At 99 Brick Oven, dining halfway between urban and country

Aug 07, 2018 138

The server at 99 Brick Oven Bar & Grille wasn't sworn in as a witness, but her words could have been introduced as evidence in the case of the People of Western New York vs. Boring Food. Every time I ordered a Neapolitan-style pizza at the Lancaster restaurant, she asked: with fresh garlic? Yes, I repeated. Why, at a restaurant with so much Italian food, does garlic become a pizza opt-in? "A lot of people don’t like it," she said.

I immediately added Lancaster to my list of towns (including Buffalo) whose citizenry ought to be investigated for vampirism. Lancaster is a long way from Naples, or even Manhattan's Little Italy. So my heart goes out to places trying to offer more Italian-ish cuisine – with garlic where appropriate – treading a fine line between gutsy dishes and turning off the allium-averse. That’s one of the things that makes 99 Brick Oven more than just another tavern with pizza.

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