Tucked behind a parking lot at 161 Cushing Street hides Flatbread Company, the Providence iteration of a small chain that has franchises throughout New England in places like Martha’s Vineyard, Portland (not that one), and Somerville (and also randomly Hawaii and Whistler). Flatbread Company “has been introducing people to the magic of earth and fire” since 1998. Their clay, sand, hay, and ash ovens attempt to imitate a form of cooking that has been around for millennia. They’ve also committed themselves to serving as much organic and locally-sourced food as possible. The Cushing location opened on December 26, 2013.
For a building hidden from the rush of Thayer by CVS, Flatbread Company has a very open, welcoming feel to it. The two ovens, which workers are constantly feeding flatbreads on giant wooden boards, occupy one side of the restaurant, exposed to customers. At the other end, past an extremely long bar serving various local beers, there’s a library, because Flatbread Company is also trying to become your new secret study space. A friendly, attentive staff only add to the vibe. We got both of our pizzas in under 10 minutes. Your move, Nice Slice.
Though there were many appetizing options on the menu, both with and without meat, we ordered the Providence Community Flatbread — caramelized onions and mushrooms, both organic, over tomato sauce — and the weekly meat special, which was an aggressively herbal (we’re talking sage, thyme, the works) chicken pie without any sauce. There are two sizes available, but the small one is still plenty of food. I’m not a fan of sauceless flatbreads, so I was partial to the Providence Community one, but both were quite tasty. The vegetables, especially the mushrooms, were fresh, and the crust was equal parts chewy and crunchy. Then, after downing our diet cokes (free refills!), we moved on to a brownie sundae, because obviously our dessert stomachs weren’t full yet, just our dinner stomachs. The ice cream — one scoop vanilla, one scoop chocolate — came from a creamery in Milton, MA, but no word on the roots of the brownie.
Two small pizzas, two sodas, and a brownie sundae set us back $41, including tax and tip. That honestly was probably an excessive feast for two; one large flatbread could have easily satisfied us. It’s not a chicken-bacon-ranch or buffalo chicken slice to go at 1:45 a.m. on a Saturday from Antonio’s, but Flatbread Company doesn’t aspire to be that. It’s a solid gourmet addition to the Thayer Street lineup. And, perhaps most importantly, they don’t serve pizza in a cone.
Check this link for the menu if you’re trying to work up an appetite. It’s worth every penny.