It doesn't even look like a house, guys!!!
[ I forgot to take a picture, I'll add one later. ]
I've been in Nashville for only a little while now but the local consensus is that the NY-style pizza game is just not up to snuff here. I have decided to withhold judgment or further commentary out of fairness and ignorance. Joey's House of Pizza is regarded as the best game in town, however. And jeez, they really are good.
After some research I learned the best time to go is right before they close (3pm; yes they only operate M-F til 3; they know they're good). Yet, they were still full and lined up. Which was difficult personally because I can barely walk due a couch attacking me recently. Apparently Joey's is always really busy even though they put dollops of curdled mansauce on their slices. Or maybe because of the curdled mansauce. I mean I guess its ricotta?
Run down of the slice: we start off with a top notch crust; mark it, little joeys, this is the real deal. Every aspect from the undercarriage (also forgot a pic, it looked great) to the crumb. Then we have a great sauce, if liberally applied. Great crushed tomatoes, minimally spiced. Bit runny (love it). Truly better than anything Wilmington has to offer in terms of sauce. The cheese is great, but too heavily applied. Can't take too much off for that because at least the cheese is good quality. And if you are a weird freak who likes to order extra cheese as a topping, well, beans to you because that shit is gratis here. Then we got the sloppy globs of, well, something. I don't know what to make of this besides to mention seeing a worker individually dollop and sprinkle parmesan and maybe spices on every slice strikes me as an enormous testament to this pizza operation.
As a slice eater I expect almost nothing and to have one slice doted on like that for a first time customer was mind-boggling. First time without words. I was so impressed.
As an aside, I would never come here based on the pictures of this place you can find on Google. I feel bad even linking this but click here if you want horrible pictures taken at a good pizza joint.
Joey's House of Pizza is clearly a local treasure serving up a great slice of pizza. It might be Nashville's best-of-show (I have no way of knowing right now), but it falls a bit short of Wilmington's finest. That's not terribly shocking, though, given the high level of NY pizza you can find in Wilmington. Yeah I said it. But like I said you gotta find it. And for that you come here - you don't listen to the inbreeder masses on Yelp or Facebook or whatever the kids are hopscotching with these days.
In Wilmingtonese, the language of this blog, Joey's slice only compares to Ogden Brooklyn and I<3NY. Brooklyn has been spot-on perfection slice-wise for the 17 years I ate slices there. I've had dreams of giving up my career to work there. I'd probably still do it to this day. If I have to beg I will. I need to know: how on God's green earth do they make perfect slices every single day?
Then we have I<3NY and it's not as consistently mindblowing but it has that incredible snap-fold that demands you grab it and walk down Front. This is how you experience a slice of NY pizza. If you have NEVER gotten a slice and walked on the sidewalk and snapped the crust and murdered that slice downtown I just don't think you truly know downtown Wilmington. That single slice will elevate you to point where the hobo on the bench who normally he gets stabby or maybe causes you to feel like a saddo, now you just give him a peck on the nose and a little pinch on the butt.
And if it's tourist season, and there's like some gross, too-white family, man, you know them. They're sort of gurgling - an echo from the tourist dimension that gives you a chill and makes you grind your teeth - the dad staring dead-eyed, hating his life and the five-year-old kid on his little smartphone and the mom on too many pills to name or count, and you give them your best glassy-eyed Byron-glare impersonation. An you feel it in your bones. You know what to do. You just have crazy mouthsex with that slice, jam it in there and do your best to assault their vacation. They will all individually see it and not speak of it nor mention it on social media because although it was too bizarre to outwardly acknowledge, your simple pleasure will affect each of them forever. And you will cherish that slice and, buddy, that drug is damn near free.
Joey's loses out only slightly based on both my own nostalgia and their problematic slice ratios (Joey's needs less mozzarella and more baked-in oregano).
1 1/2 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Joey's House of Pizza - $2.75 including tax
897 Elm Hill Pike, Nashville, TN 37210
This place has been around for a while but I haven't had a chance to review it. On the one hand Brooklyn Pizza is right nearby, so why the fuck would anyone bother? On the other hand I have family in the area so anytime I'm nearby I'll just eat their food for free. It's great.
