I first tried Nina’s pizza when my husband and I were dating, back 4 years ago. It was his hometown’s pizzeria. Before I had time to stick my nose up in the air and say no pizza was better than pizza from Brooklyn (I don’t know why, but I compare every slice of pizza I’ve ever had to this pizza joint in Greenpoint, Brooklyn), I had my third or forth slice of Nina’s white garlic pizza with tomato stuffed into my face. I left the remainder of the pizza at my parents’ house, which led to my mother finishing off the rest of the half by herself.
After eating at various pizzeria’s over my lifetime, I always seemed to shake my head and say, “this isn’t as good as pizza from NYC”. Now, I find myself shaking my head saying, “this isn’t as good as Nina’s”. My taste buds have seen the light and I can’t go back to regular subpar pizza anymore.
Of course, this rating system is only based in the US. If I were to bring in pizza from Europe….that’s a totally different rating system. Let’s leave it at that.
Beware – this post is full of carbs. I’m not much of a carb eater, but this is the one time I splurge like there’s no tomorrow.
We started off with an appetizer of garlic knots. It’s bread, knotted up, with lots of garlic, butter, parmesan and herbs baked into it. Perfectly golden crisp on the outside, soft and warm on the inside. The intense garlic flavor made you eat one after the other. Carb-o-rama.
Along with the garlic knots, Chris and I shared a pepperoni roll. This roll is pure evil. The first time I took a bite of this pure deliciousness I exclaimed, ‘EVIL!’ I did. Then I took another bite, and another, and another….I haven’t stopped. I now need Chris to roll me out of bed each morning and push me around in a wheelbarrow. If I ever decide to leave the apartment I’ll just have a crane knock a hole through our roof and they can lift me out via helicopter and it can all be videotaped and sent to FOX NEWS.
These are the best pepperoni rolls I’ve ever tasted. I’ve had them many times before in other places. But they were usually too dry, packed with too much pepperoni and not enough ooey gooey cheese, and the bread was never the right texture (too chewy, too soggy, too dry). Nina’s pepperoni rolls, when you take a bite, you can taste the sesame seeds baked into the bread, how the bread is perfectly golden and crispy on the outside, not too doughy, and with just the right proportion of mozzarella and pepperoni per bite. Nina’s does great things. Evil things, but great things.
And now the pizza. There are so many wonderful pizza specialties on their menu, but if you can’t decide, or it’s your first time, order the regular cheese pizza. You can’t go wrong with it. You can usually rate how good a pizzeria is by how well they prepare regular cheese pizza. I rate pizza on the following factors:
thin, crispy and golden brown crust
sauce with just enough seasoning to complement the
able to pick a slice up by hand and eat it
Creating a pizza with all those factors working together is pretty difficult. Like sometimes, you can pick up a slice by hand because the crust is so darn thick. Or the cheese is so thick and gloppy it gets dragged into your mouth as you take the first bite. Or there is so much sauce that the cheese slides off completely and you have to keep pushing it back on. Maybe the crust IS the right thickness, BUT it’s dry and tastes like cardboard. Yea, you’ve been there, admit it! I’ve taken all this into consideration. It might seem like I think about pizza a lot.
Because I do.
The crust is perfectly baked in the oven. It comes out with those tiny little bubbles that pop up on the crust. It has just the right texture, crispy yet chewy. The mozzarella to sauce ratio is just right, and every bite has enough cheese + sauce + crust. The sauce has a flavor that’s not too overpowering that makes you want to take another bite. I like eating things that make me crave wanting more.
I’ve read some reviews on the internet about the poor service at Nina’s. I disregarded it because: it’s a pizzeria. The service isn’t horrible. It’s just normal. I wouldn’t go to a pizzeria for the service either, nor do I go to a Chinese restaurant for the ambiance.
While this is a pizzeria, it is also a pretty large restaurant. The menu has a vast selection of pasta, salads, subs, and specialty pizzas. Try it if you’re around central New York. Norwich is located approximately 40 miles north of Binghamton.
Nina’s Pizzeria & Restaurant
32 S Broad St # 1
Norwich, NY 13815-1681