$29 and Under: Union Pizza sausage sandwich scores but wings need work

I’ve been looking for a new favorite pizza place, but when I visited Union Pizza the other night for
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Union Pizza

WHERE: 1311 Nott St., Schenectady

WHEN: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday

MORE INFO: 346-7100 or 346-7184. MasterCard and Visa accepted. Deliveries are $2 on orders of at least $12.

COST: $16.63

I’ve been looking for a new favorite pizza place, but when I visited Union Pizza the other night for a quick dinner, I was lured away from the pizza by their hot subs and chicken wings.

There are three tables in the front of the place and you can eat in, but from what I observed most of their business, not surprisingly, is takeout and delivery — pizzas, calzones, subs and Italian dinners.

As I waited for my meal — and it wasn’t a long wait — I noted that the eatery is very tidy, which is always reassuring in a place that prepares food.

The counter staff was friendly and helpful, and the young kitchen crew members worked quickly and efficiently and actually seemed to enjoy what they were doing.

Sausage quest

I was thinking about a hot sausage torpedo before I pulled into the parking lot so it didn’t take me long to locate Union’s version on the menu board over the counter. Under “Hot Subs” was a Hot Sausage Parmigiana, the large version $6.55 and a “mini” for $5.05. I don’t know how big the large is, but the “mini” is a misnomer. It’s a sub roll cut to about six inches in length and it came stuffed with sliced Italian link sausages, bell peppers, cheese and marinara sauce. The whole thing is then baked. It was quite delicious and a bargain, I felt.

Union Pizza also offers “Jumbo Wings” at 10 for $5.75, another bargain, I figured, and I promptly ordered them. Asked how I wanted them, I said “medium.” I also opted for the vegetable sticks with blue cheese at $1.25 extra because I wanted to pretend that at least part of this spread was at least a little healthful.

While the sub was a good idea, the chicken wings, not so much. First, I’d like to know what the mild wings are like if these were the medium. There was no bite at all.

What they did have is grease, lots and lots of grease, and I had a hard time distinguishing the grease from the sauce that they’d been bathed in. The good news is that most of the “sauce” leaked out of the foam container holding the wings, soaking the bag, before I got home. The wings were bland enough that I added a little chipotle sauce, which improved them considerably.

The veggie sticks — spears of celery and carrots — were cold and crispy still, and the blue cheese dressing was tangy and a nice foil for the veggies and the chicken.

ALSO ON THE MENU

You can find a wide range of pizza offerings here, ranging from a 12-inch six-cut cheese pie for $7.50 to 24-cut square pizzas for $21 (or more, depending on the toppings. The toppings are standard fare — pepperoni, sausage, mozzarella cheese, chicken and Buffalo chicken, bacon, anchovies, pineapple.

Salads — large and small — include a Greek version, a sliced turkey salad (same prices), and Buffalo chicken salad (each of them priced at $5.85 for the small and $7.75 for large).

There are also wraps for $5.50, including a roast beef version with Russian dressing, and a Philly steak.

Dinners come with tossed salad and bread and range in price from $5.25 for spaghetti or ziti with sauce to $8.75 for Chicken Parmigiana with spaghetti or ziti and Baked Manicotti.

The hot subs include a Hot Eggplant Parmigiana ($5.05 for “mini,” $6.55 for large), and a Philadelphia Steak Sandwich ($5.25/$6.75).

Union Pizza also offers a variety of cold subs that include cappicola, salami, Italian mix and American mix, all priced at $5.05 for the “mini” and $6.55 for the large.

Calzones, with the usual stuffing possibilities, are priced at $6.25 or more, depending on how many items you want. The Union Special Calzone, featuring four items, is $9.50.

My tab, for a hot sub, chicken wings, veggie sticks with blue cheese and a soda was $16.63, with tax and tip.

NAPKIN NOTES

I’m still looking for my new favorite pizza joint. I don’t eat pizza often, but I’d like to have an idea of where the best pies can be found so I can impress company. Do you have a nominee? Drop me a line at [email protected]

Categories: Food, Life & Arts

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