15 January 2011

Provo Pizza #1: Malawi's Pizza

Pizza Adventure Numero Uno: Malawi's Pizza!
Info--Located 4801 N University Ave Provo, UT in the Shops at Riverwoods 
Overall Rating: 3.5/5

So for our first pizza dining and rating experience, we decided to go to Malawi's Pizza. I have been interested in this restaurant ever since we waited outside the Wynnsong Theater for the midnight Harry Potter premiere, and was mostly intrigued by the basic concept of the restaurant. An African themed pizza place? An interesting fusion of cultures. Mostly we found that the food was of course not African at all, just the decor and the fact that they give one healthy meal to a child in Africa for every meal that is purchased. Pretty cool.

We decided that this restaurant is geared towards 16-25 year old women. It has the donating-to-Africa thing going for it, it has cute decor (see above elephant), and it pretends to be healthy. On the inside of the menu, it ways "We are working hard to get you a HEALTHIER pizza. Wheat bread, vegetables, lowest fat cheeses and meats, roasted chicken, fresh tomatoes...We go easy on the toppings for the same reason but frankly, it makes a better tasting pizza, especially if you cook it in a spectacular wood burning stove." I actually felt like my pizza was pretty healthy, until we decided to get the dessert pizza. Healthy? HA! And basically everyone in the restaurant also ordered a dessert pizza, so I think they should maybe give up on the healthy angle...

Here's what we ordered:
Apple & Berry Salad with Candied Walnuts

Overall, pretty good. But it definitely good have done with more apples and berries for an apple/berry salad--there were TWO thin slices of a Granny Smith tucked into the salad, and four raspberries. Interesting. But the flavor of the dressing was good, and my favorite part was the candied walnuts. We only got this because it cost $4 when you ordered it with a pizza, and we wanted to have some variety. One warning: do NOT get the BLT salad! It was a joke. We saw a guy who had ordered it, and basically it was half a head of lettuce (not even chopped up) on top of some tomato slices with bacon bits sprinkled on top. Get this salad instead, or the Sesame Beef Salad.

Owen's Pizza: The Safari

Both of us have very strong cravings for MEAT pizza every now and then--the more meat, the better! Owen was so mad at me for making him wait to eat this pizza until after I had taken a picture because it smelled so good. It pretty much lived up to our expectations except one thing: the bacon. What is the deal with everyone putting bacon on pizza these days? I mean, don't get me wrong, I enjoy bacon as much as the next person. But the flavor of bacon is WAY too strong and totally overpowered all of the other meats on the pizza. Next time, ordering it without bacon. Or at least a little lighter on this not-so-healthy ingredient

Chelsey's Pizza: Pesto Roasted Chicken

Should probably be renamed "Pizza with a Heck of a Lot of Asparagus on It." Seriously. This tasted pretty healthy and light, which was good, but it just seemed to be lacking. The pesto was not very flavorful, and the pieces of asparagus were so huge I could hard think about anything else while eating it. The chicken was good, and the Gorgonzola had a nice, robust flavor, but I was definitely missing the promised pesto flavor. At least it looked pretty and healthy, right?

When We Decided We Weren't Quite Full: Reese's S'more

Even though this place is supposedly healthy, this pizza is what made the evening for me. I mean, just look at that stockpile of delicious ingredients! Since the pizza is made it a wood burning stove, the marshmallows had a wonderfully toasted flavor, and there was definitely our money's worth of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups on there. It was so rich, we could each only eat one piece--but you know what lunch is for today! That's what I'm talking about.

Basically we only gave this restaurant a 3.5 out of 5 because of the super delicious dessert pizza. The other dessert ones look divine too--especially the Mixed Berries and Cream. The service was only so-so--this is a type of restaurant where you pay at a register and then sit at a table with a number. I thought it was a little more formal than that, so I was a little surprised when we got there. Also the layout of the restaurant is a little confusing so the servers kept running around the whole restaurant trying to find who their pizza belonged too, which was a little funny but not very efficient. It was pretty busy the night we went, but we still got our food relatively quickly which was nice. There are big screen TVs in the restaurant tuned to sports channels, which kind of ruined the atmosphere for me, and it was difficult to find a seat because there were a lot of people. 

What it comes down to is, if you are thinking about trying Malawi's--we would recommend saving it for dessert and going a little later so it is less busy and you can enjoy that delicious mound of unhealthy ingredients to the maximum.

Today, I am grateful for a husband who likes to shop and for my new black boots and hilarious hat!

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