Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Nirchi's Pizza

Name: Nirchi's Pizza
Location: 3916 Vestal Parkway East, Vestal, NY 13850
Phone: (607) 729-5131
Cuisine: Pizza

Nirchi's is a Triple Cities institution specializing in sheet pizza. A number of area natives cite Nirchi's as their favorite pizza parlor, impressive given that there are a wide variety of options to choose from. From humble beginnings in Endicott, Nirchi's now boasts eight locations in the area. It's not an uncommon sight to see a Nirchi's sheet pizza or two at a party or some kind of catered gathering. So how is their pizza, you might ask? In my opinion, it's unique, pretty good, but not amazing.

You can order Nirchi's in three different ways: full sheets, half sheets, and round pies. Megan and I used to be rather fond of the round pies. At $9 it was cheap and tasty but sometimes unbearably greasy. The crust on the round pies is very thin and a bit on the salty side and the tomato sauce is robust with good flavor. We used to be regular customers (especially once they put a store in Johnson City which has since closed) but once we found Grande's Pizza, our days of eating Nirchi's went by the wayside.

Yesterday, I was at a catered lunch for work and sure enough, a couple of Nirchi's sheet pizzas were delivered to feed the masses. Not too hungry at the time, I had but one slice of one of their specialty pies, the Chicken Spiedie. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to sample two Binghamton delicacies at once.

As you can see, the chicken spiedie pizza is what they call a "white" slice rather than a "red" slice. It has no tomato sauce and is coated with a garlic blend instead. The crust is similar to that of the round pies. It has an almost spongy quality and is a bit too salty for my liking. The garlic flavor seemed to overpower that of the spiedie topping. On a positive note, it was less of a grease fest than other Nirchi's slices I've had in the past. It wasn't bad, just not really my cup of tea.

I've heard that Nirchi's tends to vary by location, with some folks being partial to the original Endicott (Pine St.) location, and others preferring the downtown Binghamton store. It all tastes the same to me, really. I like (but do not love) Nirchi's and I recommend giving their pizza a chance. You never know, you could become one of the many who love the stuff. After all, they've been serving the Triple Cities for more than 40 years for a reason.

Grade: B-

Nirchi's Pizza on Urbanspoon

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