Define Neapolitan

Andrea from SPIN! invited us over to sample their menu the other day. It was my first visit, and maybe my last.

It wasn't bad pizza, it was very average pizza. We arrived around 11, and were the first people there for lunch. We met the owner, Gail Lozoff in the "ordering area", the area in the front of the restaurant where the menu hangs and people order at the register. You order your pizza and then move to your table to wait for it.

This procedure works fine at a deli where everyone is ordering individually, it doesn't work so well for pizza. People are picky about what they get on their pizza, everyone likes something different. As groups of folks file in the door, they must come to a collaborative decision on what they are going to order before sitting down. This is easy for some groups, and not so easy for most.

Does your group of six that has quickly decided what to order cut in front of the group of four that has not? There really isn't a formal line, just an area where groups sort of stand around and look at the menu.

By about 11:30 the confusion started. Groups are coming in the front door and the back door. Folks from the back door are going straight to the register bypassing those who came in the front door. Those from the front door are wondering if they should skip in front of the group of four in front of them who can't make a decision on a pizza.

Just let us sit down to order the pizza already!

I ordered the daily pizza special, four cheeses and mushroom. I added Italian sausage since Gail said they get it from Scimeca's. Terrence got the Pollo Arrosto E Chevre (chicken and goat cheese) pizza and Jim decided on the SPIN! sub and Minestrone soup.

The pizza came out on a stoneware plate as shown above. The crust was super thin and crisp but the pizza was cold. I wonder if the the stoneware plate cooled it off? Do they cook the pizza on the plate? Do they heat the plates before they put the pizza on them?

Before I'd taken a bite, Gail came over to see how we were doing. I noticed there wasn't any Italian sausage on my pizza and mentioned it to her. She said, "It really doesn't need sausage, it's a great pizza without it". It wasn't an excuse or apology for the lack of sausage, it was more like I was an idiot for messing with the perfect combination in the first place. That's not what I wanted to hear. I like meat on my pizza. She made no effort to correct the mistake.

I didn't know the definition of Neapolitan pizza until I went here today. After my visit to SPIN! I thought it meant thin, dry and cold, with very little topping. I really missed that Italian sausage now that I was facing a tiny bit of cold cheese and mushrooms on my pizza! Terrence's Pollo Arrosto E Chevre was better since it wasn't as dry, but the chicken, he said, was "tasteless". Jim said his sandwich was good although we thought it needed some vinegar and oil to help it along. The bread is made in-house but could use a crust. It was very fresh with a Wonder bun texture. The Minestrone reminded me of Chef Boyardee. I couldn't detect a hint of basil or oregano, it was way to safe, tasted mass produced. Jim liked it.

I could mention the antics of our over-shy, forgetful waitress but I have already made to many remarks about a truly unremarkable experience.


Anonymous said...

I am glad someone noticed that this is just Bagel & Bagel re-branded. Their bagels were as original as their "Neapolitan" pizza is Neapolitan. They don't deserve to claim it anywhere on their menu. Glad you did not look at the oven closely as it is gas fired, which is no excuse for cold pizza, but true Neapolitan is wood fired. I like local but I don't like local trying to pass itself off for the next big buyout (Blanc... I am talking about you, too.)
I dislike myself for not being able to get over their shortcomings as I love local done right but this post sums up so much (and obviously left out so much more) that is wrong.
Not to mention the owner blew you off! No soup for you!

The DLC said...

The ordering process really is strange, especially since they have people taking drink orders and running food already.

Which location was this?

kc food guy said...

@DLC Main St.

JH said...

I must say I was never particularly impressed with SPIN! especially considering there were/are several positive reviews for it. I was expecting a lot more when I tried it for the first time. I've been in a time or two since, but it really isn't anything special. That is for sure.

I do think it is funny that they invited you over to try their fare, and you ended up panning them.

Stinky said...

Believe it or not...I could not agree more!!! The chicken pesto pizza is pretty good but honestly it's a crap shoot! I like their salads but they are often over dressed which ruins the experience! Oh well...

midtown food guy said...

I agree with the majority of your assessment. The ordering process is very difficult. When you order more drinks they bring you back a new ticket everytime. It succeeds in forcing you to hurry up and forgo any additional drinks.

The pizza just isn't that great. Obviously we may be in the minority because the place is always packed. The flatbread, while underseasoned, is a pretty good addition to any meal.

On another note, while KCFood and I tend to be pretty blunt with our evaluations of places, I just don't feel comfortable recommending a place to have someone else find it a bad deal or bad food. I have no problem defending my decision to recommend a place if it is good in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I've been to Spin once, a few months after the original opened, and also found the pizza quite ordinary. I see no reason to return, since you have to put up with the weird ordering/serving stuff to get mediocre food.