Our neighbors, Pete and Barb M., just turned us on to NY Gianni’s Bronx Style Pizza – we’ll call it Gianni’s Pizza from here on in – and boy are we ever glad they did. Y’all will recall how miserably Cosmo’s failed the Lonnie’s-hot-fast-pizza test. So I figured, to be fair, I’d have to run Gianni’s through the same test. OMG! What a difference!
I called Gianni’s after looking at their website and asked if I could place an order by phone but eat it there. The very friendly fellow on the other end of the line said, of course! and wanted to know how soon we’d be there. “Seven minutes” I said. “It will be done in twelve. Come on down!” Sure enough, it was hot and ready when we got there, a short drive down Burnet Ave from our Eastwood home.
And what a warm welcome we got, too. Gianni and his lovely wife and mom (or so we believe, having been too famished to politely get this information) were so sweet; they made us feel genuinely at home. The place is tiny, mostly for take-out, but the little room where there are four small tables was very nicely decorated, there was pleasant music playing, and there was no danged TV blinking away to distract us from what we came for: great food. Gianni pointed out that they have wi-fi and so anyone is welcome to come with a laptop and play their own TV.
So how was the pizza? Mamma mia! Ecco una pizza come Dio la vuole! Everything hand-made and fresh, the “Grand Concourse” (meat lover’s) pizza was indeed grand, loaded with cheese and almost overpopulated with ham, bacon, pepperoni, ground beef, all on a thin hand-tossed crust just thick enough to hold up to eating from the hand.
I really do not like mediocre pizza. There’s so much of it around these parts. I will even drive all the way up to Marshall St. and put up with rudeness to get a good pizza. Thank goodness, that won’t be necessary any more. Dave and I will be going back to Gianni’s repeatedly – there’s quite a menu to work our way through.
By the way, Gianni has worked for years at some of your other favorite pizza joints. I won’t say where – go on in and ask him yourself. While you’re there, try ordering in Spanish, the other language of this bi-lingual couple. When Gianni found out I’m a Spanish teacher, he said I should have my students come down and order their meal all in Spanish. I think I’ll make that a very strong suggestion! They’ll be well rewarded for their efforts.
Gianni’s Pizza is located at 1428 Burnet Ave., not far from the corner of Teall and Burnet. It shares space with the Liberty Bakery, so you’ll likely go home with a half dozen cookies, including Central New York’s famous half-moons. They’re open Monday through Thursday 11-9 and Friday through Saturday 11-10. Alas, they are closed on Sunday. If you go in, please tell them the Chus sent you.