Saturday, May 11, 2013

Pizza Review: The Haven

On Wednesday, I got together with my girlfriends for pizza night number two.  Sharon had recommended The Haven in Kensington when we were leaving our first pizza night at Project Pie, so we headed there. 

When I arrived, I was super excited to see the layout- I'm a sucker for patios and open air restaurants! 

I'm standing outside on the sidewalk looking into the restaurant
I timed my arrival perfectly and Courtney and Dana were just ordering drinks.  I got a California Wit from the Coronado Brewing Company- a local brewery.  When the rest of the group arrived, we ordered the Haven Twists (breadsticks) with the spicy pizza sauce and garlic sauce and also the roasted brussel sprouts.  Sadly, the server never put our order in, so our pizzas were on the table before the appetizers. Fail.  We ended up canceling the order of Haven Twists, which was a little sad.  I thought the brussel sprouts were good, but not exceptional.

We decided to share a few pizzas and ordered the Spicy Pesto (spicy pizza sauce, hazelnut pesto, with fresh basil and fresh mozzarella), the Cortez (candied bacon, gorgonzola, and tomatoes, topped with fresh arugula and avocado), the PBTO (hazelnut pesto, candied bacon, diced tomato and caramelized onions topped with mozzarella), and the "New" New York (spicy pizza sauce, seasonal onion mix, bell peppers, mushrooms and vegan sausage with mozzarella). 

The Cortez
The pizzas had some fun topping- candied bacon, hazelnut pesto, spicy pizza sauce- but overall, I wasn't impressed.  I felt like pizzas just didn't fully come together- the Cortez, which was my favorite of the bunch, seemed like it was missing something.  The next day, I was thinking of adding a poached egg on top of the leftovers I took home, but I was out of eggs.  I think that would have made the pizza fantastic (but maybe I just like poached eggs on everything...)

Spicy Pesto pizza with my delicious beer
Don't get me wrong, the food wasn't bad.  I was just looking for more.  And after the do-it-yourself style at Project Pie (where I got to choose exactly the toppings I wanted), it was hard to compete.

At least the company was great. :)

Clockwise from me: Sharon, our new friend Ginny, Lauren, Courtney, and Dana
I apologize to Courtney and Dana if I was being a bad conversationalist, I was just so mesmerized by the giant mural behind their heads.

You are too, now, aren't you?

My other complaint was that the service was disappointing.  Our server just seemed really out of it.  Fortunately, our second server (or manager or someone) was more competent and she thoughtfully took the brussel sprouts off our check at the end.  However, when we asked to have our leftovers boxed, we got this:

I guess it's less wasteful then a whole box?  When we asked the server if he knew which little bundle held which pizza, he responded yes, but then proceeded to open and rip each pizza-filled foil package to check it and tell us.  Really helpful, thanks.

Oops, I forgot I'm trying to be more compassionate towards others.  Hmm, maybe he was having a bad day.  Or he was new to the job.  Or maybe he was drunk?

In conclusion, I loved the atmosphere, liked the food, and was annoyed by the service.  I know some in the group enjoyed the food more than I did, so perhaps I'm being harsh.  I think our waiter biased how I felt about the place.  I recognize that he was just one person, so maybe the other servers are all awesome.  I would go back again, but I'll probably hit up Project Pie (and some other places) first.

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