[ed. note: this review is from my cohort at liquorlunch.com.]
Someone at my job organized a group trip to grab a slice for lunch and this place was the recipient of our ill-earned corporate money. When I first heard this place opened up I was stoked if only for the fact that it served beer and I could now forgo pregaming when Christmas shopping. Ask Pete to tell you about his Christmas shopping shenanigans [ed. note: don't]. Now that's a great story! This is just a mediocre review, and probably not worth the space on his site, but he forced me into it so here we are.
I arrived at the pizzeria (technically) and spent no less than 20 minutes waiting for two slices of cheese pizza. Let me say that again, in case you thought it was a typo. I spent TWENTY MINUTES in a PIZZA SHOP in a MALL waiting for TWO SLICES OF CHEESE PIZZA at LUNCH TIME. Now you may be thinking "Hey, don't they have those pre made?" Why yes the fuck they did, but the Jersey Shore reject in charge of reheating my slices thinks this process should be raised to an artform. A very slow, painfully inefficient artform. I can only hope that the kid was high and it was his first day. He was literally taking each individual ticket and slowly making each slice to order.
A "completely unexpected" rush at noon was enough to turn less than ten customers in line into bona fide full-stop gridlock. Being that I have an hour for lunch, my time is fucking precious and I was more than pissed at this turn of events, no less so since I've worked at both corporate and local pizza joints and this would not have been acceptable at either. I wanted to jump back there and show the kid how it was done, honestly. However, being the semi-adult I am, I brooded at a nearby table until my order was called. At that point I was presented with this:
I have to say, I didn't hold out much hope when I saw how thin the points of the slices were, but shockingly there was a perfect amount of structural integrity. It held up to the pizza-fold test without being overly crusty and burnt. Maybe it was the lack of booze; maybe it was the wait but this pizza was on point. Better than I've had at the other Slice locations. And this one has beer in the mall! The grease was that level of drip that suits itself perfectly to crust dipping. The cheese and sauce were more than passable. I have to say, these slices were the type that should be standard but all too sadly aren't in our world. The type of slice that is good because it is exactly what you expect of NY pies, and I admit bias when I say I didn't expect it from this place, especially after my shitty service. This is the slice you think of when you think of NY style pizza. The perfect sum of its parts and maybe a little extra.
I have to take a moment to mention how monumentally retarded their menu is, which I had plenty of time to study while waiting for my slices. Why would they have pizzas and not calzones and stromboli? Who the fuck knows. They have every single item required and yet they are not on the menu. Who does that?! Then there is exactly one sub listed on the menu (meatball) but no other ones. Why bother having bread if you don't have other subs? And then they have tacos and quesadillas on the menu. Because when I think pizza, I think Mexican food.
The absolute best thing about their menu are the wings. They make sense on the surface, until you think about how many people want to eat a food that necessitates sticking your fingers in sauce before shopping. You know, that activity where you touch and try things before buying them? And the fact that wings are their only menu item requiring a fryer, meaning they have a whole entire commercial grade appliance for ONE FUCKING MENU ITEM. Why not at least add fries or mozzarella sticks or some other bullshit to the menu? The world may never know.
I give this place 3 recircs despite their retarded menu and awful service. I hope it wasn't a one-off. Don't make me look like an asshole, Slice: get your crew in order. Also streamline that goddamn menu.
3 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)
Edible mall pizza. The fuck?
Sbarro, one of only two establishments in town to have the ignoble distinction of receiving a full 8-recirc rating (infinite recircumcision), has bitten the dust. That was very good news. When I heard it was being replaced by another chain pizzeria (this one being SCOTTO, some weirdo place from up north), I was filled with terror and began shaking uncontrollably. It also may have been withdrawal, who knows.
The first thing I noticed was the stupid TVs they used as menu boards. Scratch that, the first thing I noticed was that they had infinitely more employees working there than customers ordering from there (zero versus 6+). And when I say working I of course mean standing around doing jack shit. I guess they're new and don't know how much staff they need at given times. There were so many people working here that I felt like an animal in a zoo being gawked at by a bunch of self-entitled human scum. The small asian people floating around handing out skewered meat added to that effect, strangely.
They have two types of pizza (NY style and something that looked vaguely deep-dishy) and a lot of variety therein. The NY style shit didn't look too bad. It was cheaper than Sbarro used to be ($2.94 versus $3.52) and the slice was larger:
The pizza probably looks oversauced, overcheesed or both in this picture, but it wasn't too bad. The sauce itself was also pretty good, as was the cheese. The crust was alright; it wasn't cooked on a screen (thank Christ) and it had a bit of a crunch. But it definitely could have used more salt (or, you know, any salt whatsoever). I actually enjoyed this mall pizza.
Unlike Sbarro's disgusting bullshit which I didn't even finish, I could've eaten another slice of Scotto's, which makes their 2 slices and drink special for $6+tax a pretty good deal in general and, in specific, an awesome mall deal. Or you could go next door and have some monstrously overcooked fried chinese heatlamped horseshit.
4 1/2 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Scotto Pizza - $2.94 3500 Oleander Dr., Wilmington, NC 28403
Shitty mall pizza at its most horrendous
I was in the mall the other day, AKA the worst place in the world. I generally abhor malls but the one in Wilmington really takes the shitcake. It's shaped like some derpy octopus. It kind of makes you think you're in a big mall because you have to walk six times more than you ought to in order to traverse the entire blasted thing. With most malls, you just walk in a somewhat linear fashion, and when you get to the end, you've, in the words of Captain Picard, seen it all.
I'd decided to eschew reviewing big chain pizza, but since there is only one Sbarro in town I figured I'd waste some money and review this slice. As a kid I ate Sbarro in Danbury, CT sometimes and I have vaguely fond memories of it. Not because I liked it a lot, though. I think it was because when my parents took me to the mall, I always wanted Sbarro but they would virtually never grant this wish. They would instead throw a stale bagel at my head and tell me to scuba for quarters in the fountain if I wanted fucking mall pizza. They'd also regularly sneak off, leaving me alone, frightened and confused. Allegedly this was to help develop my sense of direction, self-determination, and world view. But I digress.
I took my first bite, looked quizzically around and said, "This tastes of nothing." And although that's really all there is to it, I'll go on in order to fill space. The best thing about the slice was its crust. While not good by any stretch of the imagination, it was fairly inoffensive and almost well seasoned. It's screen-cooked, though. The sauce was pasty and terrible but there wasn't much of it. The cheese really tasted of absolutely nothing. It was the most offensively unremarkable shit in the universe. I gave my girlfriend a bite and she said, "This is even worse than the pizza from Hibachi," which was so true I was forced to edit that review and change their 8 recirc rating to a 7.5, to balance things out in the world.
I can make no comment on anything else Sbarro offers, but their pizza is atrocious. Just go to Chik-fil-A or something.
Childhood memories can get lost.
8 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Sbarro - $3.52
3500 Oleander Dr # Fc5, Wilmington, NC 28403