Have you ever been locked in a debate with family or friends on what pizza toppings to order? There are times when a consensus just isn't possible. The next time you find yourself in that situation, …
Have you ever been locked in a debate with family or friends on what pizza toppings to order? There are times when a consensus just isn't possible. The next time you find yourself in that situation, take the crew to Fairhope's newest pizza spot, Nini Squares Slices & Stuff.
Nini Squares opened this summer in a former home remodeled into a restaurant at 451 Magnolia Ave. The restaurant is on the block behind Fairhope Public Library and is surrounded by parking on the street or a lot across the street. The exterior offers a small lawn for children to play in and tables as well as a large deck with tables. Inside guests are greeted with a view into the busy kitchen and the counter of pizza on offer. The space is cozy and fun with lots of tables and booths as well as seating at the bar.
Pizza by the slice, or square in this case, is a first in Fairhope. Large rectangular pizzas line a counter, and the toppings are listed on the window. Patrons can order by the slice or choose a combo that includes a salad. After ordering at the counter, the pizza is warmed in the oven before arriving at your table.
Not in the mood for pizza? Not a problem. The menu is small, but it includes three pasta dishes: penne with a spicy tomato sauce, linguini with parmesan cream and orecchiette in a beef and pork ragu. Diners have the option of adding chicken, shrimp or sausage to any pasta. Add a little green to your meal with one of two salad options: a mixed green or spinach and romaine salad. There is also soup and dessert.
The last section on the menu — well, its the entire back — that might be of interest is the beverage menu. Nini Square offers a full bar with a good selection of beer and wine, all well-priced, and a couple of house cocktails. For the soda fans, there is a self serve Coca-Cola fountain.
My first meal at Nini Square was out of a deep desire for pizza and not wanting to wait for a table. I suggested to my husband we try the new spot, and we did not regret our decision. It was so good we returned the following night on a home game football Friday night.
When we walked in Friday evening, the place was busy and a line formed behind us. I began to worry they would run out of my desired slices, but thankfully that wasn't the case. For those behind us, it was a quick 10-minute wait for more pizza to come out of the oven.
I ordered two slices, one plain cheese and the other pepperoni with the mixed salad. The slices were topped with fresh basil when they came out of the oven before heading to our table. Everything about the pizza satisfied my craving. Both slices were hot, cheesy with a nice crunch to the crust. The plain cheese slice and pepperoni slice were great. The mixed salad was tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette and was a good side option. My frozen paloma (grapefruit juice, lime and tequila) was refreshing and so delicious I got a couple of brain freezes from drinking too fast.
My husband tried the veggie option, which had a white sauce topped with spinach, mushrooms and cheese. I stole a bite and was a little sad I didn't order one. The white sauce was creamy and complimented the spinach and mushrooms.
The staff I encountered were friendly and welcoming and quick to clean tables and take care of diners. The kitchen staff was slammed but kept their cool and worked through the rush. When the line cleared, they had a little celebration.
Nini Squares Slices & Stuff should be on your list of new places to try. According to their Facebook page, they are closed Sunday and Monday but open from 11 a.m. until they run out of pizza Tuesday through Saturday. Follow their Facebook page for specials and hours.