Paul Erikson slices into a combo pizza from True NY Pizza Co.
Paul Erikson slices into a combo pizza from True NY Pizza Co.

I’m probably not the best person to judge “true New York pizza” since the only time I went to New York, I was upstate staying next to some Amish farmers, so there was no pizza to be had. Nonetheless, I had driven by True NY Pizza Co. before and was interested in checking it out, so on a weekday night, I grabbed my friend Tim, and we made the long journey out to Sparks to give it a try.

True NY Pizza Co. occupies a small space within a shopping center and is decorated with maroon walls and some black and white posters of New York. There are a few tables on one side and a bakery case on the other with some slices of pizza. The décor is a little sparse, but to be fair, I think this is more of a carryout place. Tim and I were greeted by a smiling woman behind the counter who encouraged us to sit down with the menus and decide what we wanted. True NY Pizza doesn’t have a liquor license right now, and I must have looked shaky because they assured me they are working on this. Hey, the throat gets dry on the long drive from Reno!

The menu is fairly expansive, offering not only pizza but also traditional Italian dishes like chicken picatta and lasagna along with calzones and sub sandwiches. We started with an order of garlic knots ($.50 each or $4.95 for a dozen). The knots were large, doughy and delicious, covered in hunks of garlic and a generous dousing of Parmesan cheese with a drizzle of olive oil. The oil and cheese pooled in the pan below so you could dip the knots into it or into a tasty side of sweet marinara sauce. I seriously could have just ordered more of these and been perfectly happy.

We decided to get a pizza, and this is where I blame myself for not going traditional “New York.” Instead, we went with the barbecue chicken pizza ($21.95). When the pizza arrived, I was impressed by the huge size of the pizza, which was generously covered in chunks of chicken and pineapple and a thick layer of cheese. Unfortunately, the chicken was breaded, which the menu did not indicate, and absorbed way too much of the overly sweet barbecue sauce. It actually reminded me of sweet and sour chicken pizza, if there is such a thing. The thin crust was really great with a grain-filled texture and nice crunch. I love a good crust, and this one definitely worked.

When I went up to the counter to pay, I asked the guy behind the counter about the breaded chicken. He told me the barbeque chicken pizza normally comes with breaded chicken but could be ordered with regular chicken. If you’re going to use breaded chicken, this should be indicated on the menu, as it is noted for the chicken parmigiana pizza. However, he was open to what I had to say about it, so I was impressed by that aspect.

Overall, I really liked the garlic knots, and I think the pizza would be good, too, if I had gone with more traditional toppings. I’ll probably come back, but I’ll stick to the basics, load up on garlic knots and get the pizza to go.

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