I've Officially Decided I'm Not a Grilled Pizza Person
Byrne's Grilled Pizza had some knockout bacon, but for me they missed the mark in crust, sauce, and cheese.
When Eric and I moved into our first home, his brother bought us a Weber charcoal grill. You're probably like...uhhhh where is this going? Just sit back and allow me to tell the story okay? I promise this is going somewhere. So back to the charcoal grill. I have friends and family who are big on the Green Egg, and smokers, and that eventually became how I heard about grilled pizza. See I told you I had a point. So we're shopping at Target one day, and I think I see a Digorno box or a Tombstone with a little label that says "Great for Grilling". I thought to myself, "I'm decent on the grill, I like grilled foods and there are instructions so this should be great."
We are now home, I'm getting the grill fired up and heating up my pizza stone. Of course I have a pizza stone, it's the best way to cook a pizza if you are going to bake it in the oven or on a grill. If you don't believe me you should try it, trust me! Here is the one I currently have. So I grill the pizza and I have to say, I did not like it. I thought it cooked weird and I'm not a huge fan of straight char flavor. I'm never having grilled pizza again, not worth it.
Fast forward to last week and I'm looking at this grilled pizza place called Byrne's Grilled Pizza (heavy sigh). I'm like "Well, I gotta do it for the blog. And who knows, maybe it will be better if it's not a frozen pizza." As I'm scrolling through photos online my optimism starts to wane. I see pizzas that look great and others that look straight up charred, but I gotta keep an open mind.
We drove to Byrne's and it's in this really cute part of Indy where the houses look like little cottages and it's really close to Butler's campus. We decide to sit outside because Eric thinks the lighting really helps make the pizzas look nice in the photos. It's 87 and humid, but sure. So we sat outside under the awning and ordered our food. We started with breadsticks and cheese bread, but we can talk about those in a separate post.
When the pizza was placed in front of me, I have to say I did not get that same excited feeling I normally get. I wasn't chomping at the bit to burn my mouth and scarf this pizza down. I was trying to figure out what I was looking at.
Let's begin with the most important part of my holy trinity, the crust. It was bland for one thing and very thin. It honestly reminded me of a cracker or a tortilla. I think Eric even said out loud, "This crust reminds me of the tortilla pizza I made the other night." Now I'm wondering if these crusts were bought off site or made in the restaurant. Eric and I got the same size pizza but they were not the same shape. His was circular and mine was more of an oval. Half of the pizza was perfectly cooked, but the other half was a little too charred for me. As I got to those edges all of the ingredients were overpowered by the taste of burnt, flavorless crust.
Now what about the sauce? Well that is probably my biggest complaint, there was BARELY any. But with a crust that thin, you can't put a lot of sauce on it. If they had done that the crust would have been soggy and all the toppings would have slid right off when you picked it up. The only thing that saved this for me was the fact that I still had plenty of dipping sauce from our appetizers that I could dip my pizza into. That pizza sauce they gave me for dipping was definitely made in house and probably my favorite thing about the whole experience, but again more on that in a separate post.
Finally, the cheese and other toppings. So I'm assuming they used a simple mozzarella similar to the mozzarella that was on my cheese bread. I could tell it was a fresh shredded mozzarella, but we all know that mozzarella doesn't have an overall powerful taste so I definitely think this could have used another cheese in the mix, like provolone or fontina to kick it up a bit. The pepperoni for me was like pepperoni with amnesia. If you picked a piece off and chewed it you got some great flavors, but as soon as you swallowed it, it was almost as if you never ate a piece of it. I like a pepperoni that has a lingering flavor where by the end of eating a pizza your mouth is slightly on fire. This pepperoni was not it.
The bacon however STOLE THE SHOW. At first I thought it was odd that out of EVERY INGREDIENT ON THE MENU, they listed the bacon with its brand name, Smoking Goose Bacon. After a quick google I found out that it's actually an Indy-based company. I loved that they were supporting local business, but that's not the best thing about it. It's so hard to describe, but the bacon was so finely shredded it reminded me of pulled pork. There were also a few big clumps on my pizza and when I bit into them, OMG.
The first thought I had was, "This is the type of bacon that keeps you going back to the breakfast buffet to just fill up a plate with bacon kind of bacon."
On a side note, I have mentioned that I LOOOOVE bacon. If you ask my family about my obsession with bacon they will tell you some cute stories about how, when I was a child, we would go to a restaurant for breakfast, I would always ask the server to make sure my bacon was "wobbly".
To finish this up, I just want to say I don't want to discourage you from going to this place. It has great reviews, the appetizers were great and they had some other good items on the menu. But for me, I'm officially deciding that I am not a grilled pizza person. If you enjoy thin and grilled pizzas, you would probably love this place, but I can't see myself ever going back.