casa di pizza (Buffalo)
Went to Casa di Pizza (aka JJ's) in Buffalo. Here's what we thought: We had a half-mushroom, half-meatball pizza, BBQ wings, and a pitcher of birch beer. The pizza was attractively served on a stainless cake stand and had a very appetizing homemade look. Unfortunately, the meatballs produced some strange zings in my mouth, which is usually a sign of rancidity. Maybe an unusual spice was to blame, but we'll get our pizza meatball-less next time. The mushrooms were fresh, not the usual canned type. The pizza was toothsome with a heavy topping of real, drippy mozzarella. We had a thin-crust pie, which Lucy says was like eating pizza on crackers. (She LOVES pizza on crackers). The wings were ok, though i thought they were too sweet and would have preferred the butter-&-hot-sauce kind. (Everyone else thought they were great). The birch beer was nice & wet -- like root beer without the zip. We enjoyed the rowdy sports bar atmosphere on the final night of the NBA finals and bonded immediately with our super-friendly waitress, Kelly, who sat down at our table, discussed our order with us, and was extremely tolerant of our slow-ordering ways. She is the best waitress in the universe!!! (Sorry about the meatball thing, K, but we are chowhounds and must speak the truth!). The extensive menu was a joy to wallow in and the red light that flashed when pizzas are ready was a nice touch. Casa di Pizza/JJ's rocks!!
I've been to Casa plenty of times, and have never been particularly impressed. They can get me in the door if I have a coupon and don't want to drive too far, that's about it.
As far as Buffalo pizza goes, I prefer Bocce's on Bailey or Leonardi's on Millersport for the most part, your thick pie with bready 1-inch crust and loaded toppings. Sauce and cheese are lovely, and always liked the way Bocce's hand-cuts (or just thickly cuts) their pepperoni.
I went to UB, and as such I expect I reflect the biases of my highly-pizzaed years.
But not too far from the Casa on Elmwood is a tony corner bistro called Le Metro that has terrific thin-crust pizza. Great ingredients, very simple and fresh. Although the place is a bit upscale the to-go pizza prices aren't. You might want to try it once if you're in the neighborhood.
re: Barry Strugatz
I checked out the phonebook and counted
12 Avenue Pizza & Subs. I know there is
one on Main (near UB), they are also on
Millersport, Hertel, Genesee, So Park,
Broadway, Bailey, Main (in Tonawanda)
and Zimmerman in NT. The way the phone listings
read, I'd believe they are different owners.
The Avenue that I walk to (Elmwood/W Utica)
_does_ still have the Sausage Parm Sub.
We also walk to Casa's (frequently), as they
are kid friendly.