Bagby Pizza Company opened in late October of 2009 and shares the name and original home of the Bagby Furniture Company that built the building in 1902 (and remained in business until 1990). The space has a great urban feel with 20+ foot ceilings, exposed brick walls, and eye catching art work and houses about 20 tables (it also can get pretty noisy when busy!). Not a full serve restaurant, the drill here is to order and pay for your food and drink at the counter and then you receive a numbered “flag” to put on the table of your choice (which the staff uses to identify who you are when they bring your food); beer and wine are available; soft drinks are self-serve.
Bagby’s speciality is its brick oven pizzas. You can custom build your pizza but it’s less expensive to pick from one of 18 or so pre-designed combinations available in either a small (10” – $10-$11) or large (14” – $17) size. The menu also includes a dozen sandwiches ($8-$10), half a dozen pasta dishes ($12-$14 but available in ½ portions) and salads ($7 – add $3 for chicken, steak or shrimp)
Visiting Bagby with a group of friends, John stayed weight conscious and opted for a Spinach Berry Salad with grilled chicken ($10). Marty ordered a “Chicken Parmgiana” pizza along with a bowl of Gazpacho ($4 – the “soup of the day”). Our friends ordered a variety of pizzas – Gourmet Vegetable ($11), Prosciutto & Goat Cheese($11), BBQ Chicken ($11), and Tennessee Honey Chicken ($11).
John’s salad proved excellent– a large bed of baby spinach was topped with freshly grilled, still hot chicken breast with strawberries, blackberries, sunflower seeds and blue cheese with a vinaigrette dressing won his “Thumbs Up!”. Marty’s gazpacho soup was cool and delicious full of pureed veggies and earned “Thumbs Up!” too. Overall, consensus was that the pizza toppings were generous but the thin crusts were dry and that the outer edge was disappointingly cracker-like. Marty was less than thrilled with his “Chicken Parm” pizza (this combo just didn’t work for him); Bob felt the wild mushrooms, asparagus and roasted artichokes on his pizza were overpowered by too much cheese. By contrast, the BBQ Chicken pizza got a “Thumbs up!” from Fred & Bernie who thought that lots of crisp real bacon bits made a great addition.
Overall, Bagby Pizza provided good food for reasonable prices – particularly given the location between Harbor East and Little Italy (but the good looking young men shopping at “Whole Foods” across the street will probably more motivation for some of our friends (and perhaps Marty too…) to return to Bagby Pizza than the motivation our pizza provided to them! <Wink!>)
FACTS: Bagby Pizza Company (Harbor East); 1006 Fleet St; 410-605-0444; www.bagbypizza.com ; Open 7 days/week; lunch& dinner from 11 am to 9 pm; (Fri & Sat til 10 pm; Sunday Noon to 8pm; Beer & Wine; veggie options (DiningOUT visit: 2011/July)