Located in Glenbrook, Nick's Pizza has a quiet but loyal following and reputation as a quality family restaurant with great value. Touting a "long tradition of Italian cooking" and origins in "a small town near Naples in Southern Italy, where pizza first originated" Nick's sets the bar high from the get go.
Establishment. Nick's Pizza seems, quite honestly, to have somewhat of an identity crisis. We walked into what looked like the classic model of a counter service pizzeria. Upon surveying all of the tables in the main dining area and finding none that weren't taken or consumed by large puddles of water, we ventured into the back room to find a touch of class that we never would have expected. Nick's small, low lit auxiliary dining room with a full bar, large, comfortable hardwood booths and dinner rolls (glorious, glorious dinner rolls) welcomed us in from the laminated pressboard jungle we'd left. The service was nothing short of excellent as our waitress was very attentive, personable, and lightning quick. Not surprisingly, the menu was laden with Italian specialties and pizzas with numerous topping options and specialty pies.
Pizza. For as extraordinary as Nick's establishment is, their pizza is twice as underwhelming. While the crust was phenomenally flavorful and yeasty, it was easily the strongest aspect of this pie, hearkening back recent memories of the aforementioned glorious dinner rolls. Nick's sauce was conservative and underseasoned, bordering on bland and the cheese was average at best. The texture of this pie caused the bulk of its score to melt away, as it seemed undercooked and uncharacteristically floppy. Surprisingly enough, the pizza came to the table piping hot and remained as such throughout the bulk of the meal, so go figure. The slices of meatball that topped our pie were a bit on the bland side as well (see a pattern?) but they were perfectly tender albeit so sparsely distributed that we kind of wanted more. Such was the theme of this pizza: decidedly mediocre for many little reasons rather than a huge, glaring one.
The bottom line. Nick's Pizza is an interesting establishment with two considerably different restaurant atmospheres, both of which make a very average pizza at best.
Hits the Spot: 5/10
Large Cheese: $12.25