New Albanian Brewing Company - Pizzeria and Public House
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Ratings: 23 | Reviews: 11 | Display Reviews Only:
4.3/5 rDev +3.1%
Updated review, as per visit in June 2014 (old review from 2009 listed under Rich O's Public House, prior to Rich O's Public House/Sportstime Pizza undergoing a re-branding as NABC).
Still the famous "Rich O's" and Sportstime Pizza to me, on first glance it does not appear to have changed much, at least with regards to the exterior/interior of the pizzeria. Building looks the same; parking lot always full; inside is just as packed, all the same. Where substantive changes have occurred, however, lies in the menu and the beer list.
First - the beer: While the draft board still features a very healthy number of rotating seasonals, one-offs and NABC's very own (the website lists anywhere between 25-40 draft selections in total), the once-expansive bottle list has been paired down quite considerably. The website indicates that there are over 250 bottles on the list, but on my last visit that was hardly the case - the bottle list provided at our booth had less than half that amount. Whether that is a result of internal cost-cutting, issues with distribution and availability, or patrons eschewing the bottle list in-favor of the rotating tap list, I know not the answer. What I do know is that what was once a bottle list that was a sight to behold with its expansive repertoire of Belgian selections and vintage offerings has lost some of its luster. That being said, you CAN still find some special bottles on the list, as well as a handful of beers that aren't distributed across the river in KY (after all, they still have that glorious Yeti) but the bottle list just isn't what it used to be.
The food: Let's be honest, everyone went to Rich O's because of their beer list, but the Pizzas cooked up by Sportstime Pizza next door were just as fantastic. The good news - the pizzas are still just as fantastic, and the "Refrigerator" is still on the menu (think thin-crust pizza but made in a deep-dish pan so you get a good solid 2 inches of toppings on your pizza!). The bad news, however, is that it seems other areas of the menu were not as fortunate (again, the website would have you believe otherwise, but some of the menu items it lists were not on the menus the waitress handed to us as we were seated). For example, while the breadsticks are still just as doughy and served super fresh along with the house-made beer cheese, but some of the other accouterments and dips that you could order along are no longer available, most noticeably the pesto (which was superb when paired with the beer cheese). It also appeared that some of their sandwiches were not the same as they were in years past - in particular, the chicken salad sandwich did not look anything like the chicken salad that they used to serve a couple of years back. I also want to say they had a chicken parmigiana style hoagie a couple of years ago (I seem to remember a fraternity brother ordering one when we made the journey down from Hanover one night) but that was no where to be seen on the current menu. That being said, the food was still great, but like the bottle list it seemed that things had been paired down some since the last visit.
NABC has changed over the past few years, for better or worse. The biggest change impacting my rating is plainly the reduction in the bottle list - that accounts for the slight drop in my overall rating. One thing that hasn't changed, however, is that it is still a hoppin' place to go for pizza and beer, especially on Friday and Saturday nights, so get there early or expect to have to wait 15-20 minutes for a table. Overall, I still recommend giving this fine establishment a visit, but you'll just have to forgive me if I still call it Rich O's - it will always be Rich O's to me and my friends.
08-18-2014 18:59:48 | More by Buschyfor3
New Albanian Brewing Company - Pizzeria and Public House in New Albany, IN
92 out of 100 based on 23 ratings.