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Cheap Eats

A slice of happiness

(Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff)
By Sheryl Julian
Globe Staff / August 4, 2010

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Walk into The Flatbread Company in Davis Square and even if you spent half an hour circling for a space and a host now informs you there’s a long wait, you’ll smile. You’re looking at beautiful bowling lanes with happy customers nibbling pizzas. The air is smoky and aromatic.

You don’t have to bowl to eat this wonderful, thin pizza, baked in wood-fired ovens so the edges of the crust are puffy, mildly smoky, and delicious. Many places set out to source from local growers. Flatbread succeeds. The Somerville location — the company’s 10th — opened several weeks ago; another on Martha’s Vineyard just opened.

Salad ($5.75) has a number of additions, including Great Hill Dairy blue cheese ($7), and shreds of roast chicken ($3 more). Very fresh greens are piled into a pyramid, topped with shredded carrots, sesame seeds, seaweed, and a berry vinaigrette that’s not sweet and nicely balanced. It isn’t seasoned enough, but little here is. You want salt, add it. Ditto crushed red pepper.

Jay’s Heart ($7.50 and $13) is the plainest pie — tomato sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan, herbs — and such a nice one. That and a Cape Ann Brewing Co. seasonal beer make a fine dinner. I love sipping a Narragansett (and of course, who doesn’t love “Hi, Neighbor. Have a ’Gansett’’?). Somerville community flatbread ($8.25 and $16.50) is a good accompaniment, covered with caramelized onions, mushrooms, and mozzarella.

The bubbly waiter, on his knees, describes the special, a taco pie with ground beef, chilies, and crushed taco chips. The purist at our table winces. It’s surprisingly good. We force the wincer to sample it. Homemade sausage ($9.50 and $17.75), with succulent nuggets of meat, tastes faintly of maple. Vegetarian pie with summer squashes, green beans, and a creamy Narragansett ricotta is utterly bland.

Heavenly gingerbread with pumpkin ice cream ($5.75, pictured) has nice crusty edges and soft crumb. Our thoughtful server brings us a plate of Annabelle’s wonderful vanilla ice cream with a little hot fudge. He thinks we should taste three-quarters of the brownie sundae, since we have not ordered it.

Whoever trains this cheerful, efficient, patient staff should write a manual. The bar and some tables are fashioned from bowling lanes. Lights above the dining area are hand-blown globes made to look like cue balls (the space once held billiard tables). You leave as you entered: smiling.

Sheryl Julian can be reached at julian@globe.com

THE FLATBREAD COMPANY @ SACCO’S BOWL HAVEN

45 Day St. (Davis Square), Somerville, 617-776-0552, www.flatbreadcompany.com. All major cards. Wheelchair accessible.

Prices Salads ($5.75-$8.75). Pizza ($7.50-$18). Desserts ($4.75-$5.75).

Hours Restaurant 11:30-11:30

Liquor Full bar.

May we suggest Salad, Jay’s Heart pizza, Somerville community flatbread, gingerbread.