Ninja vs Nonna?


The ninja’s a fierce pizza fan, but nobody beats your Nonna.

UPDATE: In spring 2018, Nonna’s Pizzeria in Germantown closed shop and essentially reopened as Nonna’s Pizza Tavern in Mt Airy. Same owners, similar vibe & menu. Pizza Ninja stands by his review of their signature pizza.

It’s that time again!  March Madness?  NO!!!  Pizza Madness!!  That’s right, the ninja is back with another pizza review for all of you fanatics.  Unlike everyone’s favorite basketball tournament that occurs once a year, pizza madness is a mental affliction that the ninja has to deal with on a day by day basis.

Lets get to the review!

As mentioned in last months review, we are expanding to include the following:

1. Restaurants in East Falls that offer pizza but DO NOT offer delivery


2. Pizza shops outside of East Falls that DO deliver to 19129.

This month, the ninja tried pizza from a shop that falls under the second category.  Located right outside of East Falls in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, resides Pizzeria Nonna on 5301 Germantown Ave.

What is a Nonna exactly and what does it have to do with everyone’s favorite food Let’s examine.  A simple google search reveals this definition

Apparently, Nonna is slang for Italian grandmother.  Suddenly, mental images of an Italian grandma painstakingly crafting pizza in her kitchen pranced through the ninja’s head.  Continually tweaking a closely guarded ancient pizza recipe, passed down generation to generation.

The reality and story behind the name is not so far off.  Life imitating art, if you will.  The owners of East Falls very own “Falls Taproom” set out to create a pizza shop, and, you guessed it, are serving up ‘za inspired by the very same pies made by their “nonna”.  Will a bite of this pizza teleport you back to the old country?  Read on:

The Ordering Experience: (4 out of 5)

Pretty standard pizza ordering here, no frills.  The current options for Nonna are:

  1. In Person
  2. Over the phone

One nice feature for repeat customers is that Nonna stores your address info in their system.  So when you call and give them your name, they already have your address on file.  Less time talking, more time ordering pizza = means pizza in your mouth quicker.

Order placed at 6PM, delivery time quoted at 40-45 minutes.  True to their word, the pizza arrived 45 minutes later on the dot.  Promise maker, promise keeper.  The ninja can only assume that it must have been a busy night in the shop, because despite the delivery time being on the higher end of things, the pizza arrived piping hot.

Word on the street is that online ordering will be available by the time this article goes to print.

The Pizza Experience:

Presentation: (5 out of 5)

Wow look at this box.  Work of art?  Here is what the ninja likes about this:  It’s a properly weighted cardboard.  Also, great design.  Personalized, not generic.  We have verbiage on almost visible side:

Wait, whats this?  A hidden message when you open the box.  With this much attention to detail on the box alone, it’s a good sign that the pizza itself was also painstakingly created:

On to the pizza.  Nonna’s only offers one size pie: Huge.  Seriously, look at this thing.  It almost doesn’t fit in the already large box.

The pizza is baked to the proper level of doneness up top, with a nice crust underneath.  The added seasoning is something you don’t see everyday and a nice touch, appears to be either dried oregano or basil.  Pre-seasoned – it’s the little things.

Cheese: (4.5 out of 5)

Very tasty cheese and baked to perfection, producing a nice snap when you bite into it.  It’s a flavorful mozzarella with out being overly bold or heavy.  Creamy, milky undertones, a hint of salt, and right amount of oil come together to form quite an experience on your palate.  It was also the correct ratio of cheese in comparison to the crust and the sauce.

Sauce: (5 out of 5)

Some pizza connoisseurs are cheese guys.  Some are sauce guys.  Then you have the guys with a crust fetish.  The ninja has always been a cheese guy – but is he turning into a sauce guy?  Nonna could be converting him.

This is a seriously tasty sauce.  A little on the thicker side without being overbearing.  It’s an immediate taste explosion of fresh tomato & herbs once it hits your lips.  You’ll think of a Nonna in her kitchen, making this sauce from scratch and simmering it all Sunday long.  Sauce like this makes the ninja consider the ultimate pizza heresy, ordering a tomato pie, sans cheese.  It’s that good.

Crust: (4 out of 5)

Light, airy, fresh, with no harsh doughy aftertaste.  Has a fantastic bread flavor to it that compliments the cheese & sauce but mostly takes a backseat in the grand scheme of things.  Cooked to perfection though, and with a hint of residual flour left over to dust your fingertips makes for an enjoyable and fun eating experience.  This is definitely a slice you want to pick up instead of acting fancy with a fork & knife.

Conclusion: (4.625 out of 5)

Big pizza flavor packaged in an equally as big pizza, at an affordable price of $15 per pie?  What we have here folks, if you consult the pizza matrix, is a rare “pizza unicorn”. The real life intersection of pizza size, taste and value.  #pizzagoals

Pizzeria Nonna — CLOSED
Traditional NYC-style, and also a thicker-crusted square pizza that’s kind of like Sicilian but thinner, with a highly-textured crust. Stromboli & calzones, too. Delivery, or just a 6 – 8 minute drive to Germantown Avenue.
5301 Germantown Ave (near Germantown Friends)
Open Daily 11am – 10pm (but actually, their real hours are as long as their dough runs out)
EFL REVIEW (includes menu, photos, customer comments)

Nonna Pizza Tavern 
The pizza we all loved in Germantown at a new Mr. Airy location. Pizza here is a thicker-crusted square pizza that’s kind of like Sicilian but thinner, with a highly-textured crust. From the owners of the now-defunct Falls Taproom).
7200 Germantown Avenue (Mt Airy)
Open Daily 11am – 11pm

About Pizza Ninja 22 Articles
Born in Chicago, arguably the capitol of world class pizza options, the Pizza Ninja consumes pizza an average of 3 to 4 nights a week. From local options to frozen pizza, no crust is left behind. He has been eating pizza for 34 years and currently resides in East Falls along with his wife, daughter and two dogs. On occasion, he will graciously share a slice of his pizza with them. Follow the Ninja on Instagram.

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