The Pizza Snob doesn’t venture much into the Southern Williamson County town of Spring Hill. The last time was to help my son, The Kid, buy a car, and this time it was to help support a friend’s efforts to restore an old fire engine called Fire Belle. It was a mere coincidence that both trips involved vehicles, but the fact that pizza found its way into both was of course not.
News had travelled north that there was a new pizza joint in Spring Hill called Nelly’s Italian Cafe with a family connection to Nashville’s best, Joey’s House of Pizza. Turning things over totally to my GPS, I arrived at the Nelly’s address surprised to find a sign outside the strip center parking lot for Samboli’s, the site of my last Spring Hill visit. I was even more astonished when I realized that Nelly’s had taken over the Samboli’s location.
With Mrs. Pie along for the ride, we placed our orders at the counter of the small familiar room. Since Nelly’s serves up slices non-stop, we ordered a trio of cheese ($2.75 each) along with a couple of salads. Given a number, we retreated to a booth to await our call. Things got off to a bad start when my mission to get some waters from the soda fountain ended in total failure. The water dispenser shared the slot with the pink lemonade resulting in a pink discoloration in any effort to get just plain clear water. Despite the help’s insistence that we wouldn’t taste it, Mrs. Pie and I chose to stay dry.
Pizza-wise, I didn’t know what to expect, and my first look at Nelly’s pie wasn’t until our number was called after a short wait. At first glance it looked to be fairly classic although it was a little on the cheesy side with a rather ginormous end crust handle. My further inspection revealed that it was cooked firm and crisp throughout.
Overall, while my slice was tasty, both the cheese and tomato sauce were nothing special although somewhat flavorful. Additional seasoning was left to the jar of oregano on the table. When it came to that big end crust handle, it was just too fluffy, doughy and airy to my liking. Mrs. Pie thought the cheese was too much, and that was all she tasted. While I didn’t necessarily disagree, I have sure had worse, and the slight touch of olive oil on top helped this one out a bit.
I think the story about Nelly’s slice is that it goes to show, that cooking a slice right can overcome some of the minor flaws. I must say that this one was cooked very well. As time went on though, I did feel rather heavy in the stomach from that filing end crust.
Looking back, I had rated Samboli’s slice higher than Nelly’s. However, in retrospect, I may have been somewhat generous back then not expecting to find much of anything in Spring Hill. Well that’s neither here nor there now with Nelly’s in and Samboli’s out. And while, Nelly’s was a fair slice to eat, it certainly is no reason yet to travel back to Spring Hill for just pizza. However, I somehow suspect that they may eventually get closer to the higher standards of their brethren at Joey’s!
PIZZA SNOB RATING *** ½ Working on a Good Thing
Nelly’s Italian Cafe
5441 Main Street (Food Lion Shopping Center)
Spring Hill, TN 37174