13 February 2009

Friday Night Slice, Part 3

Rudino's Pizza and Grinders

Rudino’s Pizza and Grinders
is a family-owned restaurant that opened in 2002 in Antioch. The Rudd family opened the original Rudino’s in North Carolina back in 1995, starting as a single restaurant which has now expanded to include 16 locations in the two Carolinas, plus the rebel location here in Middle Tennessee. They offer a wide variety of pizzas with both traditional and specialty toppings and an even wider variety of grinders, along with calzones, soups, salads, appetizers and desserts. The dough is hand-made daily, complemented by homemade sauce and fresh-cut toppings.

The traditional Rudino’s pizza is cut diagonally and horizontally like a St. Louis-style pie, also known as the party cut, divided into medium-sized squares. The hand-tossed crust is thinner on the base of the pizza with soft, puffy edges full of air pockets. There aren’t any particularly dazzling flavors that stand out in the dough, but it is a good, solid crust with an excellent texture.

The simple, thin tomato sauce sauce is spread lightly across the crust and has tinges of both spice and little sweetness neatly blending into the crowd of remaining ingredients. A dense, shoulder-to-shoulder, covering layer of juicy and thinly sliced pepperoni is placed over the top of the sauce. The pepperoni is decently spiced without being too hot or intrusive, but you surely won’t miss out on its flavor as it truly covers every inch of the pie forming a slick barrier between the crust and cheese. The cheese, however, will not be outdone in flavor or in quantity. It is tasty, heavy, milky mozzarella cheese with the highest pull-away I’ve found on a pizza thus far. It covers the top of the pizza, applied with reckless abandon… the most cheese I’ve seen atop a pizza (and while sometimes I do, I did not order extra cheese).

the dining experience:

On the evening of this review, we ordered to go. I was very pleased to find that a fresh, warm pizza was ready for us to pickup and the same fresh, warm pizza was ready for us to eat when we got home. For dining in, the family-friendly restaurant has both large and smaller booth seating with décor celebrating local sports teams. An outdoor patio is open on the restaurant’s corner lot in the warmer months. The restaurant provides simple, clean, no-frills service with paper cups and plastic trays, probably helping to keep the prices more reasonable.

Overall, our sampling of Rudino’s pizza was delightful – tasty and a little different. It isn’t fancy or gourmet and it isn’t reinventing one of America’s favorite dishes, but it destroys any of its competing take-out/delivery chains with a good, solid product.

noted upside: Rudino’s also offers Blue Bell ice cream for dessert.
noted downside: Pepsi products.

Rudino's Pizza and Grinders
1307 Bell Road, Antioch, TN, 37013 (map)
Sun – Thur 11:00am- 9:00pm, Fri – Sat 11:00am – 10:00pm
Dine-In and Carry Out

* * * * *

Cold Pizza:
Friday Night Slice, Part 1: MAFIAoZA's and Joey's House of Pizza
Friday Night Slice, Part 2: Pizza Perfect and Pizza Perfect Kebobs

Got any suggestions for places that I should cover? Let me know!

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