The first few months we lived in Atlanta, we visited a few different pizzerias and ate some decent and bad pizza. It was then that I realized that Atlanta is a city built on chain restaurants. Having just a left a city where I never ate at a chain (unless it was a local one), it was a tough adjustment and tough one for my taste buds.
Due to Buffalo’s size, fortunately and unfortunately the city doesn’t get many chain establishments. This is unfortunate as they will most likely never get a Chick Fil A, but fortunate that you won’t see a bunch of chain restaurants or pizzerias that serve up mediocre food. A few of the chains Atlanta has that aren’t available up north are Marco’s, Papa Johns, Jet’s, Mellow Mushroom, Dominos, Little Caesers, Uncle Madio’s and probably a few others. Yeah I know there is like one Little Caesers, Dominos, and Marco’s in Buffalo, but not for long.
So anyways, shortly after moving in to our new home, I tried to order a pizza from Marco’s. This was one of the worst experiences I’ve had ordering pizza. The first location I called, the call kept disconnecting and there was a lot of static on the line. The second location that I tried to call, the phone just kept ringing and ringing. Eventually someone answered and I was able to order a pizza. Oh and by the way, if you order a cheese and pepperoni pizza, you are getting one cheese and one pepperoni pizza :-). I picked up my pie from Marco’s and ate it. It actually wasn’t all that bad. If I had to rate chain pizzerias, I would put Marco’s up towards the top. If you have one near you, you can order up a large thick crust pizza with old world pepperoni. This is similar to something that you would get from Buffalo, but not identical.
Marco’s thick crust with old world pepperoni:
Next up is a Sicilian pizza from a place called Italy’s Pizza and pasta. I specifically remember when I called and ordered this pizza. They sounded very surprised that anyone had ordered it. Anyways, after a 45 minute drive to a place that was five miles away, we got our pizza. Notice how strange it looks! It was actually pretty decent…just a pain to get to, especially on a Friday.
Most people would probably be satisfied with something like the pizza above, but not me. I needed to find or make something identical to what would come out of a typical Buffalo, NY pizzeria. So needless to say, before I really ventured in to figuring out how to make pizza, I tried as many places as I could. All of the pictures below are from local pizza places and not chains.
Cosmo’s Little Italy 18″ thick crust pie – Lawrenceville, GA
Not too bad! But still didn’t hit the mark. Unfortunately the pizza was cold by the time I got home.
Mellow Mushroom Lawrenceville, GA
The pizza from Mellow Mushroom actually is pretty good. If you have one near you, I would recommend you try it out. It’s not going to be Buffalo style, but it’s decent. Mellow Mushroom is a pretty large chain that started out of Atlanta. I would actually go there more often but their pizza is too expensive for what you get. The 16″ pie above cost around $18-20.
Galla’s Pizza – Sandy Springs – GA
So what we have here is a pizza from a place called Galla’s. They are a local restaurant down here in Atlanta. They serve up Buffalo, NY style pizza and food. Unfortunately the pizza above was probably not their best effort. They do use good pepperoni and it’s definitely worth trying if you live in the Atlanta area. Just don’t expect it to be as good as say Bocce’s or Pasquales. It’s more like Just Pizza. I’ll post more about this establishment in the future.
Luigi’s A Slice of Italy Pizza – Buford, GA
This one should give you a good laugh. They made a hole in my pizza! This was one of my most frustrating experiences ever with a pizzeria. We were about 30 minutes away and I decided to call them up and order a pizza. Figured it only takes about 6 minutes to make a NYC style pizza so no big deal! Well I got there, and had to wait in line for 20 minutes to pick up my pizza. To make matters worse, the pizza hadn’t even gone in the oven by the time I got to the front of the line to pay. I was also very frustrated that the person on the phone didn’t tell me that I could have two extra toppings free of charge. So yeah, I paid $18 for a large cheese pizza with a hole in it. It wasn’t all that bad though, they gave me a free slice. The pizza itself wasn’t very good. Basically cardboard with a bitter sauce on it. I haven’t been back to this establishment since. I had one of the worst chicken parm subs in my entire life from this place. I actually threw half of it out as it was just nasty!
Italian Pizza Pie – Dacula, GA
This place was especially disappointing. Their yelp photos looked promising and ordering the pizza was like ordering from a place in Buffalo. I simply called them up and asked for a large cheese and pepperoni pizza and 10 wings. They said 20 minutes. I said OK and hung up. That’s how it’s supposed to be! Anyways, I went and picked up my pizza and wings. Got in to the car and noticed that they had given me the smallest chicken wings that I’ve ever seen. Whatever, I drove home and started eating the pizza. It was absolutely disgusting. They didn’t cook it long enough. I only ended up eating half of a slice and threw the rest out. The wings actually tasted good, they were just incredibly small. Maybe slightly larger than a quarter.
So there you have it. Pizza frustration!