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Jun 5, 2007 06:21 PM

Pizza in Athens, GA

I've been eating out a lot lately, it seems.

Tried Johnny's Pizza today, the one on the Eastside. There's two, evidently, the other over near Lowe's/Home Despot/Wal-Mart on 316.

We're not talking dog food here, but this stuff ain't so good. It's almost a black hole of flavor, mostly just salty and uninspired. Sysco food. My buddy asked for Ranch dressing to dip his crusts in ( I know, I know), and it came in a little half-and-half-style cup, all sealed up with the little foil peel-back top. It tasted only tangentially like Ranch dressing. The servers were eating pizza at the service/take-out counter and chewing as they walked up to your table, swallowing their cud mere milliseconds before asking you how your food is. That's just vile. I'm surprised I didn't walk out without paying, but I was in a very good mood today.

Gonna stick with Transmet and Little Italy for my pizza pie, I guess.

Or make it at home.

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  1. that sounds terrible. i've been craving some different options than little italy or transmet, but really, transmet is fine. i had two slices and a beer for dinner there tonight for about 6.50. sure, it's not the most consistent place in the world (sometimes they leave slices in too long), but they've got good pie and good salads. plus, LI has the best italian sub i've ever had.

    i keep passing this place called DaVinci's on baxter, but it's obviously boarded up and closed. anyone eat here back in the day?

    4 Replies
    1. re: batdown

      DaVinci had unusual stuffed pies and a great atmosphere with quirky art and I miss it terribly. The owners of Little Italy have a place Peppino's at the very end of Milledge at Whitehall road south of the Botanical Gardens which serves Pizza the way I remember it from growing up in New York City. To me it's worth the drive to get the real thing. Forget the salad bar please. It brighter cleaner and not as noisy as Little Italy and you can park out front. In my opinion, the best pizza in the area.

        1. re: gashrink

          Too bad you were probably only one of maybe three people at a time to eat at DaVinci's in the last years before it closed. One of my good friends was a manager there and it was always empty. The lack of a liquor license in the latter years probably contributed greatly to its demise.

          1. re: gashrink

            I am surprised to hear that Peppino's compares favorably to NY pizza. We didn't like it so much: the dough is way to doughy and thick, IMO. I've never had anything called "NY-style" pizza that closely resmbled it.

        2. And of course there's Bischero on Prince (in the Bottleworks). It's not really your typical weeknight American pie, but it's the closest thing to real Italian pizza you can get in the Classic City.

          1. I felt somewhat favorably about Amici the one time I ate there, as well. A lot like Rocky's, which is too greasy for most people, but I like it. Also, Mellow Mushroom, which isn't exactly Athens-only, but I like the flour on their crust.

            7 Replies
            1. re: hillarybrown

              We go to Amici with the kids from time to time and I agree their pizza is pretty good - the difference is the crust which is very flavorful - better than Transmet I think. Frankly, after living in several different cities with fab local pizza places, Athens doesn't really have one that I would consider great or even particularly good - Amici is the best I think. I didn't have the grease problem but I get the veggie which would be less greasy I guess.

              1. re: athensmomof3

                It is odd that Athens can't get pizza right, having so many pizza joints as we do. Somebody could make a killing with a good pizza place, maybe. You could offer a variety of pizza styles, from authentic Brooklyn-style to Neapolitan-style to Chicago deep-dish. Wood-fired ovens aren't all that pricey, and pizza ain't rocket science.

                Ah, mediocrity, you foul my mood.

                1. re: athensmomof3

                  I'd have to say I prefer Transmet over Amici, and not just for the pizza (which I think is better).

                  While I know we're in the south, and palmetto bugs are everywhere, it is disturbing when they fly down from a brick wall and onto your table while eating lunch. Not singling out Amici here, but I won't return.

                  1. re: Athens Jacket

                    Bischero was recently ranked as one of the top ten pizzas in the Atlanta metro area:

                    1. re: kungfudie

                      Just wrote this on another Athens thread: Bischeros is no longer Bischeros; it's called 237 Prince,, and while the pizza oven still works, I just had an incredibly pedestrian Margherita. Too bad. I was hoping for a crust that was far more chewy, a pizza with far less cheese.

