Thursday, January 5, 2012
Nky's Best Pizza Quest: 915
I know what you're going to say, the 915 Pub and Grill isn't known for their pizzas. And they aren't. But in the midst of the Christmas hustle and bustle, we needed to settle down into the local watering hole which offered us something others couldn't: convenience.
The 915 (is it "nine-fifteen" or "nine-one-five"?) is probably best known for their burgers and "burgermania" on Wednesdays, which feature $5 burgers. The restaurant has gotten shout-outs from local foodie blogs across greater Cincinnati and deserves all the accolades on this front. But we are on a pizza quest, not a burger quest. So let's see how the only restaurant we've been to that doesn't specialize in pizza does among the other pizza giants.
Atmosphere (1-10 scale): 5
It's a perfect local watering hole. Ample seating. TVs. Full bar. Pool table. Familiar faces on the wall mural and conversing all around you. The problem: the smoking. Believe me, I am no smoking ban proponent, but that's why it's a watering hole and not a pizza destination. The bathrooms could be upgraded as well in the cleanliness department.
Overall Pizza Taste Selection: 5
915 has some unusual selections, which the FTM braintrust likes and respects. We tried the Jacob Special - which is pretty much their version of a meat lover-, the pulled pork pizza and the grilled chicken cesar pizza.
I've had the Jacob Special and usually enjoy it. It's not overdone with toppings and the different meats meld together with the mozzarella. On this particular night, it was burnt. Just bad luck probably. It was the first time I'd had it like that, but it was not very good on this night.
The pulled pork pizza was good. It had a bbq sauce instead of the traditional marinara and provided a nice, zesty surprise when I first bit into it. The 915 famous cole slaw (lets be honest -why does broken ramen noodles make it special?) was just placed on top. It really didn't feel like it was a part of the pizza. They would have been better off bringing a side of cole slaw.
Same thing with the grilled chicken cesar. It was a grilled chicken pizza with a cesar salad placed on top.
Perhaps the pizza are the extras at 915. Burger is king here. Followed closely by beer and wings. But again, we are doing a pizza quest, hence the burgers, beer and wings are the extras. And they are damn good.
Again with the smoking. I understand it's a smoking establishment and it's a low-key, no maintenance place to eat. Service may be better if the servers wouldn't gather at the end of the bar to smoke amongst the customers.
When they do serve, they do an outstanding job. They usually do a good job of recognizing regulars - which they are plenty.
Total Score: 5.75
I actually feel bad rating 915 this low, because I go there all the time. I just don't go there for the pizza. If you are there and the mood strikes, by all means, be my guest and get a pie. Just don't get "order envy" when your buddy orders a burger.
1) Buona Vita - 8.15
2) Newport Pizza Company - 8
3) Raniero's Pizzeria - 7.8
4) Dewey's Pizza - 6.15
5) 915 Pub and Grill - 5.75
6) Fort Thomas Pizza - 5.375