Pietros Pizzaria ..Oh my!
My SO ( from the east coast ) is staying in the area and sent me this. Thought you might enjoy it.
Tonight I had the misfortune of choosing Pietros Pizzaria and Restaurant on 44th, for dinner.
I arrived at the aged, mini strip mall at 8:30pm. The other four or five retailers were closed but the parking lot was bathed in the neon glow of PIETRO's PIZZARIA and RESTAUANT.
I had seen the place a couple of times during the week and thought it had the look of a well worn but possibly hidden jewel.
The double storefront location hinted of a past era when the Pietros were actually in the kitchen and the place might be home to 30 or more tables filled with happy diners eating pasta or pizza and sipping on a nice Chianti. A semi open kitchen, revealed the they made their own pizza dough. The black and white tiled kitchen floor looked like it could be in New Jersey or Boston. There were the typical dark paneled walls and the old, somewhat greasy light fixture above each table. Still I thought, "this place looks good" it has been around for a while, how bad could it be? And so it began....
The house wine starts at $3 per glass for Chianti and climbs to $4 for a Berringer Cabernet. I opted to start with the Chianti and an "Italian" salad, as I was craving some veggies. The salad was served with two celophane wrapped crackers and no bread, this was my first inkling of what was to follow.... The salad was the best part of the meal, comprising a few thin strips or provolone, some micro sliced pepperoni and two cherry peppers applied to some iceberg lettuce with a few pieces of chopped tomato garnish.
The wine was sickenly sweet and was difficult to almost finish. I was hoping for a little buzz to help my sleeping and since the place was only one and a half miles from the hotel, I thought I would indulge.
For my main course I ordered the cheese tortellini with two sausages and spicy marinara. I perused the other three non house wine choices and selected the Berringer Cabernet. Soon my entre arrived. It was an impressively sized oval platter filled with tortellini and topped with what? Two sausage patties. Don't panic, I thought, it might be good....I tentatively took the tortellini to my tines and tried a taste.....terrible! The were cooked to within a nano second of becoming tortellini soup. I took a sip of the insipid looking "Cabernet" mmmmmm just as bad as the Chianti. I was starting to get very depressed. My worst nightmare, a last minute plate of food that turns out to be SLOP. But wait what about the sausage patties? What self respecting Italian restaurant would serve sausage patties? The menu said "sausages or meatballs. Do you suppose that the meatballs are actually hamburg patties? I can only imagine. I forced down as much of the Cab as I could manage. This had the added benefit of helping me to eat the sausages. Oh I almost forgot the "spicy marinara sauce". Let's just let that one go.....
When my server came to the table with a plastic container for the leftovers I was so glad to say "I can't take it, I don't have a refrigerator".
Oh did I mention the stale piece of french sub roll I got? Nevermind.....
This was the worst and most expensive meal I have had in Wheat Ridge at $22 + tip.
Bottom line, avoid Pietro's like the plague.
From the field.
I lived in Wheat Rdige, but it was a LONG time ago. I remember Valente's was thought of as decent Italian:
Red Tango (latin) gets good reviews. Not been but we did like the owner's former restaurant (he was in mangt. but didn't own it)
Wheat Ridge is a small city surrounded by several others. You can drive through it in 15 minutes, so really one should also look at neighboring cities as well for chow finds. Here are some of the media reviews for the west burbs:
He had lunch at the Red Tango today and really enjoyed it.( Thanks again for the link )Smokey salsa and chips, Pork tenderloin in an adobe sauce, black beans and white rice and avacado salsa. Side order of empanadas, one cheese, one meat He is a pretty big eater and saw a flan at the next table that he reported look really good.( He is a pretty big eater so the portions must be substantial if he had to turn it down)
He should check out Casa Bonita just for the heck of it. It's a tourist destination and the food isn't the draw, but even detractors have to admit it's a unique experience. Just a few miles from Wheat Ridge. Again, the food isn't that great (though some things are decent), but there's really nothing else like it in the restaurant industry.