The NBO could be found in any small town in the midwest complete with 1950's style plastic letter wall special advertisements to an original antiquated main street building to a bit of confusion around import beers. With no set beer menu, our waitress was unable to provide us with a full listing of their beers. When we decided on a Guiness, she offered a frosty mug, we declined, she then just brought the cans...?
We perused the menu, knowing we were getting a pie, to see if an appy was appealing. Since we were worried that Stella really is not a pizza person yet, we thought we would maximize our chances with an appy sampler---the fried onion rings, fried cauliflower, and fried cheese sticks. The pie we chose? We decided to go ultra simple since the ingredient list wasn't blowing our skirts up---half cheese(for Ozzy) and half pepperoni. Simple should suffice, right?
The sampler came out quickly, and looked like it came straight from the bag---maybe the onion rings were done in house, but there is NO WAY the cheese sticks or cauliflower were made within 500 miles of the place. Not really very good. Stella tried some of everything and Fred was so happy to see she is not an onion person either. ;) Ozzy made a valiant attempt at a cheese stick, but as it got gooey, he vetoed the effort. Fred and Libby quite enjoyed the cauliflower, but all in all, it was a bust.
At this point, other diners started rolling in and it was obvious, pizza was the star of the menu. This was both heartening and foreboding in that everyone was ordering 4-7 toppings...did we mess this up? Well, showtime, here came the pie...TONS of cheese! Ozzy looked a little apprehensive. A nice touch, the demarcation made with a green herb and was a great concept-- something we would like to see on other pies. It was obvious where one side stopped and the other began.
Unfortunately, the great first impression soon fell incredibly flat. The mounds of cheese that were so obvious at first glance were in fact, straight mozorella on a not so exciting sauce and an overwhelmed, underdone crust. One side sitting in a pool of unappetising pepperoni grease. You can't pick up this pizza, a hand-tossed...you must use the knife and fork.
We soon found that where most places would put a single pepperoni, the NBO stacked three or four. This was obviously done in an attempt to provide abundant toppings, but doesn't work well with buried pepperoni. As other pies started coming out with mounds of toppings on them, we recognized our fatal flaw...NBO doesn't do simple. But what pizza place can't make a pepperoni pizza?!?!?!?!
Only a couple of weeks ago we had outstanding cheese pizza at Thr3e Wise Men...is it really so hard?
Really? Fred and Libby immediately went into a diatribe of how they were pretty sure that that one time they were weak and tried a Sam's Club Pepperoni pizza, that it was better than this! How is that possible? A pound of mozzerella does not a good pizza make! How can the crust cook right with a layer of insulation on top? Why didn't we order 5, 6, 7 toppings?! *sigh*
Having only eaten one to one 1/2 slices each, we decided that it simply was not worth ingesting anymore. We left, not satisfying our hunger, but still feeling that there was a ball of mozzerlla stuck in our gullets. Both of us fantasized of purging roman style and going to get, perhaps, some Brozzini's. Ozzy on the other hand, could not be disuaded of his "pretty good" rating. And Stella, while she didn't really eat much, certainly enjoyed her experience and was welcomed warmly by staff and the other customers.
This brings us to the final tally, where Fred had some serious sticker shock. $44, before a good tip, as the service was fine for a 16 inch pizza, a mediocre fried appy, and two (not exotic!) beers. Huh?! An example...last night at Oaken Barrel---which is arguably very inexpensive and amazing for the price--two dinner entrees, a kids entree, a dessert, and 5 WAY better beers came to a grand total of $36. Explain that to us!
In our diner's remorse, we dialed a friend who loved the place. He explained, it's about the massive number of multiple toppings. So, a word to the wise...don't do it. Don't try to be simple, get the mother load and maybe it's a whole new ball game. But as far as FLOE is concerned, we won't be trecking to Wanamaker to give it another chance.
Price-$$-$$$,- Apparently, Guiness charges a shit ton to go to Wanamaker. There was a special to get a 16 inch and a bucket o' domestic for $30...yet somehow two Guiness and an appy added up to almost $45? Oy.
Atmosphere**, Small town, comfortable, homey, in a historic-ly ancient building in town.
Service***,- Other than a little beer-snobbery on our part, the service was fine. :)
Fred- F, I understand it's a toppings place, but what pizza place can't do a pepperoni pizza?! And if you're a toppings place, then you need to up the ante on the toppings---nothing extraordinary or interesting here .
Libby-D-, I have never only eaten one piece of pizza in my LIFE! This was not good. It was depressing that so much cheese was going to see the dumpster. The only saving grace for me was the fried cauliflower--don't know if it was from the bag or not, but it was all I had...it was all I had.
Ozzy- B, The boy took every ounce of cheese off but ate up his crust. He insisted it was "pretty good." Alright son, whatever you say.
Estelle- B, Content to snack and soak it all in.