Pizza, pizza, pizza. Who doesn’t like pizza, right? And is there any place in the world where you can’t find some iteration of it? I don’t think so. I was even able to find and eat some pizza in a small coastal village in the Philippines a few years ago.
It’s a universal meal, and for the most part, I like to think that 99 percent of pizza, whether you get it from a dollar-slice place or a fancy restaurant in Italy, is good and tasty.
Wood-fired, hand-tossed pizza with nice toppings like arugula and prosciutto is always good, but sometimes you just want a simple slice that’s a little greasy. That’s why I was happy to see a new pizza joint open up on South Market Street in downtown Frederick, right by Carroll Creek, that offers that simplicity.
Flamin Pizza, formerly known as Flippin Pizza, sits at the edge of the creek across from a few more well-known establishments, such as La Paz and Hootch and Banter. It has a tiny red overhang, and you could practically miss it while strolling the busy sidewalks.
But it should not be missed.
Inside is a warm and homey space with friendly staff serving up delicious pies.
The menu of Flamin Pizza is vast. In addition to classic pizza, the establishment offers pasta, subs, burgers, wings, salads and even fried fish. It’s emblematic of your typical Italian pizza shop and deli, but for my review, I decided to stick to the pizza.
I always like to get a plain cheese pizza as my control pie. It establishes a baseline of sorts, and I use it in comparison with other more unique and specialty pizzas. And let’s be honest, if you can’t make a good cheese pizza, what’s the point?
I’ll admit that I wasn’t thrilled by Flamin’s cheese pizza. In my opinion, there wasn’t enough sauce, and the whole pie was a little too dough-heavy. The dough also tasted bland and seemed to need a little sprinkling of salt or maybe some oregano or parmesan to flair it up a bit.
Normally, if a place doesn’t have a good cheese pizza, you would expect all the other pies to be less than satisfactory, but that wasn’t the case here. While their cheese pizza was just OK, their specialty pizzas were fantastic.
The menu has your typical Deluxe Pizza with all the toppings, Greek Pizza and “Meatster,” as Flamin calls it, but where the small restaurant really shines is in its more unique offerings.
The Chicken Fajita pizza was a top-ranking pie for me. Grilled chicken, green peppers, onions, tomatoes, jalapenos and fajita seasoning come together in this sauce-less pizza that really doesn’t need sauce at all. Flamin gives you a small side of salsa, but I felt the pizza was better without it, to really taste the combination of chicken and veggies together with a little kick, giving it that beloved Mexican taste.
Another must-try is the Chicken Bacon Ranch. I know this isn’t very unique, but it’s one of the better Chicken Bacon Ranch pizzas I’ve had. A lovely blend of cheese is baked onto the pizza with chunks of grilled chicken and chopped bacon. There was a perfect amount of chicken and bacon, neither overpowering the other, and what I liked best was that Flamin gave you their house-made ranch sauce on the side. Maybe you dip your slice in, maybe you drizzle some ranch on top. Whatever your choice, it’s bound to be delicious and filling.
A must-try is the Crab Pizza. In a state known for its crabs, I’ve been surprised to not find very many crab pizzas through my eating adventures. But if you’re craving it or just want to try it, try it at Flamin Pizza. I knew immediately the pizza was going to be good when I opened the box and got a good whiff of Old Bay. Lump crab meat is sprinkled throughout, with chopped tomatoes, spring onions and a three-cheese blend. It’s paired with a creamy Alfredo sauce, and the whole pizza reminds me of being down by the shore. Crab pizzas can be very heavy, but I found Flamin’s version to be the opposite. It was light and fresh and not too bogged down by the Alfredo sauce.
All of the pizzas are available in a multitude of sizes, ranging from small to XX-Large, and won’t cost you too much. Most small specialty pizzas cost around $10. Flamin also offers cheese pizza by the slice for $1.99, which is a pretty good deal, in my book, if you’re looking for something quick.
So, next time you’re downtown, strolling by the creek and feeling hungry, stop into Flamin and grab a pie or a slice. It’ll be worth it.
Lastly, I want to share that this will be my last published review. After two years with the News-Post and 18 months as your restaurant critic, I am pursing another career opportunity. It has been an absolute pleasure eating with you all and sharing my thoughts through both good times and bad. I hope my reviews will continue to serve as a guiding light to good food all over the county, and I hope you all continue to support the many local restaurants that make the food scene here amazing. Thank you to all of the readers who have faithfully read my write-ups every week and joined me on this fun, and at most times very filling, journey. Cheers.
Katryna Perera, a longtime “food enthusiast” has taken cooking classes both domestically and internationally and is continuously following food trends and restaurant openings. She also briefly studied food reporting while attending Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Follow Katryna Perera on Twitter:
@katrynajill; on Instagram: @kjp_eats.