I'm finishing off a liter and a half of Shiraz to forget
Well, let's get down to some motherfucking business. This place is new. Like for real new. It exists in a terrible shit biscuit of a stripmall space that has been forever-populated with failed pizzerias since this stripmall was born from some unholy mother who wanted to make a dime on some Market Street real estate. It's never been good, it never will be good, and we are okay with that. Apparently out-of-towners buy space here and think they can outdo the space's former pizzeria. Well, sorry, it's not a problem with the space nor with the pizza. The problem is that Brooklyn Pizza is right next door and they outclass you in every regard. Avanti won't be here in a year and it pains me. They probably won't be around in six months.
I took the above picture from my car because I was feeling lazy. I have to say straight off that I wanted to like this place. This place has been a number of pizza places. I lived nearby for years and I may have been here once during its various incarnations. There was never a need with a high quality pizza spot a football field or four away. This is clearly a family or near-family operation, unlike the "Fantastic" or "Incredible" or such-like that has perhaps existed here before. It's got a very homey atmosphere; it's really an ideal location for a pizzeria, except for it being far too close to Brooklyn Pizza. The entire layout is completely ideal.
Well, fucking newsflash: I don't know what's going on here. Look at the southern portion of the rim of this slice. It looks like a fucking shitbird rat gnawed on the end of it. Important: NEVER SERVE A SLICE THAT LOOKS LIKE THIS TO A CUSTOMER -- ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE A NEW BUSINESS. Continuing, this slice looks shitty regardless. Just looking towards the rim you can see that there is far too much sauce. The worst part about this slice is that the cheese was good, the sauce was good and the crust was good. The problem being that the crust was malformed and regrettably flour-laden and the sauce was inexcusably heavy-handed. This heavy-handedness revealed that the sauce was far too spiced - a problem which would have otherwise likely not been noticed.
I wanted to like this slice. The fellow serving me was exceptionally nice, I suppose a testament to the terrible economy, in some sick way. After delivering my slice to my table on a ceramic plate with silverware and a napkin he preceded to check in 3 times before I was done with the slice and further gave me a free dessert. A free dessert with a $1.95 + tax slice. Imagine that shit.
This was a turbo-okay dessert. Since this is not a dessert review I will only briefly mention that it was good yet hella-wicked-dry, which was a problem since I didn't buy a drink here. My mouth felt like the Sahara expected me to swallow. Furthermore, I realize I am a celebrity around town but I will not be swayed by paltry dessert-gifts. A free PBR tallboy is a different story. Future notice. I'm sorry the pizza was pretty crummy. The sauce was actually fine. Except it was ladelled on by an eternal ladel, which, being eternal, never stopped. So much sauce, it was just god damn shooting out everywhere. The cheese was good. The crust, besides being grotesquely malformed near the rim, was good. The quality of the components are important, and they will be featured in my rating. Sadly, the general overall fuckitude and the wicked oversaucing will also be featured in my rating.
I also force myself to mention some oddities in Avanti's pricing: they charge 12.99 for a 16" Plain Pizza. Brooklyn charges 12.00 for an 18" Plain Pizza. The difference between a 16" and an 18" pizza is huge. Also, as a curiosity I need to mention that Avanti charges $1.95 for a plain slice and only charges $.05 more for a Hawaiian slice, which I think comes with pineapple and ham, as is custom. Like I said, this place is new.
By the way: if you make your way near this shit-cluster of businesses, go to Firebowl. It is the best or second-best Asian takeout that I know of in town. It's a few doors down from Avanti.
I hate giving this place a lesser rating than Fat Tony's but I sorta have to.
5 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Avanti N.Y. Pizza Restaurant - $2.11 7134 Market St. Wilmington, NC 28411