Portnoy Takes Several Bites at Nona’s

It only takes one bite, but he made several!

The legendary Dave Portnoy of Barstool Sports and the One Bite Review finally got around to visiting the Tampa area and relented to the throngs of pizza fans filling his inbox with recommendations for U.S. Pizza Team member Jamie Culliton and The Nona Slice House in Safety Harbor, FL.

Portnoy is star struck by USPT member & Pizza Superstar McKenna Carney

Having recently received a visit from Jay Leno at the recommendation of a local friend, amid the late-evening crowd, Culliton walked Portnoy through some of the history of Nona’s and his illustrious competition career, introduced Dave to some of the next generation of pizza greats like USPT members McKenna Carney & Joey Streeter, then cracked an egg of knowledge about pizza acrobatics.

First up on the review block: the “super standard football pizza” as Portnoy called it. A regular New York-style cheese pie. Portnoy inspected the slice, admired the undercarriage, took a bite and pondered. He mentioned the quality of the undercarriage again, then went in for three more bites. His ultimate score: a 7.8. Not bad. The crowd was pleased.

While Portnoy gave his critique of that pie, Culliton pizza-bombed him with Nona’s Old World Style Pizza Margherita. Not wanting to disappoint the local crowd, Portnoy obliged and went for the touted “one bite.” Once again, mention was made of the “zero flop” undercarriage, arguably one of the most important parts of the pizza’s anatomy. After the fourth bite, Portnoy loudly proclaimed it as his favorite of the two pizzas, then awarded it an 8.1 to thunderous applause. Dave’s official proclamation: The Old World Pizza Margherita was by far the better slice.

Dave dives into Nona’s Detroit Red Top

Culliton would not let Portnoy escape without at least trying his award-winning Detroit-style pie. One of The Nona Slice House’s bestsellers and Culliton’s proudest bragging point, this style is notoriously not one of Dave’s faves. He equates a good version to being an offensive lineman. You have to look heavy but be light on your feet. Culliton has said he would put his Detroit pie against any other in the country, while Portnoy confessed his current favorite as being the one he tried at Detroit Style Pizza Co. founded by the late, great Shawn Randazzo. Shawn can be single-handedly credited with bringing Detroit style to the country’s attention, and that trend continues to grow thanks to his efforts.

UST Member Joey Streeter and Dave compare beards. Sorry Dave, we think Joey takes this one.

Still hot out of the oven, Dave dove in while shaking off friendly eating suggestions from Culliton. “I know. I got the crust. You’re a pro, I’m a pro,” Dave said, assuring Jamie he had it managed. That defiant statement was immediately followed in the same breath by “That’s a great Detroit-style, you weren’t kidding.” Dave mentioned the highest score he will ever give a Detroit-style pizza is a 7.9, which he then bestowed upon the Nona Red Top. There was much rejoicing.

After a walk-through on Nona’s history, a crash course in pizza acrobatics, three pizzas, a full slice of regular pizza and half a slice of Detroit, Portnoy said, “You won’t find a better Detroit. They even got the zero flop.” Portnoy then turned to Culliton and said, “I didn’t get it…what’s your name?”

That was followed by an invitation to participate in Dave’s pizza fest next year. The End.

Dave Portnoy and One Bite Review The Nona Slice House, Safety Harbor Fl.





Picture of Brian Hernandez

Brian Hernandez