86th Street Square Pie – Sicilian Style, Mozzarella, Slow-simmered Tomato Sauce, Romano Cheese, Olive Oil, Cup and Char Pepperoni
The 718 Calzone – Golden Fried with Whipped Ricotta, diced Ham, fresh Mozzarella and a side of Tomato Sauce
Stromboli – Hand Rolled with Ham, Salami, Pepperoni, Mozzarella, Red Peppers
9” Abbondanza – Pepperoni, Sausage, Ham, Ground Beef, Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella, Mushroom
Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake
When family comes to town and only has two requests, one of them for a sweet breakfast spot they’ve been lusting over via Instagram and the other for a calzone served by one of America’s true Pizza legends it is not too difficult to accommodate, a take-out lunch from John Arena at Metro Pizza at Decatur continuing to show that Las Vegas’ Pizza scene rivals any in the nation from top-to-bottom, with a few newer spots also cropping up in recent months to fill the space between.
Not generally one to do take-out, but a confluence of circumstances including work, other meals and travel making it a necessity since Chef Arena wanted to say hi to the visitors, it was just before noon on Friday that two ladies visited the “Retro” Metro to pick up an order that turned out to include a few bonus items, dining on paper plates in a small office not exactly as much fun as a visit to the Pizza parlor, but showing signs that Metro’s product stands up to delivery, though there was never really any doubt considering the birthday spread and countless pharmaceutical company deliveries in the months before.
Starting off with one of Metro’s signature Pizzas, the crust one of those indistinct styles that is fluffy around the edges with a slightly wet center that is certainly not Neapolitan, but also not like pan or crispy and thin, the “Abbondanza” features all sorts of Meat atop Metro’s slow-roasted Sauce and melty Mozzarella plus freshly torn Basil, the “86th Street Square Pie” a more recent addition that has thrilled diners ever since it joined the menu just over a year ago, a true Sicilian in the best of ways with great lightness and an open crumb thanks to the prolonged fermenting process.
Happy to see the hand rolled Stromboli for the first time, Metro Pizza’s Dough wrapped tightly around Ham, Salami, Pepperoni, Red Peppers and Cheese with a crispy exterior and fluffy center that will make fans of Four Kegs wonder why they’ve been sitting at that Dive for so long, it was after everyone else had already gotten their fill of the “718” that the glistening yet oilless pouch once again proved a best-of-the-best choice, the smooth Ricotta and Mozzarella blend literally bursting forth with occasional bits of Ham as soon as a knife punctured the surface.
Sold out of Carrot Cake temporarily, the most popular Dessert on Metro’s menu something worth going out of one’s way for at a price less than half what Carbone charges for a lesser version in a smaller portion, it was instead with a slice of Chocolate Cake, Tiramisu and two Cannoli that the meal came to an end, the filled-to-order shells still leagues better than the one’s people line up for at Carlo’s or Buddy V’s while the Tiramisu was better than remembered, the Lady Fingers a bit lighter and the Coffee flavor more balanced amidst the Mascarpone.
N/A: Unable to rate a ‘restaurant’ on take-out, but still the best comprehensive Pizza experience in a city where places like Pizza Rock and Flour & Barley have attempted to be everything to everyone in recent years, Metro Pizza remains “America’s Neighborhood Pizzeria” in marketing only – it belongs to the people of Las Vegas and Southern Nevada at any of its five locations, though we are happy to share with anyone who is looking for the sort of stuff you can’t find on the Strip with a few recent experiences showing delivery to not cause any sort of quality compromise.
RECOMMENDED: 86th Street Square Pie, the 718 Calzone, Cannoli.
AVOID: Trying to take on the thick and rich Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake on your own, even a single slice is best shared.
TIP: Locals, or interested visitors, looking to perfect their Pizza-making techniques with a man who is truly a world-renowned master of his craft are encouraged to look into the Pizza Classes offered for $24.95 on the second and last Tuesday of each month (http://www.metropizza.com/cooking-classes)
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.