Rockin Rice Puddin & NY Pizza
Samples: Pistachio Rice Pudding, Black Raspberry Rice Pudding, English Toffee Rice Pudding, Caramel Rice Pudding
Cheese Pizza Slice – Mozzarella, Tomato Sauce
Grandma Pie Slice – Mozzarella on the Bottom, Plum Tomatoes, Fresh Basil
Pepperoni Pizza Slice – Mozzarella, Tomato Sauce, Pepperoni
White Pie Slice – Garlic-Onion Cream Sauce, Mozzarella Cheese, Ricotta Cheese, Oregano, Black Pepper
Buffalo Chicken Pizza Slice – Mozzarella, Buffalo Chicken Cutlet, Buffalo Wing Sauce, Blue Cheese Dressing
4oz Peanut Butter Rice Pudding
4oz Crème Brulee Rice Pudding
4oz Cookies and Cream Rice Pudding
With Metro Pizza long setting a high standard and John Arena’s tireless dedication to the craft helping turn Las Vegas into a Pizza destination also featuring the likes of Good Pie, Pizza Rock and Naked City it should go without saying that a phrase like “da best you have ever eaten in your life!” should fall under close scrutiny, and on Tuesday night Rockin Rice Puddin & NY Pizza proved to be better than it needs to be but certainly oversold in comparison to at least five other Pizzerias in Sin City.
Owned and operated by a man named Joe for the last six weeks, his thick accent while describing Slices laid out behind glass leaving no question of New York roots, it is all the way toward the back of Las Vegas Boulevard’s Hawaiian Marketplace that one will find the two-in-one concept, current hours from 11am until as late as four o’clock in the morning on weekends certainly showing commitment though considering the half-abandoned surroundings including vagrants and drug pushers one does question the plaza’s typical clientele.
Certainly not a bad idea considering the presence of both Slice shops and a whole store dedicated to Rice Pudding in Manhattan, though Rockin Rice Puddin’s claim of “over 50 flavors!” is as exaggerated as their assertion of “da best,” it was with several ‘deals’ suggested via Social Media found unavailable and prices approximately $1 per slice more than advertised on the website that an order was arranged, $32.46 exchanged for four rewarmed Slices plus one fresh one and about twelve ounces of Pudding.
Taking a seat outdoors after sampling a few additional flavors of Rice, the texture thick and creamy with brightly colored Black Raspberry a standout, it was as two disheveled men danced to Ludacris being played at a nearby kiosk that first tastes investigated the Grandma slice, a style recently popularized by Vincent Rotolo up the road at Good Pie that is appropriately crispy at Rockin Rice Puddin & NY Pizza but far less light and completely lacking a cornicione which speaks to a lack of leavening.
Moving next to several New York Slices, another style improved upon locally in recent years at Evel Pie, Pin Up and Five-50, one immediately questions the promise of “fresh ingredients” when picking up Pepperoni or Cheese that spill grease, though on tasting the base does pick up a bit of smoke from the oven that marries nicely to vibrant Tomato Sauce that thankfully lacks sweetness in favor of Herbs and acidity.
Disappointed to see no Sicilians, a wait of “probly twenty minutes” too much with temperatures pushing 100ᵒF in the shade, it was instead to an admittedly great White Slice made creamy with Ricotta and fragrant with Garlic that attention turned, its follow-up of Buffalo Chicken unfortunately not nearly as noteworthy as the Meat was dry and Blue Cheese thin in comparison to what Michael and Christopher Palmeri offer at Naked City.
Rounding out the sampling with three styles of Rice, approximately $1 per ounce but a bit cheaper with larger portions, suffice it to say that fans of Peanut Butter should look no further than creamy spoonfuls that taste exactly like the real deal without all the heft while Crème Brulee is more mellow and balanced than English Toffee or Caramel, though not quite as enjoyable as Cookies and Cream that not only tastes a lot like an Oreo but also succeeds in terms of adding Cookies without compromising texture.
TWO STARS: Starting off on the wrong foot by overselling its products and then taking a bait n’ switch approach to pricing Rockin Rice Puddin & NY Pizza seems unlikely to please anyone who has actually done their research, though in a derelict plaza with paid parking that is difficult to access from across The Strip it seems most likely that the target audience is probably not that sort of person in the first place.
RECOMMEDED: White Pie, Peanut Butter Rice Pudding, Cookies and Cream Rice Pudding.
AVOID: Buffalo Chicken Pizza, Grandma Pie, Pepperoni Pizza.
TIP: Use Groupon+ to save 25% and bring prices back in line with what is listed on the website.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.