A little disclaimer before I get started on this one. I worked at a a pizza joint for about 3 years and I’m pretty critical of pizza in general. At the same time I can empathize for the employees and service side of it, so I think it kind of balances out. Anyway, on with the post!
Neighborhood Pizza is a tiny little pizza place hiding along the back row of stores in the Big Lots shopping center on Harding. They offer pickup and delivery only. There is a small table or two outside that I suppose you could eat at but it seems more like a waiting area since there’s just a single stool and a chair inside. I’ve received their flyers for a few years off and on and I’ve ordered pizza from them once or twice. I believe they may have recently changed ownership. The interior felt as if it had been remodeled or reorganized, because I don’t remember being able to see the entire kitchen and back down the hall to the rest of the interior the last time I was in.
When I arrived there was a couple at the table outside waiting for their to go order and the sole employee was busy making it when I reached the counter. She did not notice me right away as she was in a world of her own making pizza and singing. Instead of trying to get her attention I browsed the menu which is a petty typical pizza menu. Pepperoni, combo, meat lovers, hawaiian, vegetarian and BBQ chicken. They also offer salads, bread sticks, buffalo wings, chicken strips, and “munchies” (I have no idea what those are, they are offered in a combo with buffalo wings and chicken strips).
When she finished up the pizza and realized I had been standing there, she greeted me and looked a little embarrassed about the singing. We had a laugh and then she took my order. I went with a medium 1/2 meat lovers 1/2 BBQ chicken. While I waited the couple got their order and left, 1 customer picked up a phoned in order and another placed an order for take out. Somewhere during all that the employee forgot to add bacon to my pizza so she let me know it would be another 5 minutes or so and apologized. Soon after I had my pizza in hand and went home.
The first thing I noticed when I opened the box was that they put a couple pieces of paper (a kind of wax paper I think) under the pizza. I’m not sure what the purpose is for this, but it seemed to hold a lot of the grease in. It was a very greasy pizza, particularly the all meat side, so I don’t think that was a good thing. The toppings were plentiful on both sides which was a good start. The crust was basic and decent. I’m more of a cracker thin crust kind of guy, but I didn’t mind this at all.
The BBQ chicken side had a white garlic sauce, chicken, bacon, red onions and BBQ sauce or flavoring mixed in there somehow. I couldn’t see it but it was in every bite, not overwhelming and not weak, just right. The chicken pieces were fairly large and moist. The bacon blended well with the BBQ flavor. I love onions but I’m not crazy about long slices of them on pizza, kind of a texture thing I guess, also they tend to pull a bunch of other toppings off with them as you eat. I prefer them diced. Actually I prefer most pizza toppings to be as small as possible to make eating a slice as easy as possible. A huge annoyance is biting into a piece of salami or something and dragging the rest of it off the slice along with half of the remaining toppings. Pizza Hut does it right by anchoring everything down with a top layer of cheese. I wish every pizza was like that. Anyway the BBQ chicken was great and I would definitely order it again.
The meat lovers side had ham, salami, pepperoni, linguica and bacon. It was extremely greasy, more so than I would expect even for an all-meat, and that overwhelmed the overall taste. Red sauce varies greatly from place to place. This sauce had some good spice to it, but that was pretty much it. It was difficult to discern the different toppings through the heavy grease and I was kind of over it after a couple slices. As i mentioned earlier I think the ownership has changed. I do remember thinking that the all-meat was kind of boring and sparsely topped before, but I think this new one is definitely a decline from it. I don’t think I’d order it again.
The few times I’ve ordered here I’ve always picked it up, so I have no idea what their delivery service is like. The employee I dealt with was polite and friendly. For the level of business I think the speed could have been a little bit better. I can say when I was the only one making pizza and taking orders at my old job I could have a pizza out in a little over 5 minutes without sacrificing quality and most of that being cooking time. Not to brag, I just loved to surprise customers with really fast service when I was able to 😉 Though they aren’t the cheapest pizza around, they are definitely not the most expensive. They have some room for improvement but being the closest place I’ll probably end up ordering from them again in a pinch when I need some pizza for a Sharks game. BBQ Chicken is definitely the way to go.
I give Neighborhood Pizza 2.5 out of 5. Speed, quality, and overall flavor need work. Also, let that cardboard box do its job and soak up a little grease! The BBQ Chicken kept them afloat.