Friday, October 22, 2010

Pittsburgh's best pizza tour: Giovanni's and Jioio's

By Jeff

Swan and I were at it again this week, and I kinda went behind his back and did another pizza place. I'm sorry, Swan. It was at work and I figured it would be OK.

First, Swan and I visited Giovanni's on West Liberty Avenue. Mike and Joe had told me multiple times that it was good pizza, but I had never been there. It's about 2 miles away from Fiori's, so if I'm out that way I take the extra few minutes and drive to Fiori's.
Giovanni's is good, but it's no Fiori's.

While the pizza is being graded, not the service, it has to be mentioned that ours was not great. Our server brought out the oil to dip bread in right away, but it sat there for about 10 minutes before she brought the bread. Swan and I actually thought it was just to dip the crust in until the bread arrived. And Giovanni's is not a big place. It's one dining room. Yet our server would disappear.

Anyway, we decided to be big spenders and get and extra large pepperoni pizza. And they did not go cheap with the topping. The pizza was covered, which is definitely a plus.

The sauce was sweeter than Fiori's, but a little too sweet. And I like sweet sauces. The crust was crispier than Fiori's, but not as crispy as Burgh's. It also had that nice oil to dip it in, which made it better. I wish they put more cheese on the pizzam, though. There were some slices where it seemed like they just didn't put cheese on it, or it was very little. Because of the lack of cheese, I didn't really taste it that much. The pepperonis were excellent, though. They were crispy, had a lot of flavor and were my favorite part of the pizza.

One thing I forgot to mention about Burgh's that also relates to Giovanni's is that unless you are a complete jerk, you have to tip your server. You don't do this at Fiori's, which is a plus. It does not change the taste of the pizza, obviously, but just something to keep in mind.

Final Grade for Giovanni's: 7 out of 10. You might as well keep driving and go to Fiori's.

The second place I experienced this week was Jioio's, which has locations in Irwin, Greensburg and Latrobe. Swan didn't hit up this place with me because it was a work lunch.

My coworkers played Jioio's up big time. They said it was their favorite and that I hadn't experienced pizza unless I had it. Well, I've now had it, and I'm not going to have it again.

Fiori's and Giovanni's have sweet sauces, but Jioio's sauce is on a whole other level of sweet. It was almost like I was eating one of those CiCi's dessert pizzas, only with tomato sauce and cheese instead of cinnamon and icing.

With the sauce being so sweet, it was hard to taste anything else. The cheese did nothing for me, the pepperonis were decent and the crust was really flaky. Actually, the crust reminded me a Domino's thin crust. If I do get chain pizza, I prefer think crust from Domino's, but that doesn't make if very good. So Jioio's really did nothing for me but clog my arteries and hurt my teeth.

Final Grade for Jioio's: 4 out of 10. It might have been lower if it wasn't free.

Weezer - Blowing My Stack

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