This weekend, I had dinner at Basil Pizza in the Crestline (Mountain Brook) neighborhood. I don’t think a lot of people know about this place since I never hear much about it, but it’s a bit of a hidden gem. We have a lot of great pizza places in Birmingham (I can never pass up Slice or Post Office Pies), but Basil has a unique atmosphere and some funky pizza varieties. I’ve been twice now so I can give reviews of a couple different things on the menu (it’s hard to judge just by one pizza one time).
With almost 20 types of pizza, it’s hard to choose from options such as 5-Cheese, Bloomin’ Shroomin’, Gourmet Grilled Cheese, Buffalo Chicken, and Thai. The first time I went, we settled on the Chicken, Bacon, Ranch Pizza on the recommendation from our waiter (and the fact my friend wanted a pizza with meat on it). The pizza came out hot from the oven and had sizable pieces of chicken and bacon, and was drizzled with ranch. The chicken lacked a little in flavor, but the bacon and ranch made up for it and the crust was nice and crispy with a homemade taste. We ate the whole 12-inch pie between the two of us.
The second time we went, we expanded our horizons a little and ordered an appetizer of Garlic Cheesy Bread. I was expecting something more like pizza dough strips with cheese (like Domino’s, ha) but it was actually slices of French bread topped with melted cheese and a garlicky parsley mixture, and served with marinara sauce for dipping. They were good (I mean, you can’t really go wrong with cheesy bread) but were a little lukewarm, like they had come out of the oven but waited too long for a waiter to come pick them up (service was slow this night).
For our pizza, we got the BBQ Chicken Pizza because I went with the same friend, and again, he wanted some protein on his pizza. But I do love me some BBQ Chicken Pizza — this is really embarrassing, but I actually love Papa John’s take on it. Anyway, the pizza had chicken, red onions, and a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce. Again, the chicken on its own didn’t have much flavor but that’s nothing a little extra parmesan couldn’t fix. (Apologies I forgot to take a picture the night of, so I snapped one of my leftover slice for the next day’s lunch.)
If you know anything about me, you know I have a major sweet tooth, so when I asked about dessert and the waiter said they had a cookie skillet, I knew I had to try it. It’s called the Pizooki and is a chocolate chip cookie baked hot in a dish and topped with vanilla ice cream and caramel. What’s not to love?!
Overall, Basil Pizza is a good option if you’re looking to venture out of your cheese pizza comfort zone (they do have regular cheese though). It’s a little more affordable than Slice and the pizzas come in more sizes than they do at Post Office Pies. Plus, they have $5 house wine every day and live music on the weekends! Check it out next time you’re in the Mountain Brook area.