By Levi Bremner
Like pizza? Then you have to try Farrelli’s Wood Fire Pizza. Founders John, Margaret and Jacque Farrell established Farrelli’s back in 1995 as a place where customers could relax and unwind from their busy lives, all while enjoying delicious food. After checking out Farrelli’s “About us” section of their web page it was clear to see the defining values that this pizzeria was built upon. “…they founded their concept on ‘quality’ with the understanding that by focusing on making the best products and delivering them with great customer service, that their customers would gladly pay for them.” (farrellispizza.com). This stance must have worked for the founders since in 2006 they achieved the “Pizzeria of the Year Award” by Pizza Today Magazine.
So if you’re hungry and want something that provides a welcoming atmosphere, incredible hospitality and belly warming food, Farrelli’s is the place to go. Fortunately, my friends and fellow students were willing and wanted to join me on my restaurant review experience, making customer opinion variety much larger. Food and service, I believe to be of highest importance when critiquing an establishment, therefore the remainder of my review I will be referencing my own and my colleague’s judgment on these two main topics.
Warming up with smaller portions is always a great way to get ones appetite talking. Farrelli’s Fire Stix’s and the Fresh Dinner Salad complemented one another well, since they are so drastically different. The Fire Stixs dough was tender and warm, dripping quality gooey cheese, whereas the Fresh Dinner Salad was crispy with the freshest of vegetables and crunchy by non-stale croutons, sided with the thickest and most creamy ranch I’ve ever tasted. However, some flavorful disappointments were noticeable. The Fire Stixs lacked their fiery bite leaving me with merely a cheese stick and the salads sliced red onions made it a bit tangy, which in some people’s view is a good thing… but not in mine. For the most part these pre-dinner courses were satisfactory.
Although purchased by my company, I had the chance to try the Meateater’s Calzone and Chicken Carbonara Lasagna which turned out to be equally pleasant; but rather than selling myself short and buying some miscellaneous entrée’, I of course claimed Farrelli’s most popular dish: The “James’ Favorite” Pizza. The first bite sent me to nirvana. With mouthwatering mozzarella, provolone and cheddar cheese smothering the perfectly cooked crust and tender, garlic hinted chicken with Italian sausage and bacon companions, James’ Favorite was a win. In fact, I was so pleased with my dish that difficult for me to not form a favoring bias and continue critiquing, but continue I did.
Sampling the Meateaters Calzone first, I found instantly that it was a man’s meal. Filled with red sauce, cheese and meat, this entrée’ bought me back to the basics of a solid calzone. However, ingredient proportions were a little off. Salami, meatballs and especially the Italian sausage were clearly the dominators of the dish, creating a bewildering task for the consumer to constantly chew and leave a dent on their plate. Overall the calzones large emphasis of meat was ultimately its downfall. The final entrée’ I tasted was the Chicken Carbonara Lasagna, which definitely is one of Farrelli’s richer suppers. Once again utilizing a variety of gourmet cheeses and sliced chicken you begin to see a common pattern, although there were a few elegant surprises. A new stimulant to my taste buds was the red onions, spinach and ham that added a fun twist to the meal. The lasagna noodles themselves obtained good texture, but had burned slightly to the bottom of the plate. This one defect is really my only concern and critique regarding the Chicken Carbonara Lasagna.
At last, time for dessert. Ordering the Apple Crumble à la Mode and a slice of the Big FAT Chocolate Cake was almost too much; and this was split between three of us! However, with determined attitudes and many eating breaks, we prevailed. Both delicacies sent me to a sweet paradise of richness and creaminess. The chocolate cake, swirled with caramel and chocolate sauce, almost sent me into a delectable food coma, where the apple crumble kept me on the edge of my seat with its soft vanilla ice cream that cooled the warm crumbles and syrup coated apple slices. These top-notch after-dinner sweets were above and beyond perfect.
Although I could on and on about Farrelli’s food I must wrap up and move on to my next point of service. Evaluating length of times, I must say I was fairly content. Upon entering the building my guests and I were pleasantly greeted, seated at our table and our drink orders taken, all within five minutes. This undoubtedly left a good impression. Our main courses were served twenty minutes after ordering them, which at first glance seems like a considerable amount of time. However, taking into account the appetizer’s we received only eight minutes after ordering, I would say the main course was right on track.
Undesirably, there was one disappointment regarding time, this due to a long checking process. After we had paid for our dinners it took about thirty minutes before our checks came back to us, which could have created a stressing occurrence had we encountered rude employees. Fortunately this wasn’t the case; in fact, I barely even noticed our wait. Why you ask? My answer: professional staff. The workers of Farrelli’s make it a priority to welcome and give full attention to their customers, as well as show the best of adaptability to their needs. A great example of this was after my friend had ordered and tried his beer, he found it to be unsatisfactory because of a watered down taste. Having our server return it, the bartender herself came out explaining that CO2 levels were actually low in the keg he ordered from, causing its weakness. Immediately, she avoided the whole awkward situation by offering him a selection of different beers, making us all feel more comfortable. I realized then, it’s professional employees like these that make a successful business run.
Overall, I give Farrelli’s Wood Fire Pizza 4.75 stars out of 5. The chef’s determination to make the highest quality food and the staffs insurance of excellent service does not go unnoticed and I greatly admire all Farrelli’s employees for it. As a whole, I couldn’t have been more pleased with the selection of hot foods and desserts that I and my friends had chosen, as well as the friendly service we received. I anxiously anticipate my return.