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I’ve been to Five Points Pizza a few times now, and this review is based on my multiple experiences, but weighted heavily for my most recent visit. Five Points Pizza is located in East Nashville, just a few storefronts down from 3 Crow Bar on Woodland Street. Their pizza is a fairly thin (but not crispy), hand tossed dough topped with a variety of gourmet toppings. They fit in nicely in Five Points, offering a good beer selection and an uptempo vibe. Due to a small dining room there is usually a wait on Fridays and Saturdays. However, they turn the tables pretty quickly and have a few stools and high-tops at the bar where you can wait and enjoy one of several local beers on tap. Or a Schlitz. In a can.
After a short wait on my most recent visit we started with an order of Garlic Knots. The arrival of a plate of Garlic Knots at a table of hungry diners is cause for celebration, and these hot doughy delights hit the spot.
For the main course we went with two pizzas, the Meatball Pie and The Vodka Sauce Pie. If you’ve heard about Five Points Pizza before, you’ve probably heard about their meatball pie, which comes highly recommended. I’ve had it multiple times and it is fantastic. The great thing about it is that the meatballs are delicious. They are thinly sliced and flavorful without being overpowering. It’s just right. The sauce is fresh and tasty and the red onion and garlic pair well with the meatballs. The Meatball Pie won’t disappoint.
The Vodka Sauce Pie is also excellent, offering a unique base for the mushrooms, red onion, and prosciutto di Parma. You don’t often see vodka tomato cream sauce on a pizza, but after having this one, I think it’s time for that to change. The vodka sauce isn’t quite as bold as normal pizza sauce and gives a more relaxed flavor to accompany the fresh ingredients. On a previous visit I also tried the Zeus, and while it wasn’t as good as the Meatball or Vodka Sauce pies, it still satisfied the table. The Zeus is covered in bold, flavorful toppings that really jump out at you. In fact, the combination of feta, banana peppers, red onion, pepperoni, and spicy capicola might be too much for some.
The service at Five Points Pizza has typically been respectable and friendly, even during busy times. However, the host/hostess stand is a bit awkward, and coupled with a small dining room and single door entry can lead to gusty drafts of cold air for diners seated near by as the door opens and closes frequently. A temporary, soft second exterior door would go a long way toward solving this problem during cold winter months.
While not indicative of the quality of food, another interesting quirk that I’ve experienced twice at Five Points has been a shortage of ingredients. On my first visit they were out of capicola, and we had to instead substitute prosciutto on the aforementioned Zeus. On the most recent visit they were out of both basil and red wine. They had just recently started carrying red wine so that one’s a bit understandable (and really, it’s more of a beer joint anyway), but should a pizza joint ever really run out of basil? Luckily, neither omission had a negative impact on our food or our experience.
Overall, Five Points Pizza pretty much gets it right. My only real complaint is that the prices are a little high. The 14″ pies range from $14 – $20 and the 18″ go as high as $25. $25 is a LOT to pay for one pizza, even with delicious, fresh, gourmet toppings. On more than one occasion I’ve considered and decided against dining at Five Points Pizza for this exact reason. The prices become even more of a detractor once you’re familiar with Italia Pizza’s delicious $8.99 two topping (carryout) special. Only a few blocks away, Italia has a dramatically different approach and atmosphere than Five Points, but offers a real foil especially where prices are concerned (and more traditional but still delicious pizzas).
Five Points Pizza is a great place to sit down and enjoy a delicious specialty pizza and a craft beer (or a Schlitz Tall Boy). It’s a fun environment that is great for a casual date or small to medium size groups, and its location makes it a great place to start an evening out on the town.