Located in the heart of Greenwich on fancy pants Greenwich Ave., Pizza Factory is a comfortable eatery amidst couture shops, high-end jewelers, and purveyors of luxury stemware, as well as countless other places where people who are better than us buy things. This restaurant also serves as somewhat of a teen hangout during the week (which pisses off said fancy pantses) and allegedly cranks out good pizzas by the gross. Ideally, pies would all come out on a conveyor belt and be assembled by robots, but it’s not that kind of factory.
Establishment. What struck us first upon entering Pizza Factory is the incredibly eclectic decor, seemingly in spite of the overwhelming stuffiness that usually comes with being on Greenwich Ave. Decked out in antique road signage and promotional tin doodads, this restaurant comes across as a comfortable little nook complete with paneled walls, creaky wooden furniture, and plenty of low-hanging tavern lights. Our server was quick to take our order, extra personable, and very helpful with suggestions, but the food came out slower than usual (which we’d normally attribute to the crowd, but this place was dead).
Being a pizza factory and all, the menu carries but a few non-pizza options ranging from hearty, cheese-filled salads to sandwiches (paninis and traditional wedges) and not a whole lot else. The menu’s crown jewel is, quite unsurprisingly, the litany of pizza options including a huge list of specialty pies (less traditional Mexican, Chicken Burrito, and Hawaiian, for instance), gourmet pies (classic margarita, pesto-having, and other Italian-sounding options), a virtual arsenal of unique, one-off toppings, and the unique (at least around these parts) offering of either deep dish or thin crust.
Pizza. Our pie du jour was Pizza Factory’s CBT, or chicken, bacon, and fresh, sliced tomato in it’s thin crust incarnation.
How about that? Founded on a crispy, pan-style thin crust, this pie had an overwhelmingly chalky, breadstick-like texture with a muted yeasty flavor to match. The crispness was welcome, however, and a stark contrast to the creamy, stringy, subtle presence of the delicious mozzarella provided by our good friends in Wisconsin at Grande cheese. The sauce was underwhelming for the most part and clearly under proportioned but seemed a bit bland when isolated. We wouldn’t be at all surprised if this lackluster profile was intentional as this restaurant doesn’t seem too keen on serving plain pies.
Pizza Factory clearly thrives on its toppings and specialty offerings, and for good reason. Our CBT came with a healthy amount of chicken—breaded, seasoned, thinly sliced cutlet strips, to be specific—as well as plenty of crispy, salty bacon pieces and the fresh tang of sliced tomatoes (which were surprisingly bright and flavorful considering it’s December). This combination was clearly thought out (take notice, everyone who puts every available meat on a pie and calls it “special”) and very complementary to the overall flavor of the pie. That said, the pizza staples that we hold near and dear—cheese, sauce, and crust—were solid, but nothing extraordinary. They act as a vehicle to hold the pizza together, carry specialty toppings into your gullet, and little else.
The bottom line. Pizza Factory is just that, a quirkily decorated establishment that bangs out all sorts of specialty pies, flavorful ingredients, and unique combinations that act as accessories on a solid, but underwhelming core of a pizza.
Hits the Spot: 5.7/10
Large Cheese: $14.49