The Northside might not yet be a beacon of culinary delights, but signs of a turning tide are starting to show. A proper pizza place, for example, was needed -- particularly after Bennidito's closed its doors -- and newly opened Boiler Room has taken a good step toward covering that particular niche.
This is not a bad spot at all; it is, in fact, downright good. In some ways, calling it a Fire for the South Hill would be an apt way to describe it, be it the decor or be it the food.
The similarities in the interior, in particular, is not coincidental, seeing both spots were designed by HDG. They still have their distinct looks, mind you, but HDG's fingerprints can clearly be seen throughout both spots, and that's not a bad thing.
The style of the pies, meanwhile, land somewhere between Fire and Flying Goat. Think the more flatbread-y style of Fire, with Flying Goat's char, and you have a general picture of what to expect. That, again, is not a bad thing.
What does set Boiler Room apart from the aforementioned spots, is the variety of pies. With this being the last planning meeting for Nuclear #Spiceawar -- more about that tomorrow -- we gave the Fireball a try, a pizza that actually lived up to its name. Many places claim to have spicy pies, but few succeed to reach the level we saw here at Boiler Room.
And it wasn't like you couldn't taste the other flavors either. The nuances of the crust were clearly there, as were those of the cheese and meat. Luckily, too, nothing was overly oily or greasy, just nice, clean flavors shining through.
The Rosemary Chicken, too, followed suit, with a slightly smokey tinge to the chicken.
Bonus points for having a spicy Thai pizza that had its own distinct flavors, without feeling like a copycat of Fireball. All in all, a good trio of pizzas.
In fact, all the three pies felt refreshingly different, not only from each other, but also from what you find at other spots around town. And yes, that goes for their Thai too.
So, is Boiler Room worth the trip for those who live outside of the Northside hemisphere? I'd say so, though probably not at a regular basis. There are some good pies here, though the beer list is sadly lacking.
I wouldn't go as far as to say this is the best pizza spot in town. Veraci, South Perry, and Flying Goat are better. But Boiler Room holds its own. It's the best pizza place up north, and one that should be checked out and vetted by you all.
That's something I consider good praise.
Vote for Boiler Room: It’s your civic duty!