What, no pineapples and macadamia nuts?
I hadn’t realized it before, but pizza can be exciting. I don’t mean just that little-kid thrill at the mere mention of the word, a hard-wired relic of our childhood introductions to the wonderful world beyond teething biscuits. No, Narragansett’s Blue Wave Pizza Café elevates normal pizza enjoyment up to outright fun.
Blue Wave Pizza Café | 1004 Boston Neck Rd [Rte 1A], | Narragansett | Sun-Wed, 7 am-9 pm, Thurs-Sat, 7 am-10 pm | Major credit cards | Beer + wine | Sidewalk-level access | 401.782.8200
The surfing motif is a good start. Dramatic posters and photographs of hanging 10 and shooting curls will make the suggestible feel exhilarated, if not outright drenched, just by walking into the place. The walls are sky blue and Aegean green. One café table is laminated with surfing pictures, the creation of an art major who worked there this summer.
The Blue Wave is the creation of Bill — a longtime surfer — and Graham Gardner, a father-and-son team who hadn’t previously made pizzas for a living, but who knew what they liked. Fifteen-year-old Max Gardner also helps out. Their concern for doing things right is succinctly declared on their menu, in what amounts to a manifesto. Their crusts are from double-O flour imported from Italy or organic whole wheat flour. They brag about using high-quality mozzarella and fresh basil, not dried, and so on.
When you look around at the brands and ingredients selected, you see that some careful decisions were made. Not only does their Surf City coffee go along with the theme, it also is organic and Fair Trade. Blue Wave’s steak sandwich is made from naturally raised beef, from Wolfe’s Neck up in Maine. And only antibiotic-free Bell & Evans chicken is used.
Any place that offers a hot wiener pizza gets my vote for Rhode Island patriotism, if nothing else. Yes, it gets the full New York System treatment, from chopped onions and meat sauce to celery salt ($11.50/$15.50; the seven gourmet pizzas are available only in medium and large sizes, mostly at those prices). Again inspired by the non-pizza fast food world, the BBQ pizza features pulled pork. A special when we were there was General Tsao’s chicken pizza.
The shrimp Alfredo pizza ($12.50/$17.50) was at the top of the list, so I took that as a recommendation. It was delicious. The cream sauce was tasty, but should have been thicker — either that or the mushrooms sautéed separately — because the lost mushroom liquid thinned it out too much.
We also enjoyed the “Garlic Storm” ($10.50/$13.50), in which the title ingredient was not only in chopped form, but oven-roasted and slivered, in addition to the thin slices of elephant garlic on their tasty red sauce. It would be a good garlic lover’s base for additional toppings, such as mushrooms or pepperoni. The Lola has grilled chicken accompanied by roasted poblano peppers, as well as roasted red peppers and ricotta cheese on the red sauce; it was as good as it sounds.
In addition to the regular white-flour shell, we checked out the whole-wheat version. Both were flavorful but not light, which both of us would have preferred.
If you don’t want one of those venturesome combinations, you can go traditional with mozzarella on tomato sauce in three sizes ($4.50/$7.50/$10.50), and add your own toppings, from roasted fresh veggies to their “exotic mushroom blend.”
There are five salads, from a simple house salad ($5) to an imaginative “Mermaid’s Purse,” which has a warm Gorgonzola-filled bundle of philo dough surrounded by dried fruit, the mesclun greens dressed with a lemon shallot vinaigrette. We had the Mediterranean ($7), which was especially generous with Kalamata and green olives, plus plenty of feta cheese, though some of the red leaf was wilted.
A few days later, we ended up getting a couple of their sandwiches. The rib eye ($8) was tender, on request charcoal-grilled just enough to stay pink inside. For an extra buck, I had it with grilled onions and fresh mushrooms, which I’d recommend. For an extra $2, you can get it with grilled portobello.
Johnnie had the tuna salad sandwich ($6), “made to order,” which is to say that her own small can was opened and its contents mixed with mayonnaise. No additional ingredients were thrown in, such as celery or onions, but she didn’t complain. The “Big Eighty” ($7) is made with capicola, mortadella, salami, and provolone, all the grinder ingredients you’d find in an Italian neighborhood, which the Bonnet Shores section of Narragansett certainly isn’t.
The Blue Wave menu declares that they are “Passionate about Pizza” and “Crazy about Caffeine.” Serious surfing is an art, not just a sport, and the attitude translates nicely here.
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