Service with a wink

This pizza doesn’t have a chance against Figaro’s pizza-slicing master Sitardri Bagchi.

This pizza doesn’t have a chance against Figaro’s pizza-slicing master Sitardri Bagchi.

Photo By David Robert

“How did you make that pizza so fast?” my friend Bob asked, upon the arrival of our two pizzas and chicken wings about seven minutes after we ordered.

“Magic,” the very polite order-taker/pizza-maker answered as he began to sweep.

“They’re very well trained. They’ve all been here since day one,” said the owner of Figaro’s Pizza as he helped another customer.

The sociable employee stuck with his original story: “No, no. It’s magic. It’s all magic.”

I liked the clerk’s attitude.

Earlier, when I’d placed our order at the front counter, he’d responded to my requests for a Sicilian pan crust on the creamy garlic chicken pizza and “nothing to drink except for tap water, please” with the Princess Bride-style response, “As you wish.” He tried to encourage Bob to order a frosty beer, but Bob turned him down. The clerk persisted in an amiable sort of way, pointing at the fine microbrews on tap, which included Great Basin Icky and Fat Tire ale, and saying “Oh, but it’s so good with pizza, especially after a long, hard day at work.”

Bob didn’t actually notice that the guy had been gesturing to the tap beers until after we received our food. Otherwise, he admitted, he would have given in to some Icky.

Along with the large creamy-garlic-chicken pizza ($15.49), we ordered a small cheese ($8.49). I figure a cheese pizza is always a good indicator of how truly good a pizza place is. If a restaurant can screw up something as basic as cheese, crust and tomato sauce, there’s a lot of potential to screw up everything else. Figaro’s didn’t disappoint.

The crust on both pizzas might just be the best crust I’ve had. It was light and fluffy, not doughy, not crunchy. It was like eating an airy piece of toasted sourdough bread beneath a variety of fixings. In fact, the whole chicken-garlic pizza tasted light. The small pieces of chicken were very fresh. The creamy garlic sauce was less distinguishable than other white sauces I’ve had—this was a good thing because I think white sauces are generally overly gelatinous and slathered on way too thick. The cheese pizza was light on sauce (tomato, this time) as well, which meant the flavors of the cheeses really dominated. The barbecue chicken wings were predictable; they didn’t taste quite as fresh as the chicken on the pizza.

Both the clerk and the owner were very attentive to our needs throughout our meal. When the owner first asked how our food was, he was generally interested, and I have little doubt that if I had had a complaint about my pizza, he would have promptly brought me a menu and asked which pizza I would like to order in its stead.

Figaro’s Pizza is a step above the average pizza parlor, although not quite on the same level as local specialty pizzerias (Blue Moon and Pirate’s Pizza come to mind). What does put Figaro’s above the rest is the exceedingly friendly, we-aim-to-please attitude of the staff. I’ll be back just for that.