In spite of the fact that I used to work in NE, am an unabashed fan of Punch, and reflexively opt for the little guy over chains, I had never been to Pizza Nea. I was meeting a former associate for late lunch, and I decided it was time to take the plunge. Alas, I wasn't impressed.
The weather decided to arbitrarily turn nice, so I asked the waitress if I could sit outside (thereby requiring her to undo the cordlike contraptions binding the tables). After a long "do I have to?" stare, she complied. I didn't feel too bad considering a) I was a customer and b) I was the only customer and c) It's June.
There weren't any drink or appetizer specials, which I always remember their website touting. Wine and beer was a bit spendy, but oh well, this was a business meal.
I had the Diavola, with salami, pepperoncini, olives atop the normal mozzarella and tomatoes.
The crust was very tough and surprisingly thick, with little flavor to reward me efforts. I actually left a couple of the crusts. I NEVER leave the crusts. People leaving the crust is a pet peeve of mine.
The olive oil and miscellaneous residue sat in a puddle, causing the cheese to sort of curdle. I now understand the "knife and fork" criticism of neapolitan pizza. The pepperoncinis had no discernible flavor. I actually wondered if it was overcooked zucchini. The salami was fine, but sparse.
Okay, it wasn't awful. The basil and cracked pepper balanced nicely, and my beer and wine were quite good. But what am I missing? This wasn't in the same ballpark as Black Sheep or Punch.
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