In the interest of being thorough and goddamn scientific I finally ventured to Green Line Pizza. The place looked deserted except for the fucked up abomination pictured below. Something better known as a conveyor pizza oven. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Aw hell no. This is just not what you ever, ever, fucking ever want to see in a so-called pizzeria. There's a reason that Dominos uses conveyors and decent pizzerias use deck ovens. It's because any fucked up, untrained mongoloid can slap dough onto a pan and put it on a conveyor and make something resembling pizza whereas you need more than ten minutes of training to use a deck. Unsurprisingly, you can't make pizzas that are worth half a shit using a conveyor. SORRY CHUMPOS.
Undercooked on the bottom, overcooked on top, the crust had no spring even though it tasted almost entirely of YEAST YECH FUCK BLEGH. Hey chumpos your yeast is dead and so is your pride in making pizza, if it ever existed. The cheese is a fruity fucked up mess, the same kind of shit you find all over fucking PENNSYLVANIA.
These fucking dips brag about bringing Philly pizza to Wilmington. Newsflash, fuckos. I've eaten pizza all over Pennsylvania, including Philly, and it is universally trash. If I ever want to eat Philly garbage cooked up by Greeks I'll bring Cheez Whiz when I fish for pulverized wog nethers in the Cape Fear.
Undercooked is right. It is almost impossible to find a pizza in Wilmington with a more poorly-cooked bottom. When was the last time these greaseballs ate their own product? I'm guessing fucking never. Also a 15" pie - 15 inches of this fucking simple-headed trashbaby nonsense - costs twelve dollars so if you ever want to get ripped off by Greekswho aren't explicitly representing themselves as gypsies then go to this goofy fucking restaurant. Or go to Dominos, spend about half that, and get a better product. Or spend that same $12, go to Brooklyn and get a much larger and infinitely better pizza.
Sorry, had some vulgarity built up from the lack up reviews.
7 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Green Line Pizza & Steaks - $1.99 + tax
A common refrain from readers of this website is that I ought to give new local businesses a fair shake instead of shitting all over them. What these silly nits don't understand is that I. Can. Do. Both. And so can you. If a fair shake leads to you deciding that a place is a garbage-y butthole, preach on, you beautiful black man.
It was with this fairly racist and nonsensical thought in mind that I went to try Mamma Bella. I thought, be nice this time, ya old geezer. Don't go straight for the jugular. But that's just not my game. I'm here for blood.
Damn shame that this place really knocked my socks off. You have their Facebook site and local reviews suggesting a superior NY-style pizza and yet they don't even offer 18" pies. And the pictures I saw initially made me never want to even give this place a shot. Though I'm glad I did end up giving them a shot, it put me in a predicament because I didn't know where to put this place in relation to other local pizzerias.
My first words to my wife were, "this could be the best pizza in town."
This pizza has a perfect crust, a perfect sauce and perfect cheese. The ratios of the three are beyond reproach. Clearly, this is the best pizza, right? But how might Brooklyn be better? Their added pre-baked Italian spices in the cheese go pretty far in my opinion. Yet, their pies have notoriously undercooked undercarriages. Slices don't have that problem, but the pies really do. Mamma Bella gets it right the first time.
How about I <3 NY Pizza? Technically on the blog they rate lower than Brooklyn. But they're not any worse. I just got an incredibly good slice from Brooklyn when I reviewed them. I <3 NY has a consistency which Brooklyn can only dream of. They're non-stop slinging pies while Brooklyn is assembling shitty salads and mediocre pastas for ponces. Overall, Mamma Bella would have to rate slightly below I <3 NY and a bit above Brooklyn overall. But this fucks my ratings system. Well, it's my site so maybe I'll just change ratings around soon, fuck you.
Get it while it lasts. This location murders pizzerias.
1 1/2 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Mamma Bella - 8” - $5; 12”- $8, 16”- $14
This is a new and great little pizza shop taking over the location from Amore which had taken it from an old favorite, Ninos. Below I will attempt to embed their menu, which goes well beyond a simple slice joint.
