WHERE: 1007 Van Antwerp Road, Niskayuna
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday-Saturday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday
MORE INFO: 346-1010. Major credit cards accepted.
In the summertime, dinner on the run is likely at least once a week. When I can combine that with my quest for my new favorite pizza place, it’s a good thing.
Last week, we hit Pizza Buono, a little eatery tucked just off upper Union Street on Van Antwerp Road.
It was a sweltering evening — maybe the first such day of the summer — and my snap decision to eat there rather than get takeout was not a great idea. Pizza Buono has a few tables for patrons who want to eat there, but it’s largely a takeout and delivery business. If they have air conditioning, it wasn’t operating when we visited.
They had run out of menus so we ordered off the various menu boards. My dinner mate was hungry, and we’d barely gotten inside when he ordered a couple of pre-made slices, from behind the glass, of what he speculated was barbecue chicken pizza. It wasn’t. It was a thinly sliced beef in a dark sauce with hot pepper accents. He liked it and ate his two slices and half of one of mine. (Remember when you were 23 and could eat like that?)
I wasn’t as impressed with the beef pizza — nor as hungry, I guess, as my guest. I found the beef pizza strange, almost like a chipped beef, and it wasn’t something I’d order again.
On the other hand, the sausage and cheese pizza I had for my second slice was quite good. Pizza Buono has two types of crust — one thin and crispy and a pan pizza version that is thicker and more substantial. I favor the thin, crispy crust, and Pizza Buono’s was a good example, with great flavor and just the right amount of crunch around the edges.
We also ordered some of their chicken wings. We tried to order the boneless variety, but they were out of them, so we settled for 10 of the regular wings (for $5.95). They were a long time coming for whatever reason. As we waited, we got warmer and warmer and finally asked for the wings to be packaged to go.
They were delicious, though nothing unusual about the formula, but delicious nevertheless and accompanied by the traditional crispy spears of celery and a blue cheese sauce for dipping.
Had I not been itching to try their pizza, I would have definitely ordered one of Pizza Buono’s subs, which feature Boar’s Head cold cuts, which are right up there with the best of them. Pizza Buono was waiting for a delivery of menus from the printer, but I found their menu on the helpful Web site allmenus.com. The cold subs and sandwiches, which they say they prepare on freshly made bread, includes an Italian sub with salami, Capicola, pepperoni and provolone cheese for $5.50.
They offer hot subs, too, including a grilled Reuben, chicken Parmesan, Italian sausage and a pepperoni melt, each priced at $6.50.
You can also find a variety of other deli food here, like potato salad. There’s a cooler to your right when you first walk in where you’ll find cold salads and also dinners you can take home and warm in the oven. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll be pleased to find tiramisu and cannoli in one of the glass display cases.
Hot lunches and dinners, which come with salad and bread, include cheese or meat lasagna, ziti with meatballs, eggplant Parmesan and stuffed shells, each for $8.95.
But, as the name suggests, this is primarily a pizza restaurant and among its offerings is one called a lasagna pizza with meatballs, sausage and ricotta. The prices are $13.95 for a 16-inch pie, $16.95 for 18-inch and $24.95 for the 24-inch version.
Their signature pie is the Buono Supreme which sells for $27.95 for the 24-incher.
Our tab, for four slices of pizza, 10 chicken wings and sodas was $20.81, including tax and tip.
One of my favorite pizza memories is of the pie my mom used to make when I was a boy. It was a recipe she got from a woman’s magazine and was touted as Sophia Loren’s personal pizza recipe. It was made in a cast iron skillet and fried in olive oil and then finished in the oven. The crust was thin and crispy and delectable, enhanced in no small way by the olive oil. It was so good that I would have eaten it without cheese and sauce. But, though I loved that pizza, I was a skeptical child and I questioned whether someone like Sophia Loren would actually make her own pizza. I was assured that of course it was Sophia Loren’s pizza. They wouldn’t say so in the magazine if it wasn’t true.