Naked Pizza Is Fine For “Healthy” Pizza (We Guess)
We reported just last week that the workers of Naked Pizza have officially descended on Midtown East. Even two days after opening, guys in green shirts holding signs, passing out menus, and screaming about the wholesomeness of this pizza could be discovered as far as two blocks away from the store. Their hawking must have worked because the tiny little take-out spot was jam packed when I arrived around 1:00pm the other day.
It turns out most of the crowd had already ordered and were just waiting for their food. This concerned me a bit. I walked up to the cashier, who was clearly overwhelmed, but kept an upbeat demeanor and smile. She was a bit too cheery for my tastes, introducing herself by name, trying to upsell like crazy, and assuring me the wait would be no longer than 10 minutes. However, I do have to admit this was a refreshing change from the usual pitiful, rude service I encounter everywhere else I turn in Midtown. I wonder how long these guys can keep the pleasantries up.
The menu allows for some major customization from sauce color to toppings to thickness of crust, but I wanted to keep it as simple as possible. I would have chosen one of their recommended pizza combinations, but those were all well into the splurge zone. So I chose just a 10″ plain pie with red sauce, cheese, sausage, and mushrooms. The bill came to $10.85 with tax.
Considering this was only a few days after their opening, the place seemed to be pretty well organized. I didn’t hear any complaints from customers, the employees seemed busy but not flustered, and amazingly enough my pizza came out in just under 10 minutes.
Since there are no chairs in the store, I found a bench close by and opened up the box. The pizza was rather thin and sad looking. It reminded me of the pizza I used to get at the roller skating rink in the days of my youth. But according to all the writing on the box and the publicity materials, this is much healthier than that junk was.
I had ordered the original dough, but this was as thin as a cracker. If this indeed was the original, I can’t imagine how thin the skinny version would be. There’d be nothing left. The toppings were also rather scarce. It looked like the sauce slightly overwhelmed the cheese and there was no substantial char on the bottom.
Despite this being heralded as healthier pizza, there was still some flavor going on. I think it mainly came from the crumbled sausage with fennel and celery seeds, which I really enjoyed. The mushrooms, on the other hand, were bland and a waste of a topping choice. The tomato sauce was on the sweeter side, while the mozzarella cheese had some nice buttery flavors, but should have been more prevalent (that’s probably part of how they keep the calories so low).
However it’s the crust which disappointed me the most. It’s the healthiest part of this pizza, comprised of 10 “ancient grains” that are supposed to keep you full for longer and make you feel better after eating the pizza. The crust was on the dry side, with not much flavor, and was only crispy at the ends. Usually whole wheat crusts have a bit more sweetness – I didn’t get that from this. It certainly made the pizza taste like healthy food. After eating the entire 10 inch pie, I felt pretty full but I also still had that greasy, queasy sensation of eating too much pizza. Perhaps it was because I ate most of it while walking, but I don’t think the other ingredients (cheese, sausage, tomato sauce) helped fulfill the “naked mission.”
As far as healthy pizzas go, this is one of the better ones I’ve tasted. It’s not completely cardboard, but it’s still way too thin and bland for my tastes. Perhaps fans of health food and whole wheat crusts will enjoy this, but I’d rather eat the real thing.
The +: (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- It’s pizza, but it’s good for you
- I love whole wheat thin crust!
- The staff is very friendly and the wait is not too long for the food
- I like to choose from a wide range of toppings and sauces
The – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- There’s no place to sit
- The crust is too thin
- It tastes like healthy pizza
- It’s still a bit greasy and oily
Naked Pizza, 954 3rd Ave (btw. 57+58th)