Restaurant Review: Nero’s Pasta and Pizza

The other Tuesday I thought I’d check out Nero’s Pasta and Pizza in Gainesville. It’s located conveniently right off 34th street, although fairly far north of the University. Parking was easy, with the parking lot nearly empty, with nothing else open at 8:30 p.m. on a Tuesday.

Upon entering the building, in front and off to the left was the counter for pickup and carry out. To the right was the entrance to the sit down restaurant itself. I was seated quickly and found Nero’s nearly empty, save two other tables and less than half a dozen people total. The south wall was decorated with a beautiful Italian mural. Soft Italian sounding music was playing in the background.

The waitress was attentive and expedient. I started with a Dr. Pepper. I found it to be reasonably fizzy and cooperative. I proceeded to order cheese pizza, my standard order.

After a short ten or fifteen minute wait, the pizza arrived. Upon inspection it appeared somewhat short on the cheese. It was visually distributed in a partially melted checkered pattern. Upon sampling, checkered clumps began to part with the pizza and fall off. I found the limited melting of the cheese to be somewhat disturbing. What’s more, the blandness of the pizza itself became quickly apparent. It was generally unseasoned, both cheese and sauce. It wasn’t especially oily, although in this instance more tasty oil might’ve been welcomed. While ultimately not bad, I found the cheese pizza to be entirely uninspiring.

During the consumption process, the attentive waitress stopped by several times to ensure all was well and refilled my drink. By 9:30 p.m., when it was finally time to depart, there was no one else in the restaurant. It was quite empty, indeed.

With a free refill on the way out, it was time to depart.

Overall, I found the service, pricing, and dining environment excellent. Unfortunately, the pizza came up short. I find myself giving preference to, say, Satchel’s for both outstanding pizza and an excellent dining experience, although Nero’s other Italian offers may be worthy of further investigation.

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