New York City is well-known for the Statue of Liberty, Times Square and Broadway musicals, but don’t forget New York’s most popular staple—pizza.
Russo’s, located where Quiznos used to be at 1091 N. Bluff St., claims to be “home of the New York Slice.”
Let’s just say, for a girl who’s never been to New York City, if New York-style pizza is what Russo’s has to offer, I’m in no rush to travel there.
On the contrary, if the service in New York City pizzerias is what I experienced at Russo’s, I might give it a second glance.
I barely had time to notice the Jets and Yankees decor along the walls before my friends and I were greeted by the employees who were eager to help. And with the variety of specialty pizzas offered on the menu, I was glad they were willing to answer my questions.
Russo’s has its own spin on specialty pizza pies, ranging from toppings of Italian meatballs and sausage to sliced lamb and crushed basil, none of which I had the guts to try. For customers like me, more traditional specialty pizzas, such as the works, Hawaiian, barbecue chicken and chicken Alfredo are an option.
The pepperoni and Hawaiian pizza at Russo’s tasted OK. Russo’s has a secret blend of marinara sauce, but nothing special stood out to me. The crust was thin and crispy—an attribute to the style of pizza. Russo’s was stingy on the cheese, so if you’re like me, request extra mozzarella for 50 cents.
The chicken bacon ranch pizza was a favorite in my party. The combination of flavors was biting yet satisfying.
Pizza can be ordered by the slice or whole pie. The oversized slices are the size of about two average slices and are large enough to hang over the sides of an ordinary dinner plate. The slices are traditionally folded in half for easier eating.
For a starter, I would recommend ordering a combo, which includes a slice of pizza, a 16-ounce drink, and a house salad or garlic knots.
Garlic knots are Russo’s twist on the traditional garlic breadstick—and appearing to look like a knot, they really are twisted.
I found the garlic knots to be overpowering in flavor, but I must admit I’ve never been big on garlic.
I was glad I had my drink handy to wash down the tasteful, yet strong, flavor.
Drink choices are limited to a few, but the soft drink and beverage provider is Coca-Cola—a make-it-or-break-it for this Coke lover.
If you want more of a kick from your meal at Russo’s, hot wings are available in orders of six or 12.
And of course, Russo’s menu does not neglect the frequent dining question, “Did you save room for dessert?” Homemade cannolis, which are deep-fried pastries, ensure your taste buds leave on a sweet note.
The prices at Russo’s seem nothing out of the ordinary for a pizza parlor. A cheese pizza ranges from $11-$18, depending on the size. Specialty pizza pies take a bit more out of your wallet, ranging from $14-$20. Cheese slices are priced at $2.59 and specialty slices top out at $3.59.
For a college student looking for an inexpensive meal, Russo’s offers lunch and combo specials starting around $5.
The smallest pie is a 12-inch, and the sizes increase to a 16-inch, and then a 20-inch.
The pizza was decent, but it was nothing to write home about. For the same price of a single slice of pepperoni pizza and a drink, I recommend saving your money and grabbing a Little Caesars Hot-N-Ready Pizza for $5.99.