After driving by Newk’s for the last few months I finally decided to check out one of the newest restaurants in Blakeney. Newk’s is apparently the brainchild of some of the same people that created McAllister’s Deli but the two restaurants couldn’t be any more different. On my first trip I kinda got the feeling that Newk’s was still trying to find its identity in a world of increasing dining choices.
Newk’s website describes itself as “An express casual dining experience in a refreshing and stylish atmosphere with an emphasis on freshness and flavor. Serving fresh tossed salads, oven baked sandwiches, California style pizzas, made-from-scratch soups and homemade cakes from Newk’s open kitchen”. I can definitely say the place felt casual but the atmosphere didn’t come off as refreshing and stylish. The menu had a pretty simple menu of sandwiches, pizzas, soups, salads and even a few tasty dessert options. I ran down the list of pizzas and once I got to the spicy chicken pizza… I knew exactly what I was getting for dinner.
It’s a bad habit of mine to get things that are advertised as “Spicy” because every so often they just don’t cut it and I end up being disappointed. This pizza was topped with roasted red and yellow bell peppers, roma tomatoes, chili oil, fresh cilantro, mozzarella and parmesan cheese and crushed red chilies. You’d think that with all of that it might register on my heat scale… but it didn’t :( Now I realize I’ve got a pretty skewed scale when it comes to spicy food but I always think when its advertised as “Spicy” it should be at least a 1 on my 1 – 10 heat scale. For comparison.. Chick-Fil-A’s cajun filet sandwich ranks higher than the spicy chicken pizza at Newk’s. Despite it not being spicy at all it was still a pretty good pizza and fell somewhere in between Pizza Hut and Mellow Mushroom.
I also had the chance to try the cobb salad and the pepperoni and sausage pizza while I was there. Both were good.
I’m looking forward to seeing how this restaurant develops and whether it can keep itself afloat in the shark infested culinary world. Whether it be from Mellow Mushroom down the street or one of the many McAllister’s Deli locations around south Charlotte, Newk’s Express Cafe has got some stiff competition and I’m looking forward to see how they turn out.