We're in the northeast this week visiting Ned's Pizza in Cayuga Heights. This casual spot at the back of a small strip mall offers typical round pizza whole or by the slice, sandwiches, and a small selection of Italian and Mediterranean dishes, with a few tables if you'd like to eat there rather than carry out.
A terrific slice and a stale one that's been sitting around too long.The pizza is well made, and it's great -- when it's hot and fresh. That means if you take advantage of lunch specials like two slices and a soda for $5.50, you might get a terrific slice and a stale one that's been sitting around too long. I tried to choose from pizzas that looked fresh, but the guy at the counter grabbed the one slice left from a previous pizza instead of the nice fresh one I'd pointed to. Oh well.
There are also excellent and reasonably priced wings, hot and cold subs, and Italian pasta dishes, and items made to order should be fresh and get around the stale-pizza conundrum.
Their Mediterranean menu includes very affordable falafel, hummus, or gyro pitas for five bucks and gyro platters for $7.50, though a combination platter of grape leaves, falafel, hummus, baba ghanouj, and pita seems pricey at $14. It's not hard to enjoy a vegan meal from this side of the menu, and lots of the pizza and Italian dishes can be vegetarian.
On a different visit, that same counter guy took my order and my money for a chicken gyro platter, but forgot to ask anyone to make it. After waiting a while, I asked someone if it was almost ready, and, embarrassed, she offered me some garlic knots on the house while they started on my lunch.
Ned's chicken gyro platter. Is that $2.50 worth of lettuce, carrots, and olives?I asked what the difference was between the $5 gyro and the $7.50 gyro platter, and I'm told it's an extra strip of meat, as well as lots of extra salad.
Delivery is available, but only for large orders. There's plenty of pizza available for delivery, ranging from good to great, so Ned's seems to make more sense when you know you'll be driving by or you're already in the neighborhood. We've also tried calling ahead to order carry-out food and gotten no answer a few times.
For our readers who've been in Ithaca for a while, you may remember when Ned's Pizza was a single counter in the Center Ithaca food court. That seemed like a better location for them. When it's fresh, it's fine, but we're not going to make a habit of eating at Ned's in their (no longer really new) new location.
Plan on spending $5-15 per person on a meal. Find Ned's Pizza at the Village Green at 840 Hanshaw Road or at nedspizzaithaca.com, or give them a call at 266-3300 and tell them you heard about them here.
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