I have a new favorite pizza place in Charlotte. Benny Pennello’s just opened a couple weeks ago in NoDa in the smaller space directly next door to Heist Brewery. This is the first pizza joint in NoDa but there are already 3 pizza restaurants nearby in Plaza Midwood. This may sound crazy, but I live closer to Pizza Peel and Fuel Pizza in Plaza Midwood and I would drive right by them to get a slice of Benny Pennello’s pepperoni. There’s nothing fancy about the pizza at Benny’s. It’s just GOOD. The crust is super thin and crispy. The pizza is a bit greasy but not in a disgusting way. The pepperonis are chewy and meaty and the cheese is perfect. I’ve had both the Buffalo Chicken and Pepperoni slices and at this point, the Pepperoni is my fave.
Outside of the taste, the most obvious and talked-about feature of Benny Pennello’s pizza is the size. Their slices are ginormous. One slice of pizza is bigger than my head, or anyone’s head for that matter. (I’d like to think I have a normal-sized head.) Each slice is served on not one, but two paper plates, because one just won’t do the job. The best part? Each slice is $5. I ordered a slice and a Coke can for about $7 and I was very full. I saw someone on Facebook complaining that they thought one slice of pizza for $5 was expensive… But seriously, most pizza restaurants in Charlotte charge over $3 per slice and and they are MUCH smaller than those at Benny Pennello’s. I’ll take a $7 lunch any day.
If you want to order a whole pizza from Benny’s, it’ll cost you at least $30 starting with just cheese. BUT the pizza is a whopping 28 inches in diameter. Oh yeah.
Benny Pennello’s isn’t the first of the Benny’s chain. The original location, named Benny Marzano’s, is in Blacksburg, VA. (The original location of Cabo Fish Taco in NoDa is also in Blacksburg.) The Benny’s chain now has 10 locations including Mount Pleasant, Charlottesville, and Redford (Go Highlanders!).
The decor of Benny’s is very bare-bones for now. There are a few painted murals on the walls of the restaurant but some of them look unfinished. Several booths and benches line the perimeter of the inside of the restaurant. There are no servers so to place your order, you simply tell the cashier which slice you want and pay after ordering. Your name will be called once your slices are ready.
They don’t sell beer yet but I did see a sign that said “Beer coming soon!”, which is always a good thing. I can’t imagine this place on a Friday or Saturday late night. It’s going to be nuts. Benny’s is open until 2am on Thursday, 3am Friday and Saturday, and midnight Sunday through Wednesday. Drunk people love pizza late night and I’m sure the Blind Pig folks will be the first in line after 2am. 😉
Have you tried the pizza at Benny Pennello’s yet? Let us know your thoughts!