Yesterday for lunch, a friend and I gave Moonlight Pizza in Raleigh, NC a try and I have decided to write a review. Tucked into a relatively small area at 615 West Morgan Street, it isn’t hard to find and only a short distnace from Hillsboro Street and NC State’s Raleigh campus. Moonlight pizza appears to be a laid back hangout spot, judging not only by the overall decor, but also by the selection of Indie and 80′s songs booming from speakers overhead.
I initially sat at the bar, sporting an interesting graphite colored stone surface, and ordered an IPA while I waited for my friend. The beer was a bit steep, I thought, at $4.50 for the pint. Once my friend arrived, we moved to a small two person table near the center of the restaurant. The time was approximately 12:25PM, and we were one of three parties of two in the restaurant.
After browsing the menu and reading about such pizzas as Cow Over The Moon, Greenhouse Effect, Big Dipper, and Venus + Mars, we decided on a large Otto’s Five Phases – a mozzarrella + tomato sauce pie topped off with any five toppings (specialty toppings count as two) of our choosing.
Let me be clear: deciding on these five toppings was quite challenging. We struggled to decide from the more than 30 regular toppings and more than 20 specialty toppings. Yes, you heard me – there are over 50 toppings to choose from! The list of toppings includes favorites such as extra cheese, pepperoni, sausage, bacon and onions along with more unusual toppings such as mandarin oranges, pistachios, pine nuts, roasted corn, shrimp, and yellow squash. After hemming and hawing for what seemed like ages, we decided on Italian sausage, pepperoni, purple onions, white cheddar, and green peppers. The waitress was very patient with us as we decided on our allotted 10% selection of the toppings, something both my friend and I were grateful for!
By the time we ordered our Otto’s Five Phases pie, a number of additional guests in parties of varying sizes joined us in the dining room. It seems like a great spot to get a tasty lunch. Though we ordered a large $20 pie, Moonlight Pizza has a number of lunch specials including slices, salads, and wraps to satisfy the lunch break crowd. They also have calzones and Strombolis, appetizers, and dessert. I could definitely see myself going back to try some of their other offerings!
Our pizza arrived about 10-15 minutes later and was served on a pizza stand. Considering how hungry we were, it didn’t take us long to each grab a slice and put it on our plates. The pizza was very hot, so initially we both used a fork and knife to eat it. The flavor was delicious – both of us were quite fond of the taste that the medley of toppings created. The crust was soft and doughy, with a subtle hint of garlic. Believe me when I say it: this is one delicious pizza! I wouldn’t say it is the best pizza I’ve had, but it definitely would be in my top three. Our bill came to $31.54 for a large pizza ($20), two beers ($9), and tax. I had a $20 Groupon which helped soften the blow a bit. Though the price might seem a bit steep, we healthy eaters took three slices home for leftovers and definitely didn’t leave hungry!
If you’re in the Raleigh area and looking for some higher end pizza with a unique and relaxing atmosphere, DEFINITELY give Moonlight Pizza a try! Have you ever been to Moonlight Pizza? Tell me about your visit in a comment below!