Welcome to the first ever post of The Slice of Sacramento. This pizza review will focus on pizzerias in or around the Sacramento area. Basis for comparison will be pepperoni, house specialties, and ‘extra extra.’ In the interest of fairness fellow KSSU DJ Cole in his section ‘Cole’s Corner’. So join us as we find out, “will Jonny Mac go back, or go on the attack?”
We decided to go to the Folsom Blvd. branch of Giovanni’s Pizza as opposed to the original location in Land Park in part due to its close vicinity to Sac State. In addition, the Elements housing as well as St. Francis and Hiram Johnson High Schools are close by, giving Giovanni’s Pizza a potentially prime location. Parking is ample with a large industrial feeling gravel driveway as well as the lot from the F65 complex just next door. The building itself is a hugely oversized and the space is added to by a patio seating option out front. Although usually a plus, due to the particular area of Folsom Blvd. as well as the industrial nature of the area, the outside patio does not work as well as it does at somewhere close like Burr’s Fountain, and should be chosen judiciously. The inside is filled almost exclusively with tables, only offering a sparse selection of games, video or otherwise, for those who would be so inclined. The general feeling in the building is one of emptiness not due to a lack of customers, but more so to poor space utilization. The addition of something as simple a billiards table would make Giovanni’s more of a destination of the college/high school demographic.
Now the good stuff. The pizza is why we are here. Giovanni’s offers New York Style pizza and in that regard they do not disappoint. The slices are of a general size and the crust is crispy yet foldable. While there is a lunch special available that gets you two slices and a soda for $6.99, they regularly offer whole pizza pies exclusively that run just a little on the expensive size with a large pepperoni roughly $20 for a large and $6 more to get ‘New York size.’ But how was the pizza, is it work that $20 plus dollar point of sale, well the answer depends on what you decide to get. We sampled the pepperoni as well as the Don Giovanni special that was topped with sausage and fire roasted sweet peppers and it arrived to our table only 15 short minutes after ordering. First and foremost these pizzas were dripping in the greasy flavorful goodness I love, if you love it as well stay put, if not, grab all the napkins you can. The Don Giovanni special was a reserved take on a house special with only two toppings, which although worked together, tended to get lost in the mix, with the sausage seemingly not flavorful enough. The pepperoni on the other hand was exactly what one wants a pep pizza to be. With liberal placement of the peperoni themselves this pie was packed with flavor and would please even the most monetarily stringent.
The sleeper hit of the evening was the order of chicken wings we got thanks to a good old fashioned coupon. The wings came with celery and ranch as was delivered to our table after only ten minutes and gave us a nice small window to enjoy some of the appetizers before the main dish arrived. This 10 piece wing dish was a pleasant surprise for both Cole and I. Instead of ones typical, or expected buffalo wing, Giovanni’s instead offers a rocking sweet habanero wing with a heat that sneaks up on you unexpectedly, but not unwillingly. At only about $8 this 10 wing option works great as an appetizer, or even a meal of its own
Verdict: Jonny Mac goes back!! It would be interesting to see how the original location compares to this Folsom branch, but overall this one is worth checking out if you don’t mind spending a bit more on a New York style pizza, despite the locations shortcomings in regards to decoration or feel, the pizza offers an experience good enough to only need a handful of friends
Cole and John are DJ’s at Sacramento State’s only student run radio station KSSU