Slice of Sacramento ft. Cole’s Corner: Giovanni’s Pizza (6200 Folsom Blvd)


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.

PizzaNow 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.

Extra Extra

IMG_20150213_175113820The 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’s Corner:

Coles Corner

                It’s been a while since I’ve been to a non-chain pizza place. My outings lately have consisted of Round Table or Pizza Hut. That said, Giovanni’s Old World New York Pizzeria is a nice return to the family-style local joints of my yesteryear.
                The location of Giovanni’s is close to Sac State’s campus. A quick bike ride from the grounds to Folsom Blvd takes around ten minutes at the most; if you’re looking for a dine-in experience off campus, it’s a fairly easy commute. The restaurant itself is very spacious. With about twenty tables spaced out, a concrete floor that dampens the atmosphere a bit and a ceiling height of easily twenty-five feet, this place gives off the vibes of a warehouse. Barring the general pictures of The Big Apple hung up in “New York Style” restaurants, there isn’t much else to take in while dining in. Aside from that, the interior is a nice and clean area to rest for a bit after finishing classes for the day.
                With the setting all said and done, it’s time to get to the pizza. John and I ordered one large pizza; half of it being the classic pepperoni we all know and love, the other half being the house special “Don Giovanni”, consisting of Italian sausages and sweet roasted peppers. The large size was roughly $25 without drinks and is split into eight slices, so this pizza is on the pricier side. True to its namesake, the pizza is cooked with a thin crust that easily folds when picking up a slice, emulating the style of a New York pizza.
                The pepperoni pizza is a pizza that you can hardly ever do wrong, and Giovanni’s keeps that statement true. It has plenty of pepperonis without it being overbearing, the slight grease that keeps the pizza hot, and the cheese that compliments the meat without taking over the flavor. It’s a classic staple of pizza and I enjoyed every slice of it.
                The “Don Giovanni”, on the other hand, was a more peculiar pizza. Sausage and pepper alone on a pizza is not a common mix, and with this case left it to be desired. The sweet peppers were delicious, but the flavor overpowered the sausage and I could hardly taste it. On top of that, there was a generous serving of the peppers on each slice while the sausage was lacking. I found myself having one slice with only one or two sausages with a lot more peppers on them.  If there was a more even distribution of toppings, I feel like this pizza would have been a bit tastier.
                Overall, I have to say that Giovanni’s is a decent pizza place. If you don’t mind a pricier dining experience in a spacious environment, this pizzeria has a nice tasting New York Style slice of pizza goodness.
Environment: 3/5
Pepperoni Pizza: 4/5
House Special (Don Giovanni): 3.5/5



Cole and John are DJ’s at Sacramento State’s only student run radio station KSSU

Beard and Mustaches That Rock

As a self-proclaimed facial hair enthusiast and rock and roll deejay, it only seems natural to notice that there are a lot of musicians with epic face hair. From classic rock to hip hop, interesting facial hair is a feature in an industry that loves crazy looks.

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