Urban Bricks‘ serviceable fast-casual pizza in north Arlington lacking in authenticity

Toss another one into the MFCNPP bin.

That would be the Marginal Fast Casual Neapolitan Pizza Place club, and Urban Bricks Pizza made a strong case for its inclusion, after a recent visit at the month-old Champions Park location.

The new north Arlington franchise has a convoluted entry, to start. Add to that ceilings approaching 20 feet high, and it was near-impossible to hear the staff as we ordered.

But the San Antonio-based chain, founded in 2015, is in rapid expansion mode, with 120 locations and counting nationwide, no doubt hoping to capitalize on a mainstream appetite for quick pizza, even if it misuses the word “Neapolitan” in describing its doughy discs.

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Because the end result hardly seems authentic, despite the attractive Italian custom-made rotating oven that cooks your 12-inch pie in two minutes flat (more on this later).

But options are a plus, and at Urban Bricks, they are plentiful. With eight “Foundation Pizzas” to choose from, including the Three Little Pigs (pepperoni, bacon, Italian sausage) and the Aloha (Canadian bacon, pineapple), and a build-your-own model (all $8.49), ordering bottlenecks are commonplace. There are also three choices for crust (regular, wheat, and gluten free).

The Urban Classic, with its red sauce, mozzarella and pepperoni, is a safe bet, especially for kids. My 10-year-old was easily sated by its surplus of hot, stringy cheese and casually ignored the sheen of grease on top.

Our White Mushroom featured a flavorful if stingy sprinkling of button mushrooms, spinach and roasted garlic atop a light, white sauce. The balance of ingredients was mellow, so it helped that we added jalapeños to the mix.

For the latter pizza, we chose a wheat crust, which was more chewy and pillowy than the Urban Classic’s regular. Both pies had a good char on their bottoms, but neither registered as “Neapolitan.” How so? Mainly, we could pick a piece up, no problem, as they were hardly weighed down by sauce (cheese-laden, yes).

Something not so slight was the massive Caprese panini.

When I ordered it, the staff said it “had to make a fresh one,” and that it would be about 15 minutes.

Over-seasoned with dried oregano, the bread overwhelmed the other ingredients. Inside the cumbersome bun were too-few slices of good-quality mozzarella, red sauce and far too many unsalted, halved cherry tomatoes. A couple of sprigs of fresh basil added nothing to the sandwich. It was an alternately burned and mushy affair.

Also missing the mark was the Health Nut salad ($6.99), a welcome item on the menu.

The tangle of fresh arugula added a ray of light to the meal, but fat-free raspberry dressing that gave the term “cloying” new meaning made the ostensibly healthy item taste more like candy. And I’m still looking for that feta I was promised.

Urban Bricks is no heavyweight. However, I can vouch for the Dilly Dog at Globe Life Park, which I am not ashamed to mention held hypnotic sway at the ballpark about 30 minutes later.

Urban Bricks Pizza

1707 N. Collins St., Arlington

urbanbrickspizza

Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday