Monday, July 31, 2017

Review: Pizz & Via, Nuremberg, Germany

Nuremberg, a city of about a half million people, is the second largest city in Bavaria (after Munich). Americans know about this city primarily because of the Nuremberg trials, when German officials involved in war crimes were brought before an international tribunal at the close of World War II. The city's history, though, goes back at least 1000 years. 

We visited the medieval Nuremberg Castle and the nearby Albrecht Dürer House, adjacent to the Main Market Square. In this pedestrian-friendly area of cobblestone streets, we found an open air market selling fresh fruits and vegetables to the locals and souvenirs to the tourists. 

It was there on the Königstraße that I spotted Pizz & Via, a genuine pizzeria that appeared to be run by Italians.

The Nuremberg Castle
To my surprise, the front of the long and narrow restaurant featured a display counter with a wide variety of pizza available by the slice, very much in the American fashion. 

I later learned that a slice costs 4 euros, and a whole pie is only 8 euros.  But we were in slice territory, and we paid the "tourist premium." My sense is that locals sit down and eat, whereas tourists grab a slice and go.

I ordered a pepperoni slice and a sausage slice, and the counterman heated them and then cut each of the huge slices in two at my request. I took them out to the plaza on a sunny July afternoon to share with my 5 traveling companions.

On both slices, the thin crust had a good flavor on its own, a bit chewy, a bit salty. The crust was floppy but not wet or limp. In a nutshell, it was better than most American pizza, but not a crust to compare to the wonderful crisp dough at Denino's in Staten Island.

The pepperoni slice was the standout, featuring superb cupped spicy pepperoni applied generously. The cheese and the red sauce were role players, applied in good proportion for a very well-balanced slice. 

Here I was in Nuremberg Germany, eating a slice of pizza made by Italians, and it was very much a classic New York slice.

The sausage slice was good, but less successful. There were huge chunks of pre-cooked sausage, but this white pie lacked any punch beyond its meat topping. The white sauce was mild, and the entire slice was overloaded with cheese, white sauce, sausage, cherry tomatoes, and undercooked big chunks of onion.  

Not only was it floppy and difficult to eat, but the toppings load made part of the crust soggy. We enjoyed it, but the slice embodied almost every mistake made by American pizza shops.
"Eco-friendly" pizza boxing
Given our time constraints, grabbing a slice was our only option here. I'd love to come back at evening time, get a table in the cozy interior, add some adult beverages, and savor a full pie or two.
The adjacent piazza and market
All told, this was the best pizza we had on our swing through Germany, Austria, and Hungary, but it won't make you forget the wonderful stuff we found in Italy a few years earlier.

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