The menu looks pretty good to me. Sadly, I'm rarely in this area anymore. I was only vaguely in the area and going to get the slice pictured below took like a million years. Then I made the mistake of taking Kerr Ave home during rush hour. Wow fuck that road. Anyway, the slice:
You might not be able to tell from my shitty picture but this was a big slice of pizza. Don't let the massive amount of spices fool you, I added them after the fact because I'm the boss. Let's run this motherfucker down right now:
Sauce: Good, though a bit too lightly applied.
Cheese: Good, though too heavily applied.
Crust: Good, properly salted, little yeasty, kinda too soft for my taste ... cooked on a screen (I think).
They have all the components here to make a near-perfect pizza but their application ratios are just a bit off and you end up missing out on a nicely done undercarriage. Yeah I said it. Undercarriage, you bitch.
This seems like a pretty exciting new restaurant for Wrightsboro to get their hands on. I wish it was near me, damnit. I overheard the owner (I assume) saying he makes most or all of the desserts himself and they even had some homemade She-crab soup in the back. Even with the minor quibbles I've written about their pizza, it really was good and a good value based on the size and quality. I just have to mention everything I can because food reviewing is pure bloviation and fuck you.
EAT IT UP!
2.5 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)
Pizza Reviews! One Per Year! All aboard!
It's been a long time since my last review. Mostly because there just isn't too much pizza left to review in Wilmington, but also because I'm a lazy bum. Recently Paul Stephen told me that Spicoli had opened in the old Bessie & Giuseppe location. Seems like this is another spot that gobbles up pizzerias and spits out ... other pizzerias. It seems like this location should support some good business with the right pizzeria but every place that tries just sucks. Luckily for Spicoli, they are much better than their predecessors, B&G and Incredible Pizza.
Custom demands I now show you a picture of some greasy cheese pizza:
It seems like you can't order single slices here, but you can get 2 slices for $5, which is not a bad deal.
The slices are a reasonable size for $2.50 per. And they're pretty good. The greatest strength of this pizza is the cheese. It's good and greasy and none of that low-fat part-skim full-bullshit mozzarella that many pizzerias seem to favor (because they're stupid). One of the slices had the cheese over-applied but it wasn't a big deal since it was decent mozzarella.
The sauce was lightly applied but actually quite good. I could have gone for a bit more sauce but it's a minor quibble.
The dough/crust is the only real issue with this pizza. As far as I could tell they're cooking these things on screens or pans or something, so they're not properly cooked on the bottom, it's just soft and stupid like my weiner. And while properly salted (a rarity in Wilmington) there is something wrong with their dough formulation and I think it's probably that they're using a lot of oil in their recipe. You're left with a crust that is heavy and dense and sort of greasy. It's disappointing. The cornicione should be a nice airy, crunchy affair. Not some pizza hut shit. The undercarriage should be browned if not charred. Not just warmed up.
Overall, though, the pizza is pretty good.
3 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)
Spicoli - $5 for 2 slices
1978 Eastwood Rd, NC 28403
I took this photo with a potato, deal with it. My inability to take a picture reflects my inability to rate this pizza. It's been so long since I have rated a goddamn pizza that I had to refer to my own Listing page to figure out where to put this monstrosity, rating-wise. Which got me thinking: wow. Wilmington pizza SUCKS. I know I've said that before but goddamn.
In any case I am giving Marco's Pizza a solid '5' on the recircumcision scale, only because they are better than Frank's. '5' seems to be that magical, nebulous zone that bad pizzerias fall into while they're clinging to the edge of pure desperation. A rating worse than '5' indicates that everyone at the establishment cut their dicks off long ago.
Speaking of the pizza, which I am loathe to do, it was shitty. The crust was tasteless, the cheese was probably some kind of mixture of cheeses and had decent flavor, but it was applied too heavily. It reminded me of Pizza Hut cheese, I think. I have no fucking idea if this pizza even had sauce because the pie had 18 pounds of cheese on it.
Speaking of Pizza Hut, this pizza is better than Pizza Hut (pan or otherwise). It is also better than Papa Johns (they're fucking terrible). Marco's is, however, worse than either Dominos or Little Caesar's. You shouldn't buy shit from any of these guys but I know you're going to, so that's what the deal is.
I also went to Brixx Wood Fired Pizza the other day. How do these kids get away with calling their ovens "Wood Fired" when it's clearly gas-fired? Can anyone explain this madness to me?
Shut up I don't care.
5 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)