Checking Out the New Bethel Ordinary
Biscuit crust flavor, tons of cheese, and toppings galore - but for some reason this pizza just didn't come together (in fact it came apart).
The New Bethel Ordinary (or "The Ordinary") is a pizza, burger, and wing place just outside Indy on the south east side in the small town of Wanamaker (view on map). We went on the recommendation from Chris' former co-worker Bronson who said he grew up frequenting this place.
It definitely has a small town feel, which is what the restaurant says they are going for on their website. We followed the sign to park in the rear and noticed it was already jam packed. There was a small covered outdoor eating area in the back and a gravel parking lot. Some people were eating on the front porch, it kinda reminded me of a Cracker Barrel for some reason.
When we arrived we were told we could seat ourselves, and we chose a small table by a window for better lighting for photos. We sat down at about 3:50pm and when we finished eating around 4:30pm the place was absolutely packed with all available tables full and others waiting for carry out orders. This place must be a local favorite! Early dinner crowd for a Saturday.
We started with the cheesy garlic bread, which is garlic toast, mozzarella and pizza sauce. There were gobs of cheese and Italian seasoning lightly sprinkled on top. Overall pretty good, the toast was still crisp in the areas not smothered in cheese.
Our pizza showed up promptly after finishing our appetizer, perfect timing. We got half pepperoni and bacon, and half sausage and mushroom. We got a steamy cheese pull video (below) and I got a bad feeling when I saw the steam because I was already making a prediction.
The crust was super thin in the center with a lip around the outside. The rim was too hard to fold, but had a very pleasant biscuit flavor, sweet and a little buttery. The toppings were piled high - I literally had edge to edge sausage crumbles over the entire half of the pizza and then a blanket of cheese on top of that. Also notice the little touches, like sprinkling a line of seasoning to show where the toppings divide.
The sausage had a breakfast sausage flavor to it. The more sausage pizzas I eat, the more I notice a trend that they either have an old fashioned sausage fennel seed flavor like Pizza King) or more like a breakfast sausage flavor. The cheese was fresh and gooey, not too stringy, and also piled high.
I have to say that while all the factors in the equation seem to be there, this pizza just didn't add up. Noticeable and pleasant crust flavor, check. Delicious toppings in generous portions, check. Plenty of fresh tasting cheese, check. So what gives? Here's my analysis:
The edge of the crust is hard so it's not foldable, but the center of the crust is super thin so it's hard to cut with a fork. The toppings are (dare I say) too thick, so there is a layer of toppings and a layer of cheese on top, but there is nothing gluing the toppings to the crust. In fact, I even got a photo of a critical failure moment where the toppings fell off in one big sheet.
You can see edge to edge sausage held together by cheese - but the sausage underneath are almost naked. That's what I noticed when we got a big plume of steam during the cheese pull very similar to Gramboli's because the toppings underneath are cooked inside the cheese and not mixed in with the cheese. Like a cheese greenhouse effect. The cheesy sausage was great though, big flavor, but this pizza overall just wasn't working for me.
It's clearly still a popular place, but I found it hard to eat and kind of a mess. I think it has something to do with the layers and not having the toppings mixed in with the cheese.