Fernando’s Friday Night for… PIZZA?

Fernando's in Blair, Nebraska

2022 May 27, Friday
Don Collins

Fernando’s is a Blair, Nebraska staple. If you’re younger than 30, you probably can’t remember a time before Fernando’s. Their brand of Mexican-style food is a favorite for many. And, regardless of whether Fernando’s is your favorite restaurant, if you’ve been there you know they have an amazing staff that’s friendly, helpful, professional, and engaged.

They are a “hometown” restaurant that outperformed that title for years.

So, when I thought about a new series of articles for BlairToday.com – with a focus on local restaurants – I figured I couldn’t go wrong with a trip to Fernando’s.

I called Sheena Gonzalez, manager, and said, “I’d like to write an article about Fernando’s, sortof like a review. But, instead of me picking something on the menu, what do you suggest?”

Sheena Gonzalez
Sheena Gonzalez, Manager, Fernando’s in Blair, Nebraska

Sheena said we should try their pizza.

I kinda sorta remembered they had pizza on the menu – and even tried it years ago – but, it’s been a while. My next question was, “What kind of pizza should we try?”

She said, “the Washington Street Special. It comes with pepperoni, sausage, jalapenos, and cream cheese.”

We placed an order for a “large,” picked it up, then headed to the park (on a beautiful night) to get down to business.

Before I go further, two things: 1) We paid for our food. 2) This was not a deal where we got free food and then wrote up something as an “opinion” that’s really an advertisement.

So, how was the Fernando’s “Washington Street Special?”

I was surprised. I did not think of Fernando’s as a “pizza place.” So, my bar was set low.

My lowered expectations, though, were unwarranted. The crust was perfect. The pizza was hot. The toppings were distinct, the flavor profiles worked, and the jalapenos added just the right amount of heat (well, for those of you who think jalapenos are hot.)

The biggest thing I want you to take from this review is the value for your money. At $18.19 for the large, it was the most pizza, for that price I’ve had in Blair. The pizza was heavy. And, you know what it feels like when you pay $20 for a large pizza and the box feels like it will blow away if you open the lid in a slight breeze, right? The Fernando’s “Washington Street Special” would easily feed four adults – with a couple pieces left for the fridge and tomorrow’s breakfast.

Whatever “star system” you use, this was a top flight meal.

My two critiques are the cut was not all the way through a couple slices, and maybe a little more meat. But, before you think that’s because they skimped on toppings, just realize the amount of cream cheese was neither small nor cheap.

The Fernando’s “Washington Street Special” pizza was a well-made, hot, tasty and fairly (if under) priced value. This was not just a pizza that was “acceptable…” It was a pizza that met, exceeded, and raised our expectations. I could see it served in any “pizza restaurant” and be well-liked.

On my scale, the Fernando’s “Washington Street Special” rates four out of five stars. In adult human talk I say: If you want a pizza, and you live in Blair, you should call Fernando’s at 402-533-4450 and try this one – or one of their other specialty pizzas. I loved it and look forward to another one.