No. 28: For Italian? Ranked About There Also…
No. 28, a crowded Neapolitan pizzeria in a row of restaurants on Carmine St, satisfies the need for an acceptable homespun neighborhood pizza stop. It has all the necessary trappings for such a function: large pies, casual sit-down dining, frenetic service, large TVs showing a melange of sports and old movies, and cheap booze.
The old Italy nostalgia and tasty home cookin’ is charming to an extent, yet, all in all, No. 28 isn’t particularly impressive. To begin with, the service is really rudimentary. After being seated by the hostess, my party sat waiting at a table for over 15 minutes without so much as water being offered. When the waitress finally got to us, she rushed us through our order, refusing to answer any questions without expressions of annoyance.
Additionally, the food is average and ridiculously over-priced. Considering you can walk over and eat at nearby high-end pizza haven Keste for $9-19, the $10-$35 pies are not worth the cash. The pizza is Neapolitan with a substantial yet bland crust. For all topping choices, you may elect for a 14″ personal pie or either an 18″ or 29″ shared pied. Toppings range from a basic Margherita to a Diavola with hot soppressata and red chilis to a Tartufo with sauteed mushrooms and truffle oil. The options are classic, seen in any self-respecting pizzeria, if not a bit boring, considering the creativity and quality being poured into pizza pies recently.
Numero 28 suffers from a disconnect. A casual family restaurant reminiscent of old-time local Italian pizzerias where pies are measured by the meter, No. 28 stretches too far with terrible service, sky-high prices, and ordinary offerings. While everything tastes good, as most traditional pizzas do, if I wanted to pay top dollar for pies, I’d walk the walk towards Co, Keste or Motorino. For such a spot, prices should be lowered and a calm acceptance of its function in the neighborhood gained.