Seb Frey with Aptos Community News ambled down to the new Flats Bistro in Aptos to have a chat with the owner, Jeanne Harrison. We wanted to talk about Jeanne’s new venture, and she shared quite a bit.
We talked about their newest menu item: breakfast pizza ($14). According to Jeanne, It’s like having sourdough toast with either bacon or sausage, an egg done over-easy, some spinach and a little bit of cheese.
Most people order the breakfast pizza in the morning, but you can get it any time of day; it’s been a very popular menu item. The breakfast pizza crust has a very nice flavor, it’s super thin and crunchy. Their crust uses a 100 year old starter for the sourdough, and that could be the reason the crust in their pizzas is extra tasty.
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Their 60 inch pizza oven was made by Mugnaini, a renown pizza oven maker based in Watsonville. The oven runs 650-700 degrees, and in an oven this hot, it’s really difficult to make some specialty crusts. They tried to make a cauliflower crust but it just fell apart in the oven.
Flats Bistro is proving to be fertile ground for Jeanne’s culinary experimentation. For example, she says she’d never really made pizza before she got the idea for Flats Bistro. On the day we visited, she had just added something new to the display case: stuffed Portobello mushrooms with garlic, onion, gorgonzola cheese and a breaded topping. Every morning they have bacon and egg croissants for $5. On Saturdays and Sundays they do biscuits and gravy, and also offer ham and egg sandwiches with that.
They are working on a gluten free pizza crust, but so far they have been unsuccessful. She has tried 5-6 gluten-free crusts and they “taste like cardboard.” If anyone knows of a great gluten-free pizza crust recipe, she’d love to have it!
They make all the food and pastries right next door at Cafe Rio, starting at 5 or 6 AM. All the cookies, cakes, desserts, and salads are made on site. But they have no plans for breakfast burritos because, Jeanne says, they love their neighbors, and don’t want to take anything away from Pixie Deli which has been selling breakfast burritos for years. They don’t deliver yet and don’t offer catering, but this is something they may look at doing in the future.
The bistro has been open for only two months, but already they are enjoying incredible success and a growing clientele. They’ve been doing an Instagram campaign to promote the bistro, and the campaign ends today, June 5. Just tag a photo with #FlatsBistroAptos showing one of their coffee cups for a chance to win a Flats Bistro hoodie.