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
When in Atlanta, kill yourself.
I flew out to Canada recently, and I had a long-ass layover in Atlanta. I passed the time by finally continuing the fourth book in the series I'm reading and also by consuming the shittiest, stupidest, most god-awful pizza I have ever set my tastebuds on. It was Sbarro. Airport Sbarro. Now you may be thinking Captain, isn't eating ATL pizza instead of ILM pizza considered food heresy? Yes, god damn it, and I don't give a shit. Pete stole the last review from me, and I demand recompense. In all fairness, though, this pizza did manage to keep me shitting acid for a full 2 weeks, so some of it did end up in the Wilmington sewers (where it belongs).
Atlanta's airport is full of shitty people, oddly clean bathrooms, and expensive garbage at which to throw money. All of the food falls under the 'expensive garbage' category, but Sbarro's pizza is in a league of its own. There were a total of 4 menu items, collectively worth an arm and a dick. Prepared to lose one or the other, I walked up to the counter with my order ready. It was a coin-flip decision because their only two options were 'bland styrofoam cheese' and 'gourmet barbecue'. The woman (read: Pacman Scissorhands) was apparently too lazy or too daft to put together their other two menu items: meat lover's and mushroom-something-or-other. Considering that the cheese pizza probably tasted like the cold, empty void of space, I went with the barbecue monstrosity. The Swedish kid behind me ordered pepperoni three whole times before the cashier screamed at him, "WE AIN'T GOT NO PEPPERONI, CHILD." Meanwhile, I was staring down at this hunk of pre-fab bullshit.
I don't know what goes into the pizza-making process here. I assume they get shipments of pre-cooked dough, soggy cheese slabs, and discarded animal bits, throw them all together in a microwave or toaster over, and voila - masterpiece. I could be wrong, but either way this shit was terrible. It was the furthest thing from "gourmet" that you could imagine, and selling it should be illegal in all 50 states. By the time I was done with my first slice, the kid who was behind me in line was chowing down on his personal cheese pie. In his words,
"This pizza is totally gummy worms, except bad tasting."
I couldn't put it better myself, you blonde-haired IKEA bastard. The cheese fell off all at once, and the crust was chewier than a wookiee. All I could taste was barbecue sauce and sadness. As you can see in the picture, there was some red sauce atop the chicken. I am convinced that this was not pizza sauce, but rather the reheated blood of Sensei Sbarro after he seppuku'd himself with a pair of dirty chopsticks. You bring shame on your family, but your congealed lifeblood tastes oh so sweet.
In all seriousness, I knew what I was getting myself into before I ordered this circle of self-loathing. A chain pizza restaurant in an airport? That's a recipe for shitty recipes. I paid good money for a pre-packaged blob of barbecue-flavored nothingness and a permanent stomach ache. And I did it for you jerkoffs, so you could revel in my misery.
7 1/2 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Sbarro - $Too Much 6000 North Terminal Parkway, Atlanta, Georgia 30320
I guess I've been going to NY a lot lately. This last visit included a lot of shitty pizza. Continue on to read micro-reviews of 3 pizza shops that you will probably never have the displeasure of patronizing
Since I haven't updated this blog in almost a month, I thought I'd post something that virtually everyone would find completely non-useful. I went to a place called 3 Brothers Pizza Cafe in some shithole corner of shithole Long island. The pizza was pretty damn good. They also have an entire vegan menu which is as extensive as their extensive regular menu. I mention this only because for a place that specializes in vegan shit, their normal-person pizza was really good.
This is another reason I miss New York. Those yankee shits don't wear their religion on their sleeve, and they damn sure know that booziness is next to godliness, and I can respect that. I was going to go to this event (whatever the fuck it was) but instead I just drank a fifth of vodka by myself. Also as a sidenote I had some Goodfellas pizza again and it was markedly better than the burnt shit I previously reviewed. So maybe it was just a bad night on their part that one time. I also recommend their other food.
Apparently other places in our great nation are afflicted with crummy pizza, too. So take fucking heart. Click on if you want to, for some reason, look at a lot of pictures from Westchester pizzerias.