Nonno Alby's - West Reading

Great Wood-Fired Pizza in Reading

Being from Northeastern Pennsylvania, I tend to have a hard time finding great pizza once I head south or West of the 570.  Having to make several trips to Reading didn't exactly excite me because the city is not known as a hotbed for great pizza.  The First Lady of NEPA Pizza and I tried a couple of pizza joints in town and found some spectacularly average quality pizzas and nothing that I would use my time writing about.  On one trip, we stopped by Nonno Alby's in West Reading to try their wood fired pizza, and I have to say I was very impressed.

The restaurant itself appears small from the sidewalk, and where it isn't huge, it's "sneaky big" inside.  There is a bar, a modern casual upscale atmosphere, and my favorite - a visible wood-fired pizza oven to observe your pizza being made.  My wife and I ordered salads and a Margherita pizza for lunch.  The salads were very fresh and the portions were generous.  The pizza was ready very quickly as is usually the case with pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven because the pizza is cooked at such a high temperature.

Admittedly, I'm writing this review nearly a year after I tried the pizza in large part because I forgot to write it back then and I just discovered the photos so I'm doing it from memory.  Strangely, my pizza memory is very strong and I have instant recall of just about every pizza I've eaten in the last decade so I didn't lose many details on this pie!  The nice thing about this pizza is that it wasn't quite the chewy, soft Neopolitan style that some people don't care for, but gave you high end elements of that genre of pizza with its flavors and textures.  The crust was more sturdy and crisp than a Neopolitan pizza and it had tremendous, but not overpowering smokey flavor from the smoke.  The sauce was chunky and vibrant and they let the quality tomatoes speak for themselves by not adding seasoning and giving way to a drizzle of olive oil.  It was topped with fresh buffalo mozzarella and basil to complete the pie.

Overall this was an excellent pizza.  I don't frequently find myself in a position to recommend pizzerias outside of NEPA if it's not in places like New York City and other pizzeria hotbeds, but Nonno Alby's is worth going out of your way if you're anywhere near reading.  We very much enjoyed our visit to the pizzeria and would visit again if passing through the area!

Restaurant: Nonno Alby's
Location: West Reading, PA
Date: January 2018
Pizza Ordered: Margherita Pizza
Price: $9.00
Eat In/Take Out: Eat In

Crust: 4.5/5
Sauce: 4.5/5
Cheese: 4.25/5
Overall Taste: 4.5/5
Crispy/Cooked Properly: 5/5
Overall Value: 4.25/5
Similar to: Bar Pazzo


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