For our third meeting, The Birmingham Lunch Club ventured to long time Mountain Brook establishment Davenport’s Pizza Palace.
BME: Hindsight is 50/50, but I should have walked to Davenport’s Pizza from my office. Parking in Mountain Brook Village is a bear, so I was forced to park by a soccer field and walk nearly as far as my office was anyway. I met Joey and Greg who had already snagged a sweet seat, and I ordered a lemonade. It was refreshing. Then, when Brad came in, we all began ordering. I thought we’d all split a pie, but Greg and Brad did not have cash. They ordered personal pies, while Joey and I split a medium. Now, I like a lot of meat on my pie, but Joey only wanted pepperoni and extra cheese. Fair enough. He also went ahead and ordered me sone ranch for dipping! He knows me so well.
Now, here is where points start coming off: it took a half hour to get our pizza (maybe more), I am pretty sure our waitress completely forgot we were there and there was a dumb baby in the room. The atmosphere wasn’t shabby, though, with adequate seclusion in a rather small room. The pie was very, very good. It was a thin crust, and I probably would have chosen a deep dish if it were an option. I liked the cheese and the sauce was very light. I also liked that. The pie was cut into little squares like an eight-year-old’s birthday party. That was kinda weird. The waitress was late bringing my ranch, but when she did, let me tell you, It was quite a complement. I liked the crushed red pepper and the red Pizza Hut glasses were a classy touch. There was a game room, but we did not have time to play in it because it took an hour to get out pies. I would go back, but I would call and place my order ahead or get it to go. OVERALL: 2 out of 5 bros.
BTH: Davenport’s Pizza “Palace” is nestled in Mountain BROok Village. Well, perhaps “crammed” is a better word. After navigating the labyrinth to find a parking spot four blocks away, I was excited to try this pizza I had heard so much about. The atmosphere was just like the part of the city in which it lies – very cramped. However, the partitions added to the ambience and created a nice barrier for us to enjoy our privacy as bros. I ordered “Lunch Special #1″ – a 9” two-topping pizza (I chose pepperonis and green peppers) with a drink. This was $10. A bit pricey, but I hoped it would be worth it. My pizza arrived after a bit of a wait. It was on a crust that was roughly as thick as a dime. Now crust and bread can make or break a pizza or sandwich, so I dove in to see what I had been missing. Sadly, I found the answer to be “not much.” I enjoy the flavor of a good crust. There just wasn’t much of one here. While it appeared to have been cooked in a brick oven, it tasted more like burnt toast than a fresh pizza. Disappointed, I pressed on. The sauce was not too sweet or overbearing. The cheese was nothing to write home about. What bothered me most about my meal is tough to describe. You know when you’re walking down stairs and you think there is one more so you do that goofy-ass giant step/trip thing? That’s what each bite was like. The cheese was so thick (and appeared to have settled before arriving) and the crust so thin that when I bit into it, before I knew it, my bite was done. If I had turned my pizza upside-down, perhaps this could have been avoided. Davenport’s is owned by Jim Davenport, a former baseball player with the San Francisco Giants. With the major chain pizza restaurants engaged in an aggressive competition to put the other out of business and give you the most for your money, a minor league effort isn’t worth the trip. They do have free Tootsie Pops though. Overall: 2.5 bros
GRT: No one puts @GTice4 in a corner. Except at Davenport’s Pizza in Mountain Brook where I had to pull the table out from the wall, get in my seat then have other bros push the table back so we weren’t hanging in the aisle. I think the table was really for 3 people and a bonus chair. We made it work for the BLC. I went with the lunch special of a small pizza (with 2 toppings) with beverage. I got sausage with onions and green peppers. The pizza took close to 30 minutes to arrive after ordering, which seemed a little above average for pizza, however it was piping hot. It tasted very good, although it could use a greater sauce ratio. The toppings were fresh as well. My root beer didn’t come with the pizza, but boy howdy when it arrived it really hit the spot. The atmosphere was quite nice, although the BLC stuck out among the high brow people in this Mountain Brook establishment. I heard talks of trips to Beijing and closing the Vermont deal at nearby tables. Us bros talked of simple things, like the Tide, Tigers and $5 wagers. Overall, I walked out spending $14 after tip, a little high by BLC standards. All things included, I had decent time. OverAll: 2.5 out of 5 bros.
JPT: After just three weeks, the BLC has hit my three primary food groups – BBQ, tacos, and pizza. Greg and I arrived first and found easy parking 2 blocks away from Davenport’s. After taking our seats in a weird little indoor gazebo thing, we were presented with a menu on a large pizza board thing. Here’s a pic of Greg studying the limited topping options on an excessively large menu.
Blake and I picked the Lunch Special for 2 and split a 12″ Pepperoni and Extra Cheese. There was discussion of ordering garlic bread, but that was not even an option at Davenports. The service was very slow, but the pizza was all right. I think I’m the only one of the bros that prefers thin crust so Davenport’s was fine for me. I don’t think I will be going back, if I’m doing a small local pizza place I prefer Salvatore’s. Overall: 3 out of 5 bros.
COMPOSITE BRO SCORE: 2.5 bros.