Bar Harbor, ME: Nothing Plain About Geddy's Pizza

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[Photographs: Casey Barber]

Geddy's

19 Main Street, Bar Harbor ME 04609 (map); 207-288-5077; geddys.com
Oven type: Wood-fired
The skinny: Toppings aplenty on toasty and tender cornmeal crust
Price: Individual pies from $8.79-22.99

Ever since my husband and I made Bar Harbor a regular stop on our annual ramble through Maine, we've carved out time to eat at Geddy's (pronounced Jetty's and named after the original owner, as the legend goes, not for the many docks and piers that reach out into the harbors of Downeast Maine). Apart from being one of the more affordable dining options in town, until last year, it was the only place to get wood-fired pizza in Bar Harbor proper. (More on the new wood-fired kid on the block soon.)

Inside, a floor-to-ceiling decoupage of license plates, signs from old Maine motels, road markers, and other travel ephemera stretches the length of the restaurant, stapled to the walls and hanging from the rafters.

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The almost overwhelming menu of pizza toppings on the already overstuffed menu matches the decor: it's a mishmash of options. With 21 pre-composed pizzas and a list of more than 50 vegetable, meat, and sauce options with which to build your own pie, it's almost too tempting not to go for the weirder stuff like sauerkraut or red hot sauce. Woe to the person who orders the plain cheese pie.

Since we've been stopping in over the past five years, we've made it a point not to try the same thing twice, and most of the flavor combinations on the Geddy's-styled pizzas work incredibly well despite the over-the-top, let's-pile-it-all-on approach. Crispy mounds of vellum-thin prosciutto and slightly charred spinach on the Italian ($13.29) stand up to the triple threat of mozzarella, provolone, and cheddar, and the Anti-Social , with pesto, Alfredo sauce, and pureed garlic slathered across the crust ($11.79), is surprisingly mellow for its barrage of flavors.

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Ever the intrepid reporter, I stuck by my self-imposed ban on repeats during our most recent visit and tried the Bar Harbor pie with shrimp, scallops, spinach, scallions, and Alfredo sauce ($14.99), labeled "our favorite!" on the menu. Our server, Alli, enthusiastically assured me it was way popular. Alas, the teensy Maine shrimp and bay scallops came mired in a sea of mozzarella and Alfredo, their delicate sweetness nearly drowned by the wave of dairy.

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I shoulda gone back to my favorite Geddy's pie to date, a pizza of my own creation topped with freshly shucked clams, olive oil, and mozzarella. Sure, it costs a few more clams to get the clams, but fresh seafood is half the reason I'm in Maine, and I'll gladly shell out to get my fix of the briny bivalves and crustaceans without heavy Alfredo sauce to weigh them down.

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Even if the Bar Harbor topping combo was less than stellar, every pizza has a chewy cornmeal-dusted crust to make up for things. Puffed and crisped by the wood-fired oven, the dough gets a slightly golden halo and an appealing crunch from the toasted cornmeal. A thinner crust would sag and sog under the imposing toppings, but Geddy's doesn't skimp with its dough, making it fresh daily.

When one more ounce of cheese becomes more than I can stomach, I'll still cut off the edges and go for the bones rather than leave them behind. Waste not, want not, even when on vacation.

About the author: Casey Barber is the editor of Good. Food. Stories., a freelance food writer, and a transplanted Pittsburgher making the most of the Garden State. Find her on Twitter: @GoodFoodStories

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