Quick Bites: Gino’s NY Pizza & Zoe Restaurant

Over the last two weeks we have had a couple of lunches that were good enough to mention on this site, however; both meals were a only a small sampling from their respective restaurants and with our busy schedule and desire to always try something new, I don’t think we’ll be revisiting soon enough to do a full fledged Food Porn.  So the following article is a “quick bite” version of our regular Food Porns, aka a small review of a single meal and in one case a single menu item.

Alli introduced me to Gino and Joe’s NY Pizza early into our relationship.  She said it was really good NY style pizza but had a very deceiving location (inside the Main Place Mall).  Since we don’t find ourselves heading down to Main St. too often, we unfortunately haven’t had a chance to to grab a slice in a of couple years.  So last weekend when Alli and I were trying to think of a place to grab a slice of pizza I remembered reading a Buffalo Rising article about Gino’s NY Pizza moving into the Elmwood village.  I am not positive of the exact connection, I do know that Gino’s is run by relatives of the owners of Gino and Joe’s.

The inside is pretty small and the restaurant seems to be exclusively take out; they have no seating inside but with a gated patio there is the potential for outdoor seating in the summer time.  Since our visit was on a whim we walked in and ordered a x-tra large cheese and pepperoni pizza (pictured above) for less then $15 and was told it would be a 15 minutes wait.  Looking over their large menu they have some traditional red sauce Italian dishes, wraps and the normal pizzeria menu of wings/fingers/salads.  Inside the restaurant they had a few different specialty slices for people on the go or eating late at night (they are open until 4am on the weekends).  We killed the time at the Co-op down the street and brought the large pizza back to our house.

The pizza was everything I expected, a large thin crusted pizza with large thin slices of pepperoni.  Alli wasn’t impressed and found the pizza to be incredibly greasy.  I thought the pizza had a good flavor and the crust had a really nice crunchy exterior.  Yes, the combination of cheese and pepperoni was a little greasy, but nothing compared to some of the sloppy Buffalo-style pizza’s we’ve eaten in the past.  The sauce was closer to the savory side and the pepperoni’s were pretty salty.  The slices were strong enough that you could pick up a slice without worrying about the toppings sliding off.  Compared to the other NY style pizza options in the area, I would say they are superior to NY Style on Allen but on par with Zetti’s which has a much larger selection of specialty slices but sometimes their normal cheese and pepperoni is pretty lacking.  If you are in the mood for greasy NY style pizza, Gino’s may be an option to consider, but don’t expect to be blown away.

I’ve been desperately looking for more restaurants to try on my lunch breaks at work, unfortunately I’m on my own a lot of the time and feel weird sitting by myself at a more “traditional” restaurant.  Luckily, Alli had last Friday off and came out to the Northtowns to visit me and we managed to have lunch at Zoe Restaurant on Transit.  The restaurant is deceiving from the outside, the exterior looks like your typical dive-y neighborhood Greek diner, but once we walked through the doors we were pleasantly surprised by the inside which appears to have been recently remodeled and had a very warm home-y feeling.

I’ve been in the mood for good Greek food for a while and even though I was hoping Alli and I could try a couple different menu items, we both decided that we were craving a gyro.  Alli ordered their beef & lamb gyro (pictured in gallery) while I tried their chicken gyro (pictured above).  As can be seen above, both were very big and absolutely covered in tzatziki sauce.  The beef and lamb had a good flavor but the texture of the meat, which was clearly a pre-made probably frozen patty, left something to be desired.  I would have preferred some fresh shavings from a spit.  The chicken gyro was the star of our meal, the large char-grilled pieces had a wonderful flavor and a fresh juicy texture.  Both gyro’s were stuffed full of meat, large pieces of tomato, raw onions and covered in a large mound of tzatziki.  The tzatziki was actually quite sour with a very subtle cucumber and dill flavor.  Alli loved it but I thought it was almost a little overwhelming in the first couple of bites and they probably could have put about half as much on the wraps.

For under $10 you will be served a very large amount of food and even though the french fries were nothing special (your average pre-made fries out of a bag), Alli and I left the place full but not feeling gross.  If I was going to lunch with another person, I’d definitely consider heading back and trying out a Souvlaki or their Greek Salad (which I’ve heard is good).

Photo Gallery

Gino's NY Pizza on Urbanspoon

Zoé Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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