The Flyover Brewing Company opened a little more than a month ago and people in town have been raving about how good their beer is. They also claim the pizza is delicious and everyone should eat there.
A couple of friends visited the first week they were open and raved about the beer. They wanted to try the chicken wings, but the business had run out of them. I frowned at that comment. How do you run out of chicken wings when wings and pizza is all your business sells. Still, I figured I’d give them a try. This pizza was supposed to be so tasty that even I, the great pizza snob, would like it.
Located on the corner of 19th and Broadway, the Flyover Brewing Company is easy to get to. Its black exterior stands out against the tan and red brick buildings that make up the rest of the immediate area.
The three owners wanted to create a brewpub in downtown Scottsbluff and enlisted Derek Ordway, who has been brewing beer for nine years, first as a hobby, then as a professional. Before coming to Scottsbluff, he spent time in Fort Collins, Colorado before heading to Buffalo, New York to take a position as Head Brewer at the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant. His favorite beers to brew are Pilsners and experimental IPAs.
I don’t drink beer, so I have to assume Ordway knows what he’s doing. The beer drinkers I do know think the beer at Flyover is fantastic.
The food, however is something different. Eager to try this place out, my husband, Paul and I headed into town for a late lunch. Paul has eaten here before and enjoyed everything about the place, including the industrial look to the restaurant that seems to be the trend everywhere.
I ordered an iced tea, which arrived quickly. The taste, however, was left behind. The tea was the right shade of brown that iced tea should be, but it tasted like water. It wasn’t until I halfway finished with it that I tasted the lemon and then, my drink tasted like lemon water, not iced tea.
For $3, I expected some good tea. Runza, which is literally across the street from Flyover, still has the best iced tea in town. You get more tea, it’s only $1, and has great flavor.
We ordered the pretzels as an appetizer. For $5 I expected something more. The pretzels were chewy and not completely cooked, but Paul said it tasted fine. For $5 I expected more, not only in taste and quality, but quantity. The two pretzels were small and overpriced for what was on offer.
Our pizzas came soon after. Service was prompt and friendly. We had just finished the last bites of pretzel when they had arrived.
I ordered a cheese pizza. It seemed a simple enough task. When it arrived, there was more sauce than cheese and it was evident that the cheese was plopped on top of the sauce in six distinct places, ensuring there would be cheese in each slice. The cheese had oozed a bit around the radius of the pizza, but was not fully covered the entire thing.
Since this is homemade pizza made in a wood-fired stove, I made allowances for the fact that it is unlikely that in a month whoever does the cooking here is an expert at how to properly design and cook the pizza.
The pizza is small, with three slices about the normal size of one slice of pizza in New York. I knew right away I would not be able to fold the slices as they were too narrow to do so. As I bit into the pizza, a taste spread around my mouth that said, “This is not how pizza should taste.” The sauce was overwhelming. It should be a compliment to the cheese. Instead it, and the oregano and other spices, made me taste a combination of rancid grass mixed with tomato sauce.
A pizza sauce should be on the creamy side. It should also not be overpowering. This sauce was so sweet, I wondered how much extra sugar they added to make is so sickeningly so.
The crust of the pizza was far too thin, giving the pizza a cardboard feel. It is a Neapolitan crust, but the Neapolitan pizza I had in Naples was far superior. It, too, was not cooked correctly. I managed to get down three pieces before my jaw hurt. Although it had just came out of the oven, the crust tasted like it was three days old. Even though I was still hungry, I stopped eating.
Paul ate his mushroom pizza and said it was good. I suppose if I had finished off a couple of beers this pizza would have tasted good, too.
We boxed up the remainder of my pizza and brought it home.
The only good thing about my dining experience was watching the Nebraska Cornhuskers blow a ten point lead with four minutes left in the game. That takes some talent.
Pizza for breakfast is a tradition in my home. As a child, my mother would often purchase an extra cheese pizza that was left alone until the next day. It was always delectable. I ate another slice of pizza to see how it stands up to this test.
The pizza was a soggy mess. The crust had become limp and mushy. The sweetness of the sauce even more overpowering than when it was fresh.
I won’t be eating pizza at the Flyover Brewing Company again. Cheese pizza is as simple as it comes and nothing was right about how it was made. The price of $8 seems reasonable in these times and I am willing to pay for a good pizza, which I have yet to find in western Nebraska.
Because Paul really likes the oatmeal stout, as well as the sub-par pizza, I am willing to give the place another shot. They also serve chicken wings. The next time I go, I will try those. Otherwise, I see a future of sitting across the table from Paul sipping on a glass of water while he eats “pizza” and drinks beer.