Friday, November 5, 2010

Rochester: Broadway Pizza

Location: Along the frontage road on the west side of Highway 52, near Target North.

Cuisine: Pizza/American.

Atmosphere: Broadway Pizza from the Twin Cities took this restaurant, which used to be the Minnesota "Up North" look of Timber Lodge Steakhouse and turned it into a train-themed pizza restaurant and bar. There are model trains which run along the walls of the restaurant near the ceiling. We were seated on more of the bar-side of the restaurant, though fortunately we sat at a booth and didn't have to sit at a high-top table. The downside was that this side of the restaurant, which also contains the weekday lunch and Monday-night buffet, seemed awfully loud. There were a few TVs on which were showing ESPN.

Service/Ordering: Our visit was during the opening week of this restaurant. Even though it was a Wednesday night, it was only the third day this place was open, so therefore, it was busy. When we walked in, the people that walked in ahead of us had turned around and walked out again, not wanting to wait the estimated amount of time. When I asked how long it would be, I was told about 35 minutes. We decided to wait, because I didn't think that was long for a place that had just opened up, and there are some restaurants in Rochester where you may be waiting that long anyway during their peak times. Granted, these other restuarants probably didn't have such long waits for their peak times on a Wednesday, but still, this place was new. And the estimated wait time was pretty accurate, within about five minutes or so. However, while the employees all seemed to be scrambling, there did seem to be quite a few empty tables in the dining area when we were finally seated, so they were apparently having troubles with keeping up with the busing of tables and getting the tables filled as efficiently as they should have been.

Once we were seated, we were greeted quickly and friendly, which is always a concern when a place is busy, so this place gets a plus for that. However, after we got our food, the service did seem to diminish somewhat. When it came time to get our water refilled, our waitress told Tammy that she would get her another glass of water--in the meantime, another waitress came along and noticed the waters were low and said she'd refill them for us, and returned with a pitcher of water to refill our glasses with a lot quicker than our regular waitress brought her a new glass of water. Overall, I'd say the service was on the high end, though there was also room for improvement.

The Food: There is a lot to select from on the menu--from pizzas, pasta, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, salads, appetizers, and desserts. What was strange was that the beers and wines and alcoholic drinks were featured more prominently on the menu than the actual food was, so this place isn't necessarily family oriented.

We were there for pizza on this visit, and there were more choices for pizza than a lot of other pizza places. And there are three different styles of pizza you can chose from--thin crust, New York-style, and Chicago-style. We ordered the "perfect pizza" where you can select up to five toppings, and we selected sausage, artichoke hearts, jalapenos, roasted peppers and onions, and feta cheese. The first thing we noticed about the pizza once it arrived is that it is a deep dish/pan pizza, but it isn't really what would be considered Chicago-style with the sauce on the top of the pizza. But they did have quite a few toppings on this pizza, so you don't have to worry about not getting your money's worth here. Also, with the jalapenos added, and the number they added made this pizza spicer than what would be considered "Minnesota hot," and that's actually a good thing. There is nothing worse than thinking something is going to be hot and it's not, so this is another example of a good spice level. The sauce had a good flavor and blended well with the other toppings we chose, and the crust was exellently prepared and cooked.

Overall: In terms of taste, this is my current favorite pizza place in Rochester. Like I previously said, service could have been improved upon, but it's also better than a lot of other restaurants we've been to. The railroad theme is a welcome change from sterile restaurants or places that like to decorate with lots of old knick knacks.

Broadway Pizza on Urbanspoon

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