It’s one bite — everybody knows the rules.
Although Dave Portnoy, the man behind the famed pizza review channel often takes a few extra bites when reviewing pizza.
What started with Portnoy eating his way through New York pizzerias has branched out to multiple bites out of pizzas across the country. Portnoy has posted more than 1,400 reviews on his One Bite app, YouTube channel and Facebook. And last Thursday, he posted his review of Manny’s Pizza House, 15 Arcade Alley in Nashville.
The latest bite started with Portnoy opening a box and taking out a slice of cheese pizza.
“Pretty good crisp there,” Portnoy, the founder of Barstool Sports, the sports and pop culture blog, said as he pulled a slice away. “Better than I was expecting.”
(The national Barstool Sports brand, founded by Portnoy in 2003, has an affiliation with Music City as it has an active Barstool Nashville online community.)
After his first bite, Portnoy said wow as he looked down at the pie. He then said they put “a lot of stuff in it.”
It was no plain slice, with garlic and oregano flavors hitting Portnoy’s palate.
“This is not a light-eating pizza; there’s a lot going on here,” Portnoy said. “It’s good.”
“Really good,” he added as he took a second bite; then a third.
After a sixth bite, Portnoy paused, looked at the pie and picked up the slice one more time, saying he was struggling to score the pizza.
Two more bites. Bringing his total to eight.
Portnoy gave the pizza a 7.9 — a good score from the man who claims to be a pizza snob and grades on a strenuous scale.
It’s no surprise the slice scored well. Manny’s is among the top pizza spots in Nashville, according to Tennessean storytelling columnist Brad Schmitt and Mackensy Lunsford, the Southern Kitchen editor and South Region food reporter for The Tennessean. They ranked Manny’s fifth in their respective top six pizza locations in Nashville.
Though he mostly reviews pizza, Portnoy occasionally reviews specialty dishes and deserts.
At Manny’s, it was lasagna, Portnoy’s first-ever review.
As he opened the Styrofoam, eyes fixated on the layered pasta dish, he said “yum.”
“8.9 lasagna,” Portnoy said. “The lasagna’s spectacular.”
Although the review was over, Portnoy finished his lasagna, bringing a smile to Alessandra Nacca’s face.
Nacca, the daughter of the owner, said she makes the lasagna — a family recipe the Nashville restaurant has created for nearly four decades.
Portnoy stayed at the eatery to take photos with guests that gathered to watch his review.
Since Portnoy visited the shop Jan. 18 and posted the review online Jan. 26, Nacca said the store has experienced a rise in visitors.
“It’s been hectic since he was here,” Nacca told The Tennessean.
Nacca said the family didn’t know Portnoy planned to visit Manny’s, but she said they were excited he tried its pizza and lasagna.
“I think we’re OK with whatever, we all know in our hearts my father deserves an 11/10,” she said.
Reach reporter Craig Shoup by email at email@example.com and on Twitter @Craig_Shoup. To support his work, sign up for a digital subscription to www.tennessean.com.