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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Greenville (NC) Eats: Boli's 5th Street Pizzeria

I can't claim being a pizza aficionado by any means, especially since I grew up on trashy carry out pizza from Dominos, Pizza Hut, or some even more tragic places. Having eaten at popular establishments in the South, like Mellow Mushroom or the ever-popular Danos in Columbia, South Carolina, I've had a taste of what decent pizza might be, but I'll admit that I'm still simply not the biggest pie fan in the world.

Hoping this journey would change my mind, the usual group of omnivores rolled into Boli's, a local student stop for pizza in the ECU area. A modest bar and restaurant on fifth street, it admittedly looks a little wonky going in with the wood carved seating arrangements in every possible way. We quickly shrugged it off as we grabbed a booth and hit the beer list.

If you are looking for some sexy beer to go with your pizza, this might not be the place for you. A handful of random imports chilled high atop the bar while the locals were drowning in the usual college fare. Boli's menu has everything you'd expect from the average pizza joint, from calzones to pasta and of course pizza. Some unusual options were on the list though, including several meat and seafood combination pies, a greek pizza, and my eventual pick - the "Three Amigos", a crazy southwest mix of chili, jalapenos, and the usual works. I also tacked on an appetizer order of the "Crazy Greek Pizza Bread", basically the greek pizza in the bread shape form. Its garlic butter spread along with crumbling feta, melted cheese, and fresh tomato got approval from the table. It was a little oily, but not enough to bother anyone by any means. The salty feta and richness of the pizza dough worked well.

The pizza, however, deserves a long discussion. First off was the crust; though somewhat crispy, it lacked that crackle and pop I love from a thin crust pizza. The base of the pizza was a bit of a near disaster for me, falling apart before I could even pick it up. I liked that the pizza wasn't super oily like a chain pizza, but it definitely wasn't keeping things together. The toppings were an interesting marriage of flavors. The chili wasn't the best, but it still held together with the toppings and somewhat held its own. I would be willing to try it again, though I think the "Crazy Greek" deserves more attention for its balance between the tomatoes and feta.

Across the table were a few more pies and a calzone, which came out disappointingly small, particularly for it's $8 price tag. Everything turned out to be a bit more costly then we preferred to be honest, with most of us hitting the $14-18 dollar range even with just water. There were certainly leftovers though, so at the very least we got a second helping of everything for the next day.

No Reservations, The Shakedown on Boli's
Atmosphere: Lots of wood coming out of every angle possible with a
bar somewhere in there. It's casual man.
Cost: For a small pizza, on the expensive side
considering the portion. Starts at $10
Try: The Crazy Greek Bread.
Do: Try to convince a couple of friends to tag along and split a large.
It'll save you a ton.
Best Pizza in Greeenville, NC: We shall see...

The Final Verdict
Boli's didn't change my life, but it wasn't the complete washout that it could have been. If you are in the ECU area and are pining for pizza, Boli's is alright, especially for its fairly convenient location in the middle of downtown. They didn't have anything that stood out, but they didn't particularly do anything criminal enough to make me throw out the penalty flags. Stick to what they're known for and you'll do just fine.

Boli's 5th Street Pizzeria on Urbanspoon


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