Sunday, November 11, 2012

Johnnie's Villa Pizza

Tonight, we head to Johnstown and Johnnie's Villa Pizza.
First, let me say the place was packed. I arrived to pick up our "to go pies" at about 7pm on a Friday and there were no parking spots available in the lot. I had to go across the street to the Subway to park the Zaaaa wagon just to pick up my pies.

 We ordered what the menu called the "House Tradition"--Villa's All the Way pizza. As a side note, it seems to me that many pizza joints have an "All the Way" pizza. We get it---lotsa toppings, incredible girth and pizza bulk, not for the health conscious. It's probably not the way to make a name for yourself in the pizza world. Too much been there, done that to differentiate here. But in the case of Villa, if it is the House Tradition, how do you not order one?
The "All the Way" was decent, not spectacular as "All the ways" go. Again, tough to stand out in the crowded "All the way" category. Villa's version had pepperoni (hidden for the most part beneath the other toppings), hamburger, mushrooms, green peppers, sausage, ham, and onions. Nice amount of most toppings. Lots of ham, and I like that. Scads and scads of green pepper, and I don't like that. Green pepper should complement a pizza's other toppings. You shouldn't try to make it it's own separate food group. Yo Villa! Tone down the green peppers! They weren't all that fresh anyway. The mushrooms were nice for someone who likes mushrooms. Nice big healthy pieces throughout the pie. If you only like mushrooms if they are microscopic and blend in completely with the other flavors, you may end up being a shroom picker and passing them on to your favorite shroom-o-phile. For me, I really liked this component of the pie. The sauce was fair and had a hint of garlic. Those of you who have read my other reviews know I'm a person who needs to know that I've eaten garlic when I'm consuming my Italian dishes. Villa's sauce is on the low end of acceptable. I'd like a little more vampire repellent in this pie.

I must mention Villa's crust. Not because it was memorable, but because it was not. Maybe it's because last week we had Joe and Mimi's pizza in Granville, (and that crust was real and spectacular!) that I am not overly impressed with this crust. For me, the perfect pizza crust is a wee bit flaky and just a hair chewy (Sorry, hair references have no place in ANY food review). Great crust should be like great Italian bread without the leavening. Villa's crust was unremarkable. It was clearly just a vessel to hold the toppings, sauce, and cheese that are the feature elements of this pizza. I apologize for not being more descriptive of this crust, but this crust was nondescript.  There isn't a better adjective to describe it.  I apologize.

Don't get me wrong here. This is not a bad pizza. I liked it. I just didn't love it. There are better options out there, but this is in no way an unpleasant pie.

Our wine for the evening was straight from our kitchen cabinet. It obviously was gifted to us a number of years ago, and we have never had the opportunity to appropriate re-gift this fine vessel. Our Domaine Sainte-Anne 2000 Bordeaux must be exceedingly rare and exceedingly exquisite. I could find no reference to this vino in my Google search. I know it is French, and I know it was wet. Now, I'm not a fan of anything French. Their food portions are too small. Their women don't shave what needs to be shaved, and the only thing their military does well is surrender. But this is not a geopolitical blog. The wine was fine.

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