The Front Door Northwest Pizza & Taphouse 

With many uncertainties in life, one thing to count on is the fact that pizza almost always tastes good. Occasionally, a pizza joint is able to outdo its competitors, but even the pizza at the very bottom of the taste meter is usually still palatable. Some argue that pizza should be the official meal of our glorious nation. If that were the case, we could throw some shellac on a slice of pepperoni and cheese, toss it in the trophy case at the White House next to the stuffed bald eagle and the Patriot Act and gather up everyone to lobby for an observance day to recognize pizza. But it's not. And we have to settle with seeking out the good local pizza joints and savoring the treasures when we find them.

Joining the ranks of damn good local pizza joints is The Front Door Northwest Pizza & Taphouse. It was love at first sight when I walked in and saw their selection of fine beer on tap and smelled a slight trace of garlic, activating both my saliva glands and a sense of euphoria. I sat down expecting a small choice of slices from basic pizza options, but a menu suddenly appeared in front of me, and after looking it over, I realized that, The Front Door had already gone above and beyond my expectations.

My dining partner and I started off with a glass of Lagunitas Gnarly Wine and a Delirium Noel, both of which did happy dances on our taste buds. Shortly thereafter, we received our salads and our order of garlic bread. The marinara sauce accompanying the garlic bread was distinctive and notable for the mere fact that it wasn't loaded with sugar and it had a fresh and authentic taste.

When our personal-size pizzas came out, I realized that I had made a great decision by ordering the Underworld. The pizza was covered in roasted wild mushrooms, fresh mint, red onion, mozzarella, grana padano, fresh arugula and crème fraiche. I truly felt content. I hesitated taking my first bite because it was so aesthetically pleasing, but hunger overcame my appreciation for the arts, and I indulged.

My dining partner ordered The Boss: double-cut pepperoni, tomato sauce, whole milk mozzarella, grana padano and fresh basil. I am well aware that my dislike of pepperoni pizza could be considered a cardinal sin, but judging by the look on my dining partner's face, I had to stop everything and ask for a bite. Five or six bites later, I decided that the double-cut pepperoni is what did it for me, and The Boss certainly passed my taste test.

I will swing into The Front Door regularly now to monitor what they have on tap. There was a promising sandwich section of the menu that I did not have the luxury of exploring. The service was friendly, the environment hit cool pizza joint right on the nose and the food was so good, we didn't even need to-go boxes.

--Lauren Tweedy orders garlic on everything. She ain't afraid of no ghosts.

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