Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Incline Public House

The View From the Incline Public House's Front Door on a Cloudy Afternoon
Oh, Price Hill - Land of my fathers... I spent a large chunk of my childhood in East Price Hill. We moved when I was young, but  I still have some stubborn West-side loyalty. Consequentially, I was excited to see an ambitious new place open about a mile down West Eight Street from my old stomping grounds... especially since it's a brick-oven pizzeria. This restaurant, the Incline Public House, is located in the "Incline District" of Price Hill. Not surprisingly, this  is where the old Price Hill Incline, which fed the "blossoming" of Price Hill in the late nineteenth century, used to terminate.

The Price Hill Incline, 1906
It's nice to see this previously underutilized piece of land being turned into a really valuable establishment ("Price Hill Will!"). Similar to next door Primavista, the Public House has a great view (pictured above). Although it is too cold now, the large outdoor patio is going to be quite awesome for warmer weather. The Public House emphasizes their brick-oven pizzas (Note: they call them "Wood Stone Pizzas". As far as I can tell, that means they use a gas oven from WoodStoneCorp. Nothing wrong with that - It was a nice looking oven, I just didn't see any wood). The restaurant is somewhat small inside, and was a bit crowded at 7pm on a Sunday night. There's a large bar, and of course, the great view featured above. Said bar is packed with a great selection of beers like Left Hand Milk Stout, a couple Rivertowns, Tröegs, and various others on tap. On top of that, this place has a nice, reasonable menu with lots of five and six dollar appetizers.

We choose to start our meal with some deep fried olives (left) and cheese puffs (right). The deep fried olives were mixed with some goat cheese and had a surprisingly strong briny taste. I, along with the other olive fans in our party, found them delicious. Definitely one of my favorite appetizers in the city.

Next, we tried some "Spicy Pickle Fries". These were essentially pickles with a lot of breading. They were our least favorite of the three appetizers.

For a side, we sampled the "Grippo Crusted Mac & Cheese" (Hint: If Grippos is in the name, that roughly quadruples the odds that we will order an item). The Grippos seasoning was a plus, but in the end, we found the Mac and Cheese a  tad on the dry, less cheesy side.

Now onto the importat stuff - The Pizza. The first of our two was The Shrooms Pizza (white sauce, carmelized onions, roasted red peppers, goat cheese, and pesto).

Next, the West Eight Street Pie (with crumbled hot sausage added)

Here's the undercarriage shot:

The crust was thin, with a nice char - It looked half-way between a Neapolitan and a New York style pizza. But it just didn't have much taste. The crust was also pretty dense, without many air bubbles in it. I found it to be almost cracker like.The GF thought it tasted a little too floury (the phrase "cotton mouth" was bandied about). On the other hand I liked the sauce and thought the toppings were quite good. The pepperoni was spicy and came in large deli-style slices. The sausage was crumbled and similarly spicy and tasty. Of the two pizzas, the topping combination on The Shroom was superior. The only thing holding it back was the crust.

Overall, I'd give Incline a 5/10 for pizza, 7/10 for appetizers, 8/10 for beer, and a 10/10 for view. This place is going to be really sweet in the summer. The waitress told us they will have room for 65 additional guests on the patios. The view is great, the beer selection is immense, and the appetizers are reasonable/delicious - We will be back.

Incline Public House on Urbanspoon

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