                      1. re: aoakes4

                        We just tried the new 237 Prince (old Bischero's spot) this past weekend and were terribly disappointed. It was amazing pizza when the Italians first opened it-- was that back in '04? They had fresh proscuitto, fresh buffalo mozz, ditto on basil, etc. Then the restaurant changed hands a few times-- the cooking and ingredients suffered considerably, but at least the new folks were keeping the original menu. The proscuitto became deli ham, and the mushrooms and other veggies looked canned. But now? As 237 Prince, the new ownership/chefs are just awful. There's now a tacky shower curtain partition that separates the entrance from the dining room, and the menu has completely changed for the worse. Gone is the yummy wine list too. The Italian-named pizzas are now named after streets in Athens, but they were clearly named by someone who doesn't know much about the town. My pizza had frozen spinach and waxy tasting smoked gouda. We will not be back.

                        1. re: historycook

                          How sad. When I spoke to them a few weeks ago they seemed that they were going to focus more on grilled food than on Pizza. Seems like with good reason. Haven't tried them since the last name change.
                          I did go to Transmetropolitan last week in their new digs near the Carson Center on Olgelthrope. Clean but somewhat sterile atmosphere, willing service, decent crust and OK toppings but their red sauce was a bit too spicy for my taste. I still like Papino's at the end of Milledge the best.

              2. Has anyone here tried Your Pie in Beechwood? I know that the description makes it sound awful (built like Subway), and it can take a while to get your pizza, but the food is actually pretty good.

                The toppings are all authentic, and it has to be the only place in town that offers fresh mozzarella, whole wheat crust, and 6 or 8 different types of sauce.

                Let me know what you guys think.

                8 Replies
                1. re: littlecsr

                  I like yourpie despite the horrific name (it makes me think of Hair Pie). It's also one of the few places you can get gelato here, which is nice. It's kind of a drag that they don't deliver, however (50 dollar minimum delivery order). It's nice to see some different toppings and sauces.

                  1. re: batdown

                    I've eaten at Your Pie twice, and both times I thought it was interesting but just kind of bleh, but I also think that could be blamed on my topping choices. Both times some of the pizza makers were kind of rude. Compared to places of the same kin, it's got better ingredients and a reasonable price. Willie's and Chic-fil-A are in the same center, and Your Pie beats both.

                    I'm also another one for Peppino's. My boyfriend is from New York, and tells me that it's the only place that reminds him remotely of home. From my experience of New York, it's the only place that remotely reminds me of New York sizes for New York Prices. In the South you pay $3/slice for a small, over-topped thing that doesn't remotely seem like the giant, crispy slices you get up there for half the price. Peppino's has the big slices at the small prices. They also had an awesome lunch special at one time, I don't know if they still do, where you got a giant pie, two salads, and two drinks for around 11 bucks. More than we could eat, we took half the pie home.

                    1. re: caseynm

                      where is peppinos? I'd love to try it. do they deliver?

                      1. re: batdown

                        I like DiPalma's pizza and pasta.

                        1. re: Davo7

                          It's "DePalma's", and the food is decent at best.

                        2. re: batdown

                          The owners of Little Italy on Lumpkin have a place Peppino's at the very end of Milledge at Whitehall Road south of the Botanical Gardens which serves Pizza the way I remember it from growing up in New York City. To me it's worth the drive to get the real thing. Forget the salad bar please. It brighter cleaner and not as noisy as Little Italy and you can park out front. In my opinion, the best pizza in the area. I do not think they deliver. The Little Italy pies are the same but Little Italy always seems dark and dirty to me.

                          1. re: gashrink

                            More is not better. To make Peppino's pizza great instead of just good, I suggest ordering a cheese (only) pizza, light sauce, well-done. If you want toppings, stick with a single meat (they have good sausage and good meatballs). The more toppings are piled on, the wetter and soggier the pizza turns out. Same applies to Little Italy - if you get a whole cheese pizza, light sauce, well done, you'll be happy, believe it or not. Stay away from slices at both places. You're better off buying a small cheese pie and taking home what you don't eat. If you order the pizza lightly sauced, it travels well, and reheats well too. Peppino's pesto pizza (the old-style - just pesto and cheese - not the one from the new menu) is also good, and also reheats well. But order it well-done too.

                            1. re: criser

                              I like gooey sloppy pizza but I fully agree with criser. If you don't want gooey and sloppy, get light sauce, well done and limit toppings. On the other hand....