The crusty old bar and restaurant that once welcomed you into the 12th & Porter music room is no more. It has been replaced by the swanky Music City Pizza. The MCP name and logo now control the face of the music venue located down in the bowels of 12th Avenue North. While the music room still remains, it, too, has received some upgrades. Its entry way is now a fancy music-themed pizza joint—one that looks to have taken a lot of “dough” to put together.
Just a few days after a much ballyhooed opening, my pizza pal and I headed there for a weekday lunch. As soon as we walked through the front door, the shock of the change hit me. Where the old bar once stood now sat a counter and bar area with open sight of a pizza kitchen. Off to the right was a dining area.
MCP boasts to have brought in some fancy chefs and a big fat 6,000-pound Marra Forni pizza oven that came by ship from Naples, Italy. In addition to pizza, they serve booze, fancy appetizers and salads, pizza pockets, and “Record Deals” which are topping-abused pies designed by up and coming local musicians.
The music theme is laid out in a menu constructed as a gatefold record album cover. The five different pizzas all have music-biz names. I went for the 12-inch plain, “The Demo,” whose credits listed a blend of mixed cheeses, a house red sauce, and fresh basil. At $14, when added to the cost of a salad, this was going to be a pricy lunch–more fit for a hot-shot music industry exec rather than a “starving” artist.
Their “record-shaped” pie came served atop a platform and looked enticing. It was quite colorful with its usual pizza colors adorned with a hefty portion of green shredded basil leaves. The pie was cut into eight slices and was somewhat reminiscent of a Jersey bar pie although it was a bit too heavy in its dough content. Not over-cheesed on top, the crust was bottom-browned, cooked crisp but not very firm. Overall, though, it was constructed with a good balance of ingredients. What started out as tasty soon started to nag at me—something in the cheese blend was way too strong. I quit after eating just six of the eight slices. Being toppings-centric, my pizza pal liked the meat offerings on his selection, “The Roadie,” but we both agreed as to the misses on pizza basics.
Driving away, I was left with an awful after-taste from the strong cheese. I wish pizza joints would learn to just stick with mozzarella!
While MCP’s pizza was better than average, it won’t be on my hit parade. I might give it another try after a show some time though. It’s one of those pies that just tries to be fancy for no good reason. I was quite surprised to see that slices were not offered. Having a pizza joint next to a late night music venue is a great idea. But why not give music fans the chance to get a cheap, late-night simple slice instead of having to splurge for a high-priced fancy pie? MCP went alternative when it could have just stayed classic!
PIZZA SNOB RATING ***1/2 Working on a Good Thing
Music City Pizza
114 12th Avenue N.
Nashville, TN 37203