As you approach the Virginia Foothills on the southern edge of Reno is where you can find Nik-N-Willie's Pizza and Deli, located on the southern edge of Reno. Nik-N-Willie's – not to be confused with Nick-n-Willy's, a Colorado-based chain – is a local chain of autonomous pizzerias peppered around the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevadas near Lake Tahoe.
First thing that struck me about Nik-N-Willie's was the friendly staff that interacted warmly with everyone, even an obvious out-of-stater such as myself. From the steady stream of customers during my dinner-time visit, Nik-N-Willie's is clearly a neighborhood favorite, offering both take-n-bake, dine-in, and buffet on select nights.
Nik-N-Willie's offers both red and white sauced pizza. I ordered one of each. All the more for leftovers. Each pizza was built on a thin, soft crust. Well browned on the underside, with a chewy rind.
Jim's Creation offers spinach, garlic, and bacon atop a cream cheese white sauce. Fresh spinach asserts itself after adjusting to all the bacony goodness. The cheese ties everything up.
The Big Nik-N-Wild Willie's (The Combo) features a cornucopia of familiar toppings: Italian sausage, Canadian bacon, salami, pepperoni, mushrooms (fresh too), black olives, green peppers, onions, tomatoes. Riper tomatoes and a longer bake would have been optimal, but its still a pleaser.
Curiosity still piqued I ordered a single serving Philly cheese steak calzone with white sauce, roast beef, green peppers, onions, provolone and cheddar. Very meaty and juicy.
Later that evening… seven slices of pizza plus half a personal-sized calzone, plus two pints and a bottle of beer, and two whiskeys from earlier in the day equaled four Tums after midnight.