Friday, August 31, 2012

Sylvia's Brick Oven Restaurant

Located at 625 Columbia Street, in downtown Lafayette, Sylvia's Brick Oven has a selection of starters, soups, salads, sandwiches, pizza's and pasta's. I found the location to be well kept and clean, with some minor spots on the floors and a cluttered service station. The music from the piano and the conversations from the other customers appeared to reverberate off the ceiling and walls, amplifying the sound making it difficult to hear conversations at times.

On a Friday evening at about 8pm, my friend and I arrived during the busy dinner crowd, so our wait for a table was about 10 minutes, which was shorter than the 20 minute wait time we were told upon arrival. I was taken to our table while my friend was talking with someone in the bar area. The tables were set "Pizzeria" style with red & white checkered table cloths, soft candles, and customary pizzeria condiments (salt, pepper,   Parmesan cheese, red peppers, and sweeteners).

Now, I have 20/20 vision, but I had a real difficult time reading the menu, based on the soft lighting and font used that made it almost indecipherable. I am sure the font and menu looks wonderful, I just had difficulty reading it. Luckily, our waiter, Jerry, was excellent at translating the menu for us. It is great when a waiter knows everything about the food he is serving, down to the smallest ingredients. His knowledge was exceptional.

For myself, I ordered a side salad with ranch dressing, an order of "Garlic Knots", and a "Carni" pizza. If you are interested in the menu, you can view it at

The salad was a basic spring mix salad of various greens and what looked like a grape tomato cut in half. I was expecting a nice cool, crisp salad but instead I received a salad of room temperature ingredients. Personally, I prefer my salads cold and crisp, but I was unfamiliar with this restaurant, and unfortunately, I did not ask if that was the norm. The restaurant menu states that they use produce from local farmers, so the salad could be exceptionally fresh.

As I am writing this review, I am looking at the menu, online, which I can read much better. For the "Garlic Knots", basically think of dough that is tied in a knot and baked. They are then to be tossed in fresh garlic and Parmesan cheese. Ours arrived at the table drizzled and plated in olive oil and  a dab of pesto on the top of each knot. The pesto had a nice flavor; however, the knots had no flavor at all, just cooked dough. I was asked if I liked the knots, of which I told our waiter that I did not and explained why. He seemed a bit stunned by my comments.

Finally, the pizza arrived, and while I have very discriminating tastes when it comes to pizza, I will admit that I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the pizza. The toppings were perfectly portioned so that each bite was full of exceptional flavor, and the pizza dough seemed to have more flavor that the dough used for the "Garlic Knots".

Overall Experience: B
Food: C
Service: A
Cleanliness: A-
Atmosphere: B
Cost: $25 plus tip