So much has happened here in Music City since January 2013 when the New York Times called us America’s new “it” city. For one, there has been the flurry of new but disappointing pizza joints. Following on the heels of Music City Pizza and Al Taglio is Luigi’s City Pizza which recently opened downtown on Third Avenue, a few steps off of Lower Broadway next to the new Johnny Cash Museum.
I invited a few of my work buddies for lunch to give Luigi’s a try. Having to pay for parking downtown is always a drag, but we managed it with just a few bucks and a short walk. Inside, we found Luigi’s to have a lively barroom atmosphere, learning that the place is merely an extension of the Tequila Cowboy nightclub around the corner. It was built as a place for late night partiers to munch out! Luigi’s featured a first for me, small television screens at each booth. The booths were in the center of the music-themed room flanked by a long bar on one side and tables on the other. There was also a stage in the corner.
The pies on the diners’ tables looked promisingly classic and thin, so I eagerly ordered a couple of cheese slices ($3.25 each) alongside a hopefully healthy salad. One of my friends did a pair with pepperoni while the other went for a calzone. After waiting an extra-long time, our apologetic waiter finally delivered our goods. To appease me, one of the slices he brought me was a miss-cut monstrosity twice as large as it should be. This three for the price of two should have been a bonus, but I would soon find that it would just prolong my agony.
The slices were ultra-thin, but the crust was soggy. They were so floppy that they were nearly impossible to pick up and eat without using two hands. They were also cold and clammy. Scoping out the room, I saw that Luigi’s pull their slices from a batch sitting under a heat lamp above the bar. This unfortunate process just sucked out any crispness my slices may have once had.
On the good side, the cheese and sauce with a touch of oregano were tasty. The pie was quite light on the stomach. The lightness factor is only a good thing when you are enjoying what you are eating! My slices tasted like cold pizza warmed up the next morning in the microwave. This was a total failure in execution!
The reports on the pepperoni slices and the calzone were no more favorable. Luigi’s pizza had potential with a good design and quality ingredients. It’s a nice addition to the downtown landscape, but certainly a place to avoid if you are looking for a good slice of pizza. Maybe a whole pie fresh out of the oven would fare better than a slice. I’m not sure if I’m willing to give it another try after this dismal experience.
PIZZA SNOB RATING **1/2 Not a Total Waste
Luigi’s City Pizza
105 3rd Avenue South Nashville, Tennessee 37201