Usually, when venturing out on a food review assignment, it's all about being stealthy. The reviewer slips in—unnoticed as anything more that just another customer—orders a variety of food, forms an opinion, pays the bill and slips out with the restaurant staff none the wiser. That's how it's supposed to happen.
That's not how it actually happened when this reviewer attempted to slip into Eagle's Flame Neapolitan Pizzeria with her favorite dining companion in tow. Nope, this reviewer was outed. It happened while trying to surreptitiously take a picture of my lunch to post on boiseweekly.com as part of our editor's "what we had for lunch" blog entry. As the camera snapped, I suddenly had the feeling that I was being watched. And I was. By all three employees working. I tried to play it off, but ultimately had to own up when they mentioned the BW photographer had visited the day before.
Thankfully, it didn't happen until we had received our order, and even more fortuitously, I didn't have to lie when the eager manager asked how I liked things. It's hard to lie through a mouthful of some of the best pizza one has had in a long time.
As the name suggests, Flame specializes in thin-crust Neapolitan-style pizza. But what sets this small eatery apart is the use of ingredients like caramelized onions, rosemary, chevre, Cuban ham, creme fraiche and baby arugula.
Your typical pepperoni pizza this is not, and thankfully so. Sure, the quintessential pizza topping is available on the build-your-own portion of the menu, but Flame's unique pizza creations are the reason to go. This restaurant has one clear focus, evidenced by the fact that pizza is virtually the only thing on the menu.
Flame is nearly hidden in a strip mall near the River Rock Alehouse and the Albertsons in Eagle. We should have known better than to trust a Google map, which had us running around on the other side of town. After a quick call to the BW office we finally found it.
We snagged a table in the simple, but tasteful interior, where a line of bench seats runs down the middle of the narrow space. The effect is overall nondescript, but we hoped the pizza would be more interesting. We were rewarded for our positive thinking as we attempted to select a couple of pizzas, available in 7-, 11- and 14-inch sizes.
First, there was the Barbecue Chicken ($7.99-$14.99). I'm a sucker for barbecue sauce, so if it's slapped on a pizza, I'll probably try it. But add grilled chicken, smoked Gouda, red onion, roasted red pepper and cilantro, and I might cry with joy. The end result met my already high expectations due in large part to the combination of the smoked cheese and the barbecue sauce, which had a satisfying bite.
After much waffling, we also chose the Prosciutto and Peach ($8.99-$15.99). Admittedly, the unusual combination of ingredients listed on the menu was what prompted the choice as we decided to go a little wild, but it turned out to be the hands-down favorite.
The salty prosciutto was juxtaposed against the sweet and tender bites of peach and equally sweet caramelized onions. The earthy crumbled chevre cheese grounded the entire creation, while the garlic-infused olive oil used on the crust left just a hint flavor. Put the whole thing on a light, crunchy crust and say "namaste" to pizza nirvana.
I still can't help but think of those pizzas I didn't choose: the Idaho Potato ($7.99-$14.99) with Yukon gold potatoes, bacon, green onion, creme fraiche and garlic-infused olive oil; the Scampi ($8.99-$15) with chili oil, shrimp, pesto, baby arugula and Flame's own blend of cheeses; and the Bianca with garlic infused olive oil, mozzarella and rosemary.
The ultimate testament of my approval of Flame became obvious once we emerged into the harsh light of day. That's when my dining companion pointed out I still had a bit of barbecue sauce on my face.
--Deanna Darr relies on sunglasses to protect her secret identity.Boise Weekly sends two reviewers to every restaurant we review. Read what our other reviewer had to say about Flame.