Ruby’s Inn – Nanticoke, PA
I recently had to neutralize a stressful day by patronizing a new-to-me pizza joint and chowing down on something good. The new-to-me pizza joint on this day was Ruby’s Inn, in Nanticoke, PA. After Ruby’s was referred to me I went online to do a little reconnaissance work. You have to know how to absorb reviews on the Yelp type of sites and then you still shouldn’t put too much stock in the opinions found there. That said, the reviews on several sites all supported what I had heard; the pizza at Ruby’s was really good and in high demand.
I’ve heard and read some stories about Ruby’s having lines out of the door, selling out early in the day and not making any more pizzas, etc., so I called in my order around 2:30 so that I could pick it up when they opened at 4pm. When I arrived at about 4:15 I was the only person there. Being the only person there doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but it didn’t jive with my expectations (hence buyer beware on on the Yelp-ish sites). Except for the large LED TV on the wall behind the bar, the inside of Ruby’s was a throwback to yesteryear, or maybe a geographical location, or whatever nostalgic falsity you wish to use to help explain the warm and fuzzy feeling Ruby’s bestows upon you. The package was nice, but how was the product?
Ruby’s only sells one size of pizza (medium) so I got one with onions and one without. When I took them to the car the first thing my wife said was that the smell reminded her of Cebula’s. Upon doing my routine inspections and taking a peak at the undercarriage, my wife again proclaimed that it reminded her of Cebula’s; I’ll explain that in a bit.
The first piece I tried was one with onions. The sauce was applied liberally and was an average sauce found on many pizzas, only it was sweetened. The cheese was hot, slightly browned in areas, and pulled apart easily, eliminating the threat of de-cheesing a slice midway through and burning your chin. The onions where chopped to a medium/+ size and applied liberally. Combined, the hot sauce, cheese, and onions offered a great flavor. The without onions version of this pizza is good too. Captain Obvious suggests getting the with onion version if you like onions.
Ruby’s crust is thin and slightly less pliable than your average pizza crust, which is also a trait of Cebula’s crust, only Cebula’s is even more rigid than Ruby’s. Early during my inspection of Ruby’s pizza my wife said that she thinks that Ruby’s uses potato flour in their dough recipe. I support her claim. Ruby’s crust isn’t doughy, spongey, or bread like; the undercarriage is firm and takes a little bit of a pull to separate a piece from the mothership. The handles are really crispy, but not a tender on the inside crispy on the outside type of crispy, I’d say that they’re tough/rigid crispy, which I find less appealing than the former. With there being a lot of sauce on the pizza I found myself wanting to fold the slice to help prevent any spillage onto my new shirt, but the handle wasn’t foldable; it snaps in half.
In a nutshell… I enjoyed the flavor of the toppings, but I wasn’t impressed with the crust. I enjoyed the crust, sauce, cheese ratio as I enjoy a thin crust with more sauce than cheese, and I liked their sweet sauce, but if you aren’t a sauce person you might want to see if Ruby’s can go light with its inclusion on the pizza. A lot of the pizzas that I enjoy are able to be wrapped in tinfoil and left on the counter until the next day, when they often taste just as good and sometimes better than they did the day before, but Ruby’s crust became even harder; the body of the pizza was able to be eaten but the crust was eliminated as an option. I would definitely eat Ruby’s pizza again but I wouldn’t go out of my way to get it and I would plan on finishing it while it was fresh and hot. If you have ever had Ruby’s pizza or if you should find yourself having some in the future please let me know your thoughts.