American Flatbread, Clarendon, VA

It continues to gall me that American Flatbread sits empty when it’s a mere two blocks from Cheesecake Factory on Wilson Blvd.  Just walk down N. Fillmore St., and you’re there – and, that entire corridor of retail (which includes Artisan Confections, Bakeshop, and Screwtop Wine Bar) has free parking in their garage.

American Flatbread is too honorable for the Clarendon neighborhood, quite frankly.  They walk the walk when it comes to honoring sustainable agriculture, local farming, and quality ingredients.  Unfortunately, without a critical mass of customers, American Flatbread itself may not be sustainable.

It’s the only restaurant in Arlington that has Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA ($7.95 a pint) on draft, and all their sodas use cane sugar instead of corn syrup, including the Blue Sky Cherry Vanilla Creme ($2.99).

An appetizer of Figs Stuffed With Cherry Glen Farms Goat Cheese ($5.99) is warmed in the oven, finished with bitter arugula (local, no doubt), and drizzled with a thick, balsamic reduction.  This dish, perhaps a riff on Komi’s mascarpone-stuffed dates, could have seen a bit more oven time.

The pizzas seem expensive, but are easily enough for two people (refer to Coppi’s Organic).  And, you can go half-and-half which we did ($21.99): Pepperoni & Peppers uses natural, nitrate-free pepperoni baked with green peppers, good red onions, three cheeses, and homemade organic tomato sauce; the other half was very different: a daily special of Steve Baker’s pork ribs (off-bone), chipotle, red onions, and mozzarella.

Next time you dine in Clarendon, please remember just how close American Flatbread is to everything.  It’s less than a two-minute walk from Wilson Blvd., and there is no doubt in my mind that it’s the best pizza in Clarendon.

Edit: Just as I finished writing this, it was announced that the Clarendon location of American Flatbread will be closing for good on Christmas Eve.  You reap what you sow, Clarendon. Here are the sad details.

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