Ever since this place got a good review in the WaPo, I've been wanting to check it out. The problem? I hate the suburbs, and Ashburn is about as suburban as it gets. Now, I grew up in the 'burbs, mind you, so I am allowed to make fun. I just have one question for you suburbanites: why do you have such big cars? What the heck is that all about?
Anyway, my friend Maria, who has been living in Denmark, was stopping in DC for a couple days during her whirlwind Christmas tour of CONUS (which apparently refers to the "continental United States") and was staying in a hotel out by Dulles airport. And since Gary actually works out in BFE / Redskins Park / Ashburn VA, I thought, what better time to try out American Flatbread?
In spite of getting lost about a half dozen times (thanks Mapquest), and getting flipped the bird by two different guys (it's always a man, isn't it?) in gigantic automobiles, and me screaming, "I hate the *@#?!& suburbs!!" about twenty times along the way, we finally made it there in one piece.
The interior of the restaurant is really cute and cozy. We got a seat right next to the wood-burning oven, which was quite nice on a blustery winter night. AND-- we had no wait in the nearly empty dining room (okay, score one for the suburbs-- no wait-- NICE).
I like the philosophy behind the restuarant-- they use fresh, organic, locally grown ingredients. Always a good thing. And their menu items have funny names like "Evolution Salad" (which was quite good, I might add).
On to the pizza. Wait, no, it's not "pizza", it's "flatbread." Mmmkay. I don't know what the point of that is... but whatevs. We got a veggie one with mushrooms and carmelized onions, and a pepperoni and peppers one.
I can't say the pizza, er, FLATBREAD, was bad. But I can't really say it's good either. Whenever I asked Gary for his rating, he'd get a confused look on his face. I kept saying, "I don't get this pizza." I don't even know how to describe it, really. Maria, for her part, thought it was awesome. Apparently, the only pizza in Denmark is Pizza Hut, and it costs about a half a million dollars. And with the exchange rate with the Euro, that's nothing to sneeze at. I asked for Maria's rating, and she said, "Ten." I explained that the highest rating was four stars. She reconsidered, and said, "Ten." I think all those days of eating pastries and fish has muddled her palate.
The crust was really crunchy. It was kind of like eating a pizza on overcooked Cosi bread. Which isn't necessarily BAD, it's just weird. The toppings did taste fresh, and the onions were yummy. There wasn't a whole lot of sauce; in fact I could hardly taste it.
I guess my main issue with the pizza is that it sort of made me feel... blah. Like I ate a big brick of crusty bread. I didn't have my usual pizza afterglow. Sitting on my couch after we returned to the city, Gary looked over at me and said, "I'd make a pass at you, but I have a giant pizza sitting in my stomach." That pretty much sums it up.
So would I travel back out to the 'burbs for American Flatbread pizza? I'm thinking... no.
Liza and Gary's rating: 2 stars