Thomas and I decided to brave the Saturday crowds and go to the most fearsome place on earth, the mall. With several gift cards evaporating due to non-use, it was time to suck it up and park the car near other cars (met a nice man who was courageous enough to park his Porsche Cayman near Sears...) and encounter people with children. Lots of children. Sticky, loud, plentiful children (and the related monster strollers, wheelie sneakers and other obnoxious modes of transport.***See below) I could feel the headache coming on.
The restaurant is hidden in business park not far from the Sun Microsystems campus. The exterior shows you nothing that would cause you to enter, but the interior is delightfully, organically nice. The centerpiece of the room is a large wood-fired oven and we naturally gravitated there as Spring is still lagging somewhat.
The crunchy, organic thing is not just a concept - it's a way of doing business. Our delightful server Claudia gave me the "first time visitor" intro to Flatbread. The food is cooked using only fire. The tomato sauce that they prepare is cooked in a cauldren over a wood fire and the pizza is cooked in the unique oven that was built by "members of the community" as it was described to me. Cool. I can totally dig that.
Visit the Flatbread company online and check out their purpose & values page. Yeah, that purpose and those values that are written out somehow permeate the place. The service was delightful, I enjoyed watching three young men stoke the fire, chop wood, toss dough, and make for me the Jay's Heart pizza. The pizza that arrived about ten minutes after it was ordered was transcendent. The crust perfectly cooked, the cheese perfectly melted and the balance of ingredients was just right. I enjoyed the organic lemonade sweetened with maple syrup. I don't usually drink lemonade, but this beverage was unique in its delicious, not overly sweet/not too tart lemonadeness. Flatbread has a full bar and a nice wine and beer list, but it was a wee bit early for me (and me+alcohol+proximity to children = probably yelling at parents who are busy ignoring the wails of their spawn.)
(Someone's quiet spawn enjoying the warmth and view of the oven.)
(Any place, in any mall that requires STROLLER PARKING is not a place that I will be visiting. I'm glad the parents have a place to take the little ones, but I'm really glad I don't have to go.)