The freshly-tossed dough, steaming house sauce, spicy copa, melted mozzarella and hot honey finish of the “Notorious P.I.G.” fill Neighborhood Pizzeria with a mouth-watering smell.
The pizzeria is located at 5401 H St. inside a ‘50s style house converted into a restaurant that opened for business this spring. Since then, the restaurant has added its fresh and unique style of pizza to the Sacramento food scene.
Owner Marvin Maldonado also owns the Federalist Public House pizzeria in Midtown and has been making pizza for seven years. Citing influences from Italy, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, Maldonado stated he feels his pizza brings a different flavor to the table.
“We’ve been working on this dough recipe for the last year and a half,” Maldonado said. “We cook it at 600 degrees and it bakes in 10 minutes. Our pizza is really thin in the middle and when it gets to the end it gets really puffy, crispy and crunchy on the outside but really light and fluffy on the inside.”
Maldonado comes from an architecture and construction background. He said this background lead him to his love for making pizza because when making the food, he works with his hands and has the challenge of crafting it to perfection.
“For me I get to build things with my hands and kind of design the perfect pizza anytime somebody comes in and orders something,” Maldonado said. “Every time an order comes in it’s always like, ‘How do we make that the perfect pie?’”
“I loved my experience, it’s not your traditional pizza place,” said Lily Tucker, a Neighborhood Pizzeria customer. “My favorite part about the pizza is that it was a deeper dish compared to the standard one. They have the cheesy crust that doesn’t taste like any other pizza I’ve had.”
Neighborhood Pizzeria shows off its uniqueness in many ways. One of which is in the names of the pizzas available.
For example, “I’ll Have What She’s Having” is a pizza topped with mozzarella, pastrami & au jus, mustard, pickles and “everything bagel” spice.
They also have a vegan option called “Yo Mama’s So Vegan” topped with house sauce, mushrooms, olives, onions, artichokes, arugula, vegan mozzarella and cashew creme.
“I love trying new pizza spots,” Sac State alumnus Adam Barnaby said. “This one is the best I’ve tried all year. Every time I eat here, I say ‘there goes my food budget.’ But it’s worth it.”
Maldonado said he knew before opening the restaurant that he wanted Neighborhood Pizzeria to be a go-to for Sac State students. The pizzeria offers an $8 meal deal to students that includes a pizza square, tater tots and a fountain drink.
“I remember being a student and being like, ‘Man, if I can get a meal for less than 10 bucks… that’s a good deal,’” Maldonado said.