Sunday, February 17, 2008

House of Pizza-Arcade

Nashville Restaurants and Food
House of Pizza
15 Arcade- Downtown
Nashville
615-242-7144
So, I go into House of Pizza at 5:30pm on a Wednesday. The place is set to close at 6pm. I look around and order a chicken roll and a slice of pizza. Manny looks concerned. There are two lonely, congealed slices sitting on a pan. He looks up and me and says my slice may take a few minutes. He then proceeds to make an entire pizza from scratch, just so I can have my one slice hot and fresh from the oven.

House of Pizza isn’t just a figurative hole in the wall. It really does feel like some pizza cave inside of the Arcade in downtown Nashville. It’s also the closest thing we’ve come to an authentic Northeast pizza joint here in the Nashville area. The worn little dining room in back; the cramped way you have to stand over the counter when you order; the back and forth between Manny and his regulars: I am transported back to the Kenmore Square in Boston.

The food isn’t spectacular at House of Pizza, it’s just good. And it’s good in a way you can’t usually get around here. The pizza has a thin, crispy crust. The slices are wide and oozing with melted cheese, sauce and oregano. It’s the type of slice you can fold in half, or eat it end to end. There’s nothing fancy about the ingredients, they’re just put together right. You can also get lasagna, stromboli, spaghetti and meatballs and calzones. The rolls are kind of interesting. Manny features chicken and sausage rolls on most days. They’re basically meat and cheese rolled up in dough. You get some marinara for dipping.

Veggie Eater: This is one of my favorite spots on a workday when I am off. It’s very busy over lunch, but everyone patiently waits at the counter for their order. The staff is somewhat brash in that East coast way; it’s a little weird to encounter it in Nashville. No “sugar” or “honey” here, but they are in fact genuinely good humored. I love thin crust, New York style pizza and for this reason, I love House of Pizza. It reminds me of the Jersey pizzerias of my past. Thankfully, I no longer need to go to Jersey to get my fix.

Meat Eater: A special thanks to Lannae for tipping us off to House of Pizza many months ago. We’ve made it a regular stop ever since. We like to make it a kind of East Coast tour by grabbing a slice or two at House of Pizza and a Cheesesteak from Phillyman’s.

10 comments:

Lesley said...

Check out Joey's House of Pizza in Brentwood (http://lesleyeats.blogspot.com/2008/02/joeys-house-of-pizza.html). It might be more convenient sometimes. If you can go when it's open that is!

Eric and Katie said...

Thanks Lesley...we read your review and we've been meaning to get by there sometime soon. It would be nice if we could have a House of Pizza in every neighborhood!

Lannae said...

I love Manny's House of Pizza! I am glad you like it too! Joey is Manny's younger brother, and he used to work "front of the house" for Manny for many years before striking out on his own. Both places are good in my opinion. I like the downtown House of Pizza because it has a great urban pizza joint feel.

Melissa said...

I also tried House of Pizza for the first time a few weeks ago after reading Lesley's review. And as a Jersey girl born and bred, I was just happy to find a foldable piece of pizza in this town. And yes, the east coast attitude is refreshing too.

joisymike said...

The only problem with Manny and Joey is that it is ONLY Many and Joey. In good ol' Neu Joisy, I had my choice of 10 Pizzeras in my town alone.

And 5 bagel shops.

And a dozen deli's

And a butcher.

And Beer and Wine on Sunday.

joisymike said...

The only problem with Manny and Joey is that it is ONLY Many and Joey. In good ol' Nu Joisy, I had my choice of 10 Pizzeras in my town alone.

And 5 bagel shops.

And a dozen deli's

And a butcher.

And Beer and Wine on Sunday.

Kaiser Rolls.

Diners.

But I do make the drive to Maryland Way / Ward Circle at least once a week to get my fix of Joey's.
Joeys House of Pizza:
M - W 11am to 6pm
T - F 11am to 8 pm
S - S closed (bidness is good!)

Eric and Katie said...

Joisymike: I hear you about the beer. I had to put a case of Stella Artois back at Costco last weekend, because it was 11:45am. I agree it's best when it's your neighborhood joint and you know who has the best steak and cheese, who has the best 'za and you can pick and choose. The Jersey delis are really awesome, especially Italian spots. I think Nashville will get more of these types of places, but I also think they'll end up being kinda high end places. What I really dig about the Jersey, New York and Boston businesses is that they are completely blue collar, down home neighborhood joints. Melissa: yes, foldable is better, isn't it? Although I still hold a place in my heart for Pizzeria Uno in Chicago on a cold winters night.

Josh said...

It may be a hike out I-40 (to Stewart's Ferry exit, so not bad), but there is a great pizza place called Sal's (http://salsitaliano.com/). Huge slices, made from scratch, their marinara is to die for (IMHO). I would love to have you guys review that place. Buffet style with many other Italian items on the buffet that change daily (pasta, manicotti, lasagna, etc.). But the pizza is the mainstay, and amazing. You feel like you step into little italy when you enter complete with Italian decor and music. Enjoy!

-Josh

Anonymous said...

Eat here at your own risk.

A friend told me about this "awesome" pizza place in the Arcade, so I went to check it out.

My girlfriend and I walk in and stand against the narrow wall. There are some metal pans behind the glass containing a dozen or so old-looking calzones and rolls. I look at the menu and decided on getting the "spinach roll". My girlfriend got an eggplant roll after some attitude from the guy behind the counter.

All that aside, the guy grabs two old, nasty looking "rolls" or calzones or whatever their called and literally flops them back into the oven. We wait for about 15 minutes and are served our food. This tells you how cold these old calzones were... they took 15 minutes to reheat in a massive pizza oven!

It tasted fine. However, both of us came down with horrific food poisoning. She threw up all night long and I have had GI distress for a week now.

The good news is that I have lost 8 pounds because I haven't been able to hold anything down for five days. The bad news is that I crapped in my girlfriend's bed last night on her birthday at about 1 a.m. Then I crapped on her floor. I have been up since 2 a.m., crapping every 20 minutes so I decided I would warn the world of this terrible hole-in-the-wall.

Thanks for the food poisoning, the lousy service, and your lousy second-hand food. Eat here at your own risk.

Anonymous said...

I've been eatn at Mannys since I was 16, now 39,turned a lot of friends & family on to him,but the bad part is,the racial jokes & comments from the tall bald guy.Along with his yorkish attitude,I'd yank his skinny ass,but the pizza is priceless!