Vegas Bright Millennial Foodie, Michal James, returns with a review of Naked City Pizza.
[Author’s Note – This one is especially for Mr. Editor Man, as Naked City Pizza has taken over his beloved Pizza Lotto space inside the El Cortez. This review, however, is from the Naked City Pizza location on Paradise.]
Who am I kidding? I love me some pizza. Even after dropping over 100 pounds, I still get weak-kneed at the site of a beautiful pie. Now, I am not a Holier-than-Thou pizza snob. If it has crust, tomatoes, and cheese, it is a pizza. Being in the Midwest, I love a Chicago Deep Dish. Milwaukee has cracker-thin crusts at many legacy pizzerias. New York-style is fine, and though I don’t get the folding in half, if the flavor is there then I am in.
Naked City Pizza has crust, tomatoes, and cheese, therefore it is pizza, and therefore I love it. Before my trip to Las Vegas last October, though, I hadn’t actually tried it. It just took some unexpected free time before a trip to the airport (and four poker buddies flashing those “You’re the Vegas Expert” looks at me) to make an impromptu visit.
The original Naked City Pizza location was featured on Guy Fieri’s Drive-ins, Diners and Drives in 2012 and their pizza intrigued me for years. My buddies and I arrived around 2:00 PM to an empty restaurant.
Although I had assumed that we would just have pizza, Poker Buddy 1 suggested some appetizers. Remembering the Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives episode, we had to order the Suicide Fries (Because the Food Network won’t allow me to embed the video, please click here to see the clip of what Suicide Fries are all about)
When I can’t finish the peppers, you KNOW the dish was good. Why (you may ask) does the sauce look creamy? It’s because I dumped the ranch dressing on them to try to tame the heat.We did make a tactical error, however. We also ordered the Meatball Skillet, which came out after the fries.
When I had “checked in” on Facebook (Side note; I do that to brag to others back home that I am in Vegas, and they’re not) I had a friend suggest to get a large pizza… a 1/2 sheet or larger. However with just five of us and the fact that we wanted to try a variety, instead we got three 1/4 sheets.
The pizza that was featured on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives was the Guinea Pie (again, please click here for the video on the creation of this pizza.)
We had two non-foodies with us, so we also needed to order some more “normal” pizzas.
Above is the Naked City ($14.95 for a 1/4 sheet), which has sausage, pepperoni, sweet peppers, green olives, and onions. Because that was STILL too exotic for some of our group, we ordered just a cheese and sausage pizza.
The reason that it was suggested that we get a 1/2 sheet was that the proportion of crust to toppings is a little light on the 1/4 sheets. However, to be honest, it really was OK as the crust gave us a built-in handle for each slice.
We weren’t terribly impressed with the Guinea Pie. It was too creamy and rich with the garlic sauce and the Ricotta, and we just couldn’t pick up any flavor of the meatballs. This pizza tasted like creamy. I know creamy is not a flavor, but that is all we got.
Once I flicked those stupid olives off of the Naked City, that was by far the most enjoyable to me. Bold sauce, thick cut pepperoni, and stringy cheese knocked this one out of the park. This pie is a Do-It-Againer.
The boring poker buddies enjoyed the boring pizza (which I didn’t try… three total slices is enough for any person).
After getting home and while I was writing up my full trip report for the Vegas Message Board, I was Googling for the Guy Fieri videos and I saw this dissenting opinion. Barstool Sports apparently exists just to annoy the sports world, and those people who love to argue just for the sake of argument love Barstool’s content.
Since Poker Buddy 1 had just won a poker tournament, he picked up the tab so I don’t know the total amount of the five sodas, tax, and tip.
So if you remember to have the Suicide Fries after other appetizers (and allow plenty of time for your taste buds to regenerate) and if you keep the Guinea Pie in the kitchen for others to enjoy, I really recommend Naked City Pizza and would absolutely go back. We are also really looking forward to visiting the location regularly inside the El Cortez. It should be good competition for Pizza Rock.
And I look forward to trying the Chicago Brewing Company pizza (inside the 4 Queens) to properly compare the third dynamite option in Downtown Las Vegas pizza.