Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Some Unconventional Pies

Obed and Isaac’s Microbrewery and Eatery

Obed & Isaac's Fig Pizza

By Jeremy Zumwalt (Guest SPP Blogger)

What a nice menu.  I just want to put that out there, many old favorites and a lot of twists on old and new(er) favorites.  It was nice to go to an establishment in the Springfield area and not see a horseshoe on the menu, but this is a pizza review so I will try to stay on topic.
I had come to Obed and Isaac’s with the usual unusual cast of characters that make an evening like this worth the nightmare of social interaction (I kid…kinda’).  From all accounts the locally brewed beer, which they call a micro brew, though I swear I saw the distillery equipment in the building next door no microscope required, was more than palatable and the selection of brew in general was well vetted and approved of by the attendant crew I dined and drank with.
In the communal way we often operate, a large and varied selection of food was ordered off the menu to be shared amongst us.  Included were three varieties of their flat bread pizza: Margherita Chicken, Bacon and Bleu Cheese, and Fig Pizza.  The crusts of each pie were exemplary, being   thin, crisp, delicate, yet strong enough to support the toppings without fear of wearing your leftovers home (and really, have you ever tried to hang a shirt in the fridge?  It is totally not worth the effort, just pick the food off and wash the shirt).
Of the three, the Bacon and Blue was the least satisfying, perhaps because I had the greatest expectations.  I failed to detect the herbed olive oil sauce indicated as being present; this pie was quite dry.  The caramelized onions did not add enough onion or sweetness to stand out, and I detected few roasted peppers.  The predominate flavor was of dry bleu cheese and dry bacon.  I supplemented this pizza with a bit of the hot wing sauce from the absolutely wonderful smoked chicken legs, and this improved the offering from a moisture perspective, but overall the flavors were not well sorted and the pie was muddled and middling.
The Margherita Chicken was a definitive step forward from the prior offering.  Strong  flavor of fresh basil complemented the more subtle flavoring of the garlic and tomato.  The marinated chicken failed to stand out, but was in no way a negative and the same could be said for the Italian cheese blend.  I would have preferred a bit more of the spicy tomato sauce to give greater balance to this pizza, yet overall I would recommend this pie with little reservation.
The final pie was the most surprising, a fig pizza.  Not being a fig connoisseur outside the realm of Newtonian physics cookies (and to the dinner colleague who trumpeted Strawberry Newtons I say again, “no one cares!”) I can say I was hesitant.  As the square of pie was raised nearer my mouth I was definitely off put by the scent; fig and gorgonzola is definitely a know your date well combination in romantic settings for those in the singles scene.  Once I actually bit into this slice of pie my trepidations sauntered off to contemplate more important and pressing matters and I was left blissfully chewing a quitter unique and tasty pizza combination I had never entertained as plausible.  Ladies, gentleman, and various people I would not normally address, I attest to you this is one fine pie.  The pungent aroma and creamy texture of the gorgonzola played beautifully with the subtle sweetness of fig as well as the caramelized sweetness of the onion.  Of the Crème Fraise I can say little because, and as alluded to in my prior evaluations, the sauce was nearly a non-factor in the festivities.  For what was present, I still hold fond memories.
Obed and Isaac’s was a pleasant surprise.  For fault, I can advise you that the building is a bit cramped, the bar area far too small, and the wait times borderline indignant.  So, that is the bad part; cry about it somewhere else.  The building is also charming, the bar well stocked and agreeable, and the food well worth the wait.  I will be returning to this establishment and encouraging friends and any of you strangers I can stand that you do the same.  It is always worthy in this area to find an establishment that offers more than cheese sauce and cheap domestic buckets as a calling card. 

Overall Pie Rating:  6.75.

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