-4 beers not on the list. I usually just ask the server to run through the beers on tap to avoid confusion.

I highly recommend this place if you're looking for some great pizza and some really good beer. The prices are a little steep (for the food, the beer is reasonable), but it really is worth it. And after, you can head over to Barnes & Noble for some coffee and finish your Christmas shopping.

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