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Ramunto's Pizza coming to Keene, NH- sad to see a chain, but curious about how it is?

erin_grogan Nov 1, 2010 09:40 AM

For the past few weeks, a pretty old restaurant building on Keene has been undergoing renovation, and when they unveiled the sign, it was Ramunto's Brick Oven Pizza. After some quick internet investigation, I was sad to find out that this is part of a regional chain. It's hard to imagine getting excited about chain pizza, but before writing it off completely, I thought I'd see if others had been to one in a different location. I've seen the name mentioned in passing a couple of times on here (Hanover, Lebanon), but never with much detail. Thoughts? Is it worth at least trying it once it opens?

  1. m
    melissakeene Dec 22, 2010 02:05 PM

    I consider myself a pizza aficionado and was excited when I heard there was a brick oven pizza joint opening in town serving new york style pizza.

    I just had their pizza, and it was so bad, I opened up a chowhound account to write about it. I ordered 2 slices to go, and it was the most disgusting pizza I've ever had. The slices they gave me looked like they were leftover from lunchtime. The cheese was clear and hard and the sauce was dried out. I'm not sure how the pizza tastes fresh, but judging from what they served me, it's probably not good. I'm not one to throw out food...I've eaten week old pizza before and enjoyed it...but I had to throw this crap out. You'd think, being a new pizza place and all, they would make sure their slices are fresh for customers who are trying their pizza for the first time. I was planning on ordering a pie for my sister when she came home for Christmas, but they lost a customer because they would rather serve old pizza than throw it out.

    I'll stick to Amicci's. They've still got the best pizza in town IMO.

    5 Replies
    1. re: melissakeene
      erin_grogan Dec 23, 2010 04:47 AM

      Melissa, I have had the same experience as you. The first time I went, and got a fresh pizza to eat in, I thought it was ok. It was the first week the restaurant was open, and I accepted there were some growing pains (i.e., we ordered a large pizza, and they served us a medium one), but the crust was pretty good and it seemed like they had potential. So I decided that I'd probably go back.

      Since that first trip, I've gotten takeout and also had another pizza in the restaurant. First, I agree with you that the takeout pizza was just bad- your description captures my experience. The second time in the restaurant, I got what they called "Sicilian" pizza, and it was just terrible. The sauce was so wet the cheese just slid off in huge, barely melted globs. Also, they were out of tomatoes and couldn't offer that as a topping, and it just seemed bizarre to me that a pizza place would be out of tomatoes.

      In addition to the ho-hum pizza, I have found the owner's treatment of his employees the biggest turnoff of the place. Every time I've seen him interact with bartenders or servers, who are clearly overwhelmed and trying to do their best, he is condescending and demeaning. I suppose it's fine if you're going to chew out your employees in private, but please don't do it in front of me.

      1. re: erin_grogan
        Shann Dec 23, 2010 10:51 AM

        That's really a shame. The one in Rutland is top notch. I'm sitting here eating a slice now and it is delicious.

      2. re: melissakeene
        melissakeene Jan 4, 2011 06:58 AM

        So I went back to Ramuntos to try their pizza fresh out of the oven and had a much better experience. The owner/manager was there and was super friendly and attentive. They were out of fresh basil, so instead of getting the pizza margarita I originally wanted, i got a new york style pizza with garlic, tomatoes and olive oil. Overall the pizza was tasty, but I have to say I still prefer Amicci's. However, Ramuntos is a close second, as long as you avoid the to-go slices.

        1. re: melissakeene
          JPR Feb 5, 2011 01:39 PM

          The original one in Lebanon, NH is very good. Brick oven pizza, great draft selection and friendly staff. Unfortunately, the Keene location is not as good As a Keene resident, I am disappointed.

          1. re: JPR
            ggailbo Mar 5, 2011 05:38 AM

            I wish Bertucci's would come to town. That pizza is awesome...for a chain.

      3. b
        bewley Nov 30, 2010 11:50 AM

        I dunno. I lived in NYC for a decade and ate at Lombardi's & Patsy's, Ray's etc have tried all of the New Haven pizza places, love Santarpio's & Pizzeria Regina and I have to be honest, I tried Amicci's Italian Pizza in downtown Keene (across from the theater) and thought it was very good. Have any of you tried this place or did I just hit it on an "off" good night?

        Amicci's Italian Pizza
        90 Main St, Keene, NH 03431

        1 Reply
        1. re: bewley
          melissakeene Dec 22, 2010 02:24 PM

          It's always that good. Hands down the best pizza in town.

        2. m
          mrguti Nov 30, 2010 03:46 AM

          Put it this way. I am from Keene but live in Lebanon. One thing I love about Keene is all the good restaurants, unless you want pizza. I haven't been happy with the pizza options in Keene since Foodies went out of business. When I heard you are getting a Ramuntos down that way I was thrilled. I don't know what your favorite pizza option is now but personally I think it's better than any option currently in town.

          1. c
            Chris Fucci Nov 29, 2010 06:38 AM

            Ramunto's is true New York pizza, both thin crust and Sicilian. It is slightly higher in price than the competition but WAY better. Great atmosphere. Bar is fun. Plenty of TV's.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Chris Fucci
              TonyO Nov 29, 2010 06:16 PM

              They are growing because they have found franchise investors that realize it is a good product. I think you will find their pizza to be very good.

            2. h
              Heatherb Nov 3, 2010 05:33 PM

              It's a chain? I think I was eating at one of the first ones way back when I went to school in Hanover, NH some 10-15 years ago. I know back then they just had one other location. I'm a Jersey girl (no Snookie comments, please:). I was DELIGHTED when they showed up, because they make pizza just like in the NY-NJ-PA area. It was really really good. I couldn't get Sicilian slices anywhere else while I was up there. I'm pretty sure I spent most of my senior year of college there eating Sicilian pizza and drinking birch beer (and gaining a ton of weight). If they've maintained their quality over the years, I'd say definitely go and give it a try. The pizza was very different from the other pizza shops in the area (and very familiar to me).

              1 Reply
              1. re: Heatherb
                kaszeta Nov 4, 2010 06:11 AM

                Yeah, I'm definitely not a fan of most area pizza places, but the various Ramunto's seem to do a decent enough job (the Hanover "Brick and Brew" one is only tangentially related to the others, BTW), and they all seem to have decent tap beer selections as well.

              2. r
                Rogan Nov 3, 2010 04:23 PM

                Best Pizza in VT/NH. I would not worry that they have a handful of stores. Claremont is the my favorite, cool mill atmosphere and killer food.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Rogan
                  erin_grogan Nov 3, 2010 05:22 PM

                  Thanks everyone for this feedback. You've made me a bit more optimistic. We'll definitely give it a try once it's open.

                  1. re: Rogan
                    kaszeta Nov 4, 2010 06:09 AM

                    My only gripe with the Claremont location is that it's table-service only. I used to be able to go in for quick slices before a movie, but now I usually have to commit to being there for 45 minutes.

                  2. s
                    Shann Nov 1, 2010 12:15 PM

                    I think Ramuntos is really good. I've only eaten at the Rutland location. The buffalo chicken pizza is outstanding. The specialty pies can be a little expensive but they have a great deal for lunch, two (huge) cheese slices and a pepsi for $3.75.

                    Basically, everything I've eaten from there has been at least as good as the "one off" or non-chain pizza places I've eaten in. We are not talking Dominos or Pizza Hut here.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Shann
                      bm_vt Nov 1, 2010 01:35 PM

                      Ramunto's Pizza restaurants ARE individually owned, so chances are it's a Keene local who owns it.
                      That said, I also really like Ramuntos. I've had it from the Rutland, Middlebury & St. Johnsbury locations. Certainly worth a try IMO.

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