By Emily Landgraf
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, consider hitting a hole-in-the-wall joint with interesting specialty pizzas — Massimo’s in Princeton.
Located on Nassau Street, Massimo’s offers an array of tasty pizzas with some added pizzazz at a reasonable price per slice or pie. Massimo’s also has locations in nearby Robbinsville and Hamilton.
According to the restaurant’s website, “Massimo’s Pizzeria & Cucina Naopletana is the first pizzeria to have a wood burning brick oven in Mercer County, N.J. Massimo’s is also the first pizzeria in Mercer County to be honored with the prestigious and distinct Certification of True Authentic Neopolitan Pizza from the highly coveted VPN [Verace Pizza Napoletana] Association in Naples.”
As with most pizza parlors, the first thing to hit you upon entering the tiny pizza shop is the smell of Italian food wafting through the air. Massimo’s offers customers many tempting treats for the taste buds, including specialty and traditional pizzas, salads, paninis and pasta dishes.
The specialty pizzas encompass many different flavors. Customers can play it reasonably safe with a four cheese pizza or spice things up with the buffalo chicken pizza. If one is looking for something tangy and delicious, he or she will be pleased with the barbecue chicken pizza. There are also several pizzas that incorporate pasta, such as the baked ziti pizza and the penne alla vodka pizza (complete with prosciutto). For those with less adventurous tastes, Massimo’s offers old favorites like plain cheese and pepperoni pizzas. Slices range from about $2.50 to just under $4.
This pizza shop does more than just serve up pies, however. Pasta dishes range from basic spaghetti and meatballs ($8 at lunch and $10 at dinner) to the more complex totti pasta with fettuccine, shrimp, prosciutto, portabello mushrooms, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes and vodka sauce ($12 at lunch, $17 at dinner). Customers can also order traditional Italian meals like chicken marsala and chicken francese, each for only $14.
Sandwiches like cheesesteaks and hoagies are also available for customers to sink their teeth into. Favorite sandwiches such as the eggplant Parmesan and the sausage, peppers and onions are also offered on Massimo’s menu. Of course, you can always walk in and order a traditional meatball sandwich with some Parmesan cheese, if that’s more your style.
Customers who are looking for the delicious Italian flair guilt-free, salads and wraps are available at a reasonable price. All wraps cost $5.95 and range from the basic veggie wrap to the interesting Palmer Square wrap, which is prepared with pesto mayo, chicken breast, roasted peppers, baby spinach and melted mozzarella.
For those with a sweet tooth, Massimo’s offers four delectable dessert selections — brick oven chocolate pizza, cannolis, zeppoles and tiramisu. While the last three are relatively familiar to most, chocolate pizza may catch many people off guard. This dessert pie is made with hazelnut chocolate spread and toasted almond, topped with powdered sugar. When a small costs just $7, how could anyone resist?
The only major drawback to Massimo’s is its small size and limited seating. Customers order their food at the counter, so that area of the shop tends to get congested. If you’re planning on hitting the restaurant, it might be best to avoid the busy lunch and dinner hours. If you’re looking to avoid the crowd altogether, Massimo’s delivers. You can even order online at massimostogo.com.
So, if you’ve had a long day on your feet exploring Princeton, your stomach’s rumbling and you’ve got pizza on the brain, hit up Massimo’s for an Italian meal that’s sure to please.