Saturday, October 2, 2010

If it Ain't Broke...

A few years ago Kris blogged about the Portsmouth Gas Light Co. You can read the review here, but basically it stated that the Gas Light has some incredible pizza. It was so good: wood fired, crispy, almost charred crust, the sauce tasted of fresh tomatoes, the pepperoni was both sweet and spicy, and the dough had a wonderful chew to it. It was just a damn good pizza; right to the top the list. Wow, how things have changed...

We were in Maine last weekend for the Greater Bridgton Brewers Festival. The weather was perfect for the first weekend of fall. It was sunny and hot with a refreshing breeze. Great beer drinking weather. (I say that a lot) The festival was a short walk from Kris' parents house on Sebago Lake. So, we all could drink and no one had to drive anywhere. We sampled the different beers, talked about them, and really enjoyed the day. After we ran out of beer tickets we walked back to Kris' parents house and continued the party. It was a great day. But, the whole time all I could think about was pizza. Because I knew we were stopping at the Gas Light Sunday afternoon on the way home.

We entered the Gas Light a little after 1:00 Sunday afternoon and sat at the bar.

"Hey guys" the bartender said "something to drink?"

Since I drank a few too many beers the night before, "I'll have a Jack and Coke." And Kris ordered a Coke.

"Are you both doing the Buffet?"

"Buffet? No. We're getting a pizza." I said

"It's an all you can eat pizza buffet." He said.

I should have trusted my gut feeling right there and walked out . A pizza buffet? Really?

"It's $6 each and all you can eat." He continued.

"No thanks. We'll have a large pepperoni with ricotta please."

"Oh...okay." The bartender said as if we were crazy.

We waited, still hoping for a great pizza to arrive. When the pie showed up, we knew right away. It was not going to be special. The outer crust was pale and the whole pizza looked as if it was not cooked enough. After eating a slice I knew it was not just undercooked. It was flawed by design. The fresh tomato wasn't there, the slight sourdough crust was replaced by a flavorless dough, and the pepperoni was now clearly of lesser quality. This pizza was perfect for a pizza buffet. It would be just fine for a Tuesday night delivery. But, it's nothing special. It was kind of sad. We looked forward to an awesome pizza; and we drove by some great restaurants to get there. I believe a trip to Santarpio's is in our immediate future.


Sledneck said...

I hate when that happens, I am still wanting to get up there and try Santarpios.

Bob said...

It happens all too often out here, someplace gets successful, then somehow it all changes for the worse. So sad.

Cigarette Sally said...

Don't trust anyone for food you've got to check it out yourself!

Sledneck said...

Santarpios opened a second location

pigtrip said...

"flawed by design":
A key distinction, very astute conclusion. Did you ask why they changed? Sadly, for every person like you or me who is willing to pay a premium for something great, there are 10 more who'd rather go the cheap route. Wonder if they cut corners simply to keep the less discriminating customers.

Lakeside Smoker said...

Cigarette Sally,

I agree 100%. What I posted is only my opinion and you should go there and find out on your own. The fact is (and what Pigtrip is saying) is that a lot of people LOVE pizza buffets. They would rather spend less money for a lower quality pizza. I would not. The only reason I even blogged about this is because we gave this place a great review a few years ago. I didn't change my mind, they changed their pizza.


Guy said...

I worked in Portsmouth for several years, and stopped by the Gaslight often. Sometimes for the pizza buffet. It was just okay, nothing great, just as you found. Eventually, we started to switch it up with the Flatbread Co. downtown.