You just never know where Natalie will end up each month!
Coming out of a turkey induced haze is never easy. The days following Thanksgiving can be foggy, and you often struggle to remember what day of the week it is. We finally finished our leftovers, and naturally, I wanted nothing to do with cooking. Easy fix? Pizza. Even easier? Deciding to hit up our favorite wood fire grilled pizza place, Farrelli’s. While they have 5 different locations in the area, this place is hardly a chain. They were founded in 1995, and some of the employees from Day #1 are still at the company today. When first opening, they wanted to focus on quality products and ingredients; a notion that still stands today.
We haven’t been to any other Farrelli’s locations, so this review will focus on the Dupont location. This is a brilliantly placed spot for a happening pizza joint/bar because it’s literally down the road from Fort Lewis, and dead center in an up and coming community. Walking in, you’ll notice that the restaurant is divided into two sections – the bar/pool tables and a regular, sit down area. Farrelli’s is adamant about keeping minors out of the bar area, so if you’re with kiddos they’ll be sitting you in the family friendly section. Trust me, you won’t be condemned by any means. On the ‘other side’ sits a fireplace, cozy booth seating, and plenty of tables. You can also peek into the kitchen, and glance at the chefs throwing crusts into the air.
The service at Farrelli’s is above par what you would expect a pizza joint to have – the waiters will double check on everything for you; from prices to ingredients, and they let you take your time with the menu. Although we’ve been here numerous times, we area constantly changing our minds and definitely need the time. If you have children with you, they’ll give them a ball of dough to play with – and trust me, while it may get messy, this is a perfect distraction and a welcome change of pace than the normal paper-and-crayons-route.
Our “go-to” appetizer are a house specialty – Farrelli’s Bread Stix. (Fun Fact – if you check in on Facebook, you get these for free!) The Stix are made from pizza dough, covered in cheese, and served with ranch and marinara sauce. This will feed 3 hungry adults and a toddler, and while we could “take it or leave it” we always find ourselves gravitating towards seconds… or maybe thirds… don’t judge us.
Farrelli’s has a pretty diverse menu, but I am a culinary coward and keep ordering pizza. The salads there always sound amazing, but I tend to revert to the adage, “I can make this at home”. They also offer calzones, sandwiches and pasta, and since we live in the health conscious part of the country, there is also a ‘fresh and healthy’ menu. For the record, they also have gluten free crusts (more on this later) and gluten free beer. What I love about this place is that you can customize your pizza – and I’m not just talking about toppings. You start with choosing your crust (classic, honey whole wheat, or gluten free), then your base (they have everything from olive oil to bleu cheese), before moving along to your cheeses (11 varieties), meats (10 kinds) and finally, your ingredients. This is where they always get me. Sure, your typical mushrooms and pepperoncinis are on there; but so are pine nuts, caramelized onions, black beans and whole roasted garlic cloves – to name a few. It’s the little things like this that set Farrelli’s apart.
I will be honest – I typically HATE gluten free pizza crusts. They taste like dried out cardboard, and typically ruin the entire pizza. Farrelli’s has done it right. Granted, they order their crust from Still Riding, but I will gladly accept that (they have only run out on me once) because it fulfills my dinner experience and I know I can count on their focus on quality. After a painstakingly long decision making process, I ordered the Gluten Free crust, alfredo sauce base, mozzarella/provolone cheese blend, no meat (yes I am weird) and mushrooms/spinach as a topper. I took one bite, and knew that I was in pizza heaven. Not only was the crust edible, the pizza was delicious. Every single bite was met with gooey cheese and pockets of alfredo sauce; tucked between spinach leaves and mushrooms. Nothing was overwhelming, and when it came down to the leftovers, I ate them so fast that I was literally mad at myself for not savoring it.
Another pizza that arrived at the table was The Hawaiian. On a regular crust, a myriad of ham and pineapple danced atop melted cheese and classic marinara pizza sauce. While I didn’t try any, I noticed that the pineapple was canned, and obviously wasn’t cooked with the pizza itself. Call me a snob, but I would have LOVED to see natural, organic pineapple in there, infused with the ham and cheese during the baking process. I know, I know – just a personal gripe. It looked and smelled amazing, and for the record, not one slice made it into the to-go box.
Last night, a special visitor in the form of a Deluxe Classic Combo Calzone made its way to the table. At most places, a calzone means you are met with a ballooned piece of dough, boasting over a pound of ingredients. Not at Farrelli’s. Here, portions are spot on, and the calzone disappeared before I was able to take a picture of it. This dish was also served with your choice of a salad or soup, and last night the Tomato Gorgonzola made an appearance for all of about 2 minutes.
What I also love about Farrelli’s is that they know how to take care of their customers, as well as their community. You see their names on charities, they sponsor numerous dinners, and of course, their arms are always wide open to the military men and women. Sitting next to a roaring fire, a drink menu that would make Betty Ford herself squirm, and being surrounded by friends and family, is the perfect way to end the Thanksgiving madness.
Farrelli’s Wood Fire Pizza
1590 Wilmington Dr.
Dupont, WA 98433