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Monday, June 21, 2010

Food, Main and Clinton

The recent opening of Food at the northwest corner of Main and Clinton downtown generated quite a lot of publicity in the local news media, probably because it's the first new business to open at this intersection since the whole Renaissance Square fiasco.
I guess all that publicity is mostly good, from a business owner's perspective, but after all I'd seen and read about Food, I was a little surprised, when I stopped by recently to check it out, to find a fairly ordinary looking breakfast-and-lunch joint. Although they still seem to be doing some work on the place, at this point, Food, while nice enough, is not particularly remarkable in its own right.
At any rate - prompted by all that attention given tio it, I checked out Food's website, where I noted that they serve pizza by the slice, so I decided to investigate.
When I entered through the front door on Main Street, I was met by a server, who took my order. She informed me that the slices were pretty large, so I just ordered one, with pepperoni.
About a minute later she emerged from the back with my slice, which came in a paper sleeve. It wasn't all that big, but that was OK, because frankly it wasn't all that good.
The crust was medium thick, with a pale underside that was slightly oily, yet dried out at the same time. I suspect that the crust may have been frozen, as it had a premade, shell-like appearance and texture.
The mozzarella cheese was applied fairly thickly, a bit browned, and separated easily from the crust. Between them lay a thin layer of sauce, which had a touch of sweetness and some herbal notes to it.
I couldn't actually see the available slices, so I don't know for sure, but I think the pizza options here are pretty limited. The rest of the menu is fairly basic, with hot and cold sandwiches and hot dogs, plates, standard breakfast fare, salads and sides.
I wish Food success, and it may well prosper. Apparently Mayor Duffy, in keeping with local political tradition, wants to make sure that he doesn't leave office without ramming through at least one boneheaded project, and, having thwarted Maggie Brooks's efforts in that vein, has chosen an RTS bus station near this very corner as his legacy.
If the city succeeds where the county failed, and manages to override local residents' objections to this particular white elephant, that may or may not prove a boon to Food. That depends on whether a bus station attracts more potential customers than it repels.
Aside from that, I've no reason to think that most of Food's food is anything other than good, so it may become a fixture here for years to come. But the pizza - the pizza I got, at least - was not good. The crust was dry and flavorless, and was neither integrated with, nor saved by the toppings. I have to give this one a D.
Food, 1 N.  Clinton Ave. 325-7373
Mon. - Fri. 6:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

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