Belmont Pizzeria

There’s a 2-day-old pizza place in town, Belmont Pizzeria, near Patterson.

RVAfoodie mentioned it this afternoon after West of the Boulevard News linked to an initial review from One Way Richmond. So I checked out the place tonight.

It looks like a real pizzeria – only a counter for sitting, a drink cooler, and a menu with typical pizzeria fare. Meatballs for a topping, garlic knots! The pizza wasn’t bad, but on reflection there are issues.

RVAfoodie later described the pizza as “… huge, thin, greasy, + cheesy So… New Yorky. The crust is light, limp. More spongy than chewy.” I agree with most of his assessment except for the light, spongy, and “New Yorky” parts. My medium was a bit too dense (perhaps too much dough for that size pie), and hence kinda toothy in the wrong way. Not the chewiness I love in good crust. And the “New Yorky” part, well, if all these dings are true about a pizza, it’s not representative of New York pizza (not to this Jersey boy, at least). There’s bad pizza everywhere, even New York, but even touristy Little Italy in Manhattan has more good pizza than bad, using better mozzarella, just the right amount of sauce, and crust that holds up when it’s folded in half.

That aside, though, there are real problems. It’s a shame, too, because it looked and smelled pretty good. But let’s start with what was right on top. The cheese. I always order a plain cheese pizza when I try out a new pizza joint because I figure they oughtta be able to get the basics right. Well the cheese on this pizza was some seriously low-grade mozzarella. The pool of grease was a big tip-off, and unfortunate.

The sauce was forgettable – literally, because I don’t remember anything about it. At least there wasn’t too much.

And the crust…well, that’s the most troubling part. There’s some actual decent flavor to the crust, but beyond that the texture isn’t right. Whether that’s from my suspicion of too much dough in the medium pie, or because they didn’t give the dough enough time to rise, it still means it’s kinda dense.

I’m not throwing out the leftovers, but this doesn’t replace Capriccios, JoJo’s, or Carini for me. Maybe I’ll try out Arianna’s next, since it’s a block over from Belmont.

3 thoughts on “Belmont Pizzeria

  1. Thanks for including my tweet in your post. Sounds like we mostly agree. That crust wasn’t what I’d hoped for. And I just invoke NY whenever the slice is thin and foldable. It’s not a technical assessment, but I figure it gives your average onlooker a better idea of what to expect. What surprised me was the potato pizza special. I’d like to try it. However, besides the specials, the menu nearly mirrors Arianna’s. I’m not sure I understand the reasoning in opening around the corner from another place serving similar Italian standards.

  2. Strictly speaking as a devil’s advocate (wherein the devil is capitalism) can’t we assume that for every one of us who has a slutty-enough palate to have experienced the best and worst of pizza (or coffee, foie gras, borchst, salmon candy and so on), there is another person who happens to live on West Franklin who wants a neighborhood dive to get a $12 pie that fills the belly in preparation for nine or twelve cans of pabst lite? I, for one, spend every moment of my working day being a total snob. On the days when I long, and I mean really LONG for “take-out”, I am kind of enamored by the Mary Angela’s of Richmond. Since my last pizza from *I won’t say where* took over forty-five minutes to arrive; I’m going to wager that the fan could use some more filler when it comes to acceptable but not notable “take-out”. I’ll leave well crafted pie to places where I can sit and enjoy with an overpriced Nebbiolo. To be fair, I’ve not tried the pizza at Belmont yet–I’m just yammering on because I like to do so.

  3. @RVAfoodie: For what it’s worth, my wife really liked the potato pizza. It looked greasier than mine, but it had olive oil as one of the toppings, so that’s probably the culprit. At any rate, I hadn’t heard of Arianna’s until I saw you mention it, and it’s my next stop.@S. Robertson: Fair enough – and when it comes down to it, I’m not so picky that I won’t eat middling pizza when I get it. Hell, I’ll eat Little Caesar’s if I’m hungry, ’cause it’s cheap. There’s just some part of me, coming from a state where good pizzerias were as numerous as 7-Elevens, that always holds out hope when I see a place in Richmond that reminds me of the Northeast’s offerings.

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