Wilmington Pizza Insulting the stretch of pavement and stripmalls you call home


Nino’s Pizza & Pasta (Eastwood/Market)

Below is a review I wrote a while back. I was hoping things would improve and I could burn this review but all the critiques hold true so fuck it here goes.

Third time's not the charm

It be nights like this when I hate captaining this pizza cruise. Actually, this tangled mess of drunken prose is less like a cruise ship or a pirate ship and more like a Navy destroyer. I don't want it to be a fucking destroyer. I really do have the best of intentions, like Lennie Small. Then my overwhelming power of critical cynicism just starts fucking shit up. I can't help it.

I was looking forward to Nino's new location. A lot. I loved the old Nino's location; the only problem being that it was in bumfuck Wrightsboro on the way to Castle Hayne (which is basically the moon as far as I'm concerned). This new location is quite close to where I live.

I'd heard mixed tales of how this store relates to the other; calling the Wrightsboro store as recently as a week or two ago got responses ranging from "Uh, you should probably call them," to, "Uh. They are different owners." I also heard that the old store was closing and this one was just the new location being opened by the former owners. Fuck if I know. Most likely scenario is the owners of this new place sold the old place some time ago, and then decided to try to buttfuck all the butts by opening a new shop with the same fucking name; basically, I just don't fucking know (or care).What I do know is that I logically assumed the pizza would be really good - so I ordered a whole fucking  pie (plus another slice for an extra two bits during their grand opening promotional period).

I was fairly goddamn suspicious right off the bat. Immediately the crust stood out as a fraud, and so it was. More on that later. Biting into this thing elicited a most puzzled look on my face. Something was amiss, but what was it? My first guess was the usual suspect: the cheese. After eating the components individually (you should see this process, it's absurd), I became fairly confident that there is indeed trouble in Cheeseville. Additionally, the sauce was probably overcooked and a bit too pasty but overall it was okay. Almost good, maybe.

The cheese, however, tasted mostly of stupidity. I don't know what it was - either it's crummy quality - a weird cheese blend - or part-skim. It just doesn't fucking taste right. The cheese-sauce-crust ratio was pretty good, though. If the cheese were better, the slice would have been saved, in spite of the lackluster crust.

This looks much more fucked than it really was. It probably wasn't as burnt as the picture would seem to indicate. For example, my thumbail looks dirty as hell and it surely is not, though I should clip my nails. I took the picture because it shows that this pie was cooked on a screen (or at least that's what it fucking looks like to me). As a result of that, in combination with dough formula issues (I'd wager), the dough is overcooked on the bottom while remaining flimsy, lifeless, chewy and crunchless overall. And the while the bottom was overcooked, the top was undercooked.

Why the fuck are these guys using screens on large NY-style pies? Did they do this shit at the old location and I was too stupid to notice? This pizza seems completely different from the old place.

I also thought the dough probably had too much oil in it and tasted a bit yeasty and doughy which I guess is a weird critique to give something made of a yeast dough.

Don't call me a banana farmer.

5 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)

$1.95 + taxicles
5500 N. Market St, Wilmington, NC 28405

Nino's Pizza on Urbanspoon


5/25/2012 Addendum:

It's been over a month since I wrote the above review. Despite assurances to the contrary from one of the owners, this place is still serving up weird-tasting pizza. You gotta go here and try it I guess, because I really don't know what's going on, nor how to accurately describe this shit. On my most recent visit the dough was marginally better (still screen-cooked), the sauce might have been a little better, but the cheese and the overall flavor was just fucking wonky. WHAT KIND OF FUCKED UP MOON CHEESE ARE YOU NERDS USING?

Posted by pete

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  1. I visited the old store for several years and said it was the best pizza in town hands down and have recommend it to plenty of friends, or anyone for that matter. When Ninos moved their location to Wilmington this spring they were still good at first, but the last couple months the pizzas are not as good… almost like I am getting it from a totally different place than I have been these years. Whatever the owner Chris has changed in his recipe is for the worse. The dough has an off taste, different texture, the cheese tastes cheap and rubbery or maybe its old cheese going bad, and the pepperoni tastes cheap like the armour presliced stuff from the grocery store.
    I imagine what has changed in his recipe is he is using cheaper ingredients to save money and time. New place, higher rent, buy cheaper ingredients to offset operating cost. Whatever its sacraficing the great flavor it used to have. It tastes like generic run of the mill pizza now, not at all appetizing or something to look forward to. Noticed Ninos was posted as business member of the month at Costco, maybe that is were Chris is getting all the pizza ingredients now. That could explain the change in taste with the change of lower quality bulk food store ingredients.

    • yeah i got the general impression that the ingredients got crummier overall. damn shame really because as you say the old location was so good. well, it still is, last ic hecked.

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