I ended up trying this place twice before I wrote about it. I have to be honest; I wasn’t overly impressed on my first visit. I really didn’t think I would return. I took the kids one day when hubby was out of town. The first thing you notice is the sea of televisions screens all around (including at every booth). I guess if you want to watch 6 or 8 sporting events at the same time, this is your place. For me it was a little sensory overload (and if I want my kids to stare at a TV while we eat dinner, I could pretty easily make that happen at home).
That first time the kids and I split the garlic knots, which were pizza dough tied in knots and sitting in garlic butter ($5.49). I liked these. The dough was pretty tasty, and come on, garlic butter? You can’t really go wrong.
My sandwich was not impressive though. I had the “Cali club” ($9.29), which was a croissant with ham, turkey, avocado, bacon, lettuce and pesto mayo. Eh, it was basically cold deli meat (and cold bacon, no thanks) on a cold croissant. They make their potato chips in house but on this day, mine were a little inconsistent in whether they were done or not (some were crunchy, some soggy).
The next time we went with hubby for dinner. A friend had recommended the pizza, and I felt that in order to give it a fair shake, I should try it (not to mention I am on a quest for a place near my house for good pizza).
We started with an order of the “tornado potatoes” ($7.99), which are their housemade potato chips topped with cheese, and bacon. This time, the chips were on, and these were tasty. There was a little bit of nacho cheese as well as quite a bit of real cheese that was melted. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the nacho cheese, but hubby really liked it and I will admit, it added a little creaminess of the cheese. The only thing I would have added was a bit of something to dip in (sour cream, ranch maybe?). We all liked these, even the kids.
Next we had a pizza and it was really pretty darn good as well. The best thing about it was the crust (we had the thinner style crust). It was fairly crisp on the bottom and had a great chewy texture to the edges. We ordered a 10” "gourmet." It was red sauce, cheese, kalamata olives, capers and prosciutto. At first I thought there weren’t enough capers on it, but you could really taste them and you really didn’t need anymore (ok, I love capers, but I may have decided they aren’t my pizza topping of choice). The rest of it was very good though and I am definitely leaning towards the Greek next time. The pizza was nice and cheesy (they use a blend of different cheeses) but not over-sauced. And like I said, I really liked the crust. The kids just had a regular cheese pizza (10 inch was $7.99) and it was just as tasty (and much better than the kid’s meal pizza which one of them had the first time and was not made on the same crust and was $5.99 so not that much cheaper).
All in all, my second visit was much better. The pizza was pretty good and we got sat in a part of the restaurant away from all the TVs. The service was a little over-enthusiastic, but certainly friendly. One weird thing was the menu though—big photographs of food are usually not a good sign in a restaurant for me anyway, but these were odd because most of them were strangely out of focus. However, I do potentially see some carry out pizza from here in our future.
3716 East 82nd Street