Downtown Pizzeria Pompano Beach Pizza

4/ 8
Slice Rating

Downtown Pizzeria Pompano Beach Pizza

Posted By: homeslice
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Over nine months have passed since my first WorstPizza review, a scathing indictment of a little place in east Pompano Beach called Downtown Pizzeria. Responses in the comment section ranged from general agreement to threats of kicking my ass. A new comment under my review was brought to my attention recently when someone noted the restaurant had gone through some positive changes including new management. Assured I should give it a second chance, I recently made not one, but TWO trips back to Downtown Pizzeria to be absolutely certain of the quality of their product.

With no other cars in the parking lot, my first return visit to Downtown Pizzeria already had me skeptical. How is this place on a major intersection and continually empty? There's not much potential walk-in traffic in this seedy area, and after hearing they'd been robbed since my initial review, maybe that's not a bad thing.

I walked in and immediately noticed some minor changes had been made. First, all of the lights were on this time, always a must when entering a restaurant not in the third world. One employee was busy hanging random decor on the wall and politely greeted me, as did the cute girl behind the counter. The taped-down menu had been removed and multiple paper copies of their takeout menu were stacked on the counter, though the large menu with no prices remained above on the wall. Still, no other customers to be found, which was a bit disconcerting, but there seemed to be some activity in the kitchen and from where I was standing I could see that orders were being prepared. Nobody could be heard speaking Italian this time around, but if you read the last review, you'd know that lent nothing towards the pizza's quality or authenticity.

I ordered the same thing as last time - 3 cheese slices. Service was quick and painless. I kept everything the same, right down to eating the pizza in my car. Luckily there was no horrific, pungent aroma, and the pizza actually smelled good. No problems handling the slice this time, either - I picked it up from the box and it remained intact, unlike my previous experience where the cheese slid right off the dough. It was cooked to perfection, in my opinion - the crust had a nice crunch from the outer rim to the inside, and no folding or origami tactics were required when handling these slices. There was an oily sheen on the cheese but no drippage, and the cheese fused to the crust nicely. Each bite left the slice in order, no cheese was dragged off from the rest of the slice in the process. It was apparent that while not the best, higher quality ingredients were now being used. Most noticeably were herbs protruding from the sauce through the cheese. The crust and cheese both had improved flavors, and fortunately the sauce was no longer a salt overload. It could benefit from some added sweetness, but was not painful to digest like last time.

I rather enjoyed my latest experience at Downtown Pizzeria and looked forward to submitting a more positive follow-up review, but I had a nagging suspicion that I should try it one more time just to be sure this wasn't a fluke. Sadly, the second visit was a huge disappointment.

As usual, no other cars in the lot and no other customers in the restaurant, though the kitchen seemed busy and I was required to wait to place my order while the counter girl finished taking a phone order. I placed the same exact order and was told I'd have to wait a few minutes, as the slices-only pie was still in the oven. I didn't keep an exact count, but it felt like anywhere between 8-10 minutes, and waiting for take-out in an empty restaurant that long felt like an eternity. Got the food and took it back to my car, and when I opened the box, it was nothing less than a sloppy nightmare. Oil was all over the pizza and had already collected in greasy pools in the box's bottom corners. Simply looking at the crust told me these slices were way undercooked. I lifted one slice and half the cheese just fell off of the crust, as if the two wanted nothing to do with each other. The thin crust was remarkably thinner than before, and holding it up against the light I could actually see right through parts of it. Though badly undercooked, these slices generally had the same flavors as my initial return visit, but were structurally pathetic and it was an arduous chore trying to fold these sopping wet, disgusting slices into an edible form. Dealing with gooey cheese falling everywhere and the pizza equivalent of the Exxon Valdez oil spill ruined any opportunity to simply sit and enjoy the food because I was too busy trying to salvage its structure and keep it from getting on my work clothes.

I wanted to give Downtown Pizzeria 5/8 slices for drastically improving and especially having a great crust, but my second follow-up visit irreversibly tarnished my opinion. The latest slices were rushed and therefore undercooked, bumping them down to 4 out of 8. Flavors, service, and the restaurant itself have greatly improved, but there's still work to be done. With effort, I think they can do it.

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    (954) 782-8180

  • 1831 East Sample Road Pompano Beach, FL